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Show some fonting restraint!


One of the biggest mistakes I see on self-built websites is the use of too many different fonts. Quite often there are three or four typefaces and then they appear in different sizes, in bold, in italic and a variety of colours. This looks messy and unprofessional.

How can you avoid this pitfall? Here are a few tips:

Choose a font that is appropriate for your brand.

If you run an after-school club then a rounded, jolly-looking typeface might be appropriate. If you run an accountancy firm you’ll want something that looks a bit more serious.

Keep It Simple Stupid!

Use a limited number of typefaces. Maybe use one characterful typeface for the headings and a plainer one for longer chunks of text.

Limit the number of sizes.

Use a large font size for you main headings (H1), a medium font size for subheadings (H2 etc), and a smaller font size for paragraphs. By just sticking to three sizes, your web page will look not only look cleaner but it will also be easier to navigate.

Don’t go too small!

You need your visitor to be able to read the text easily. Accessibility is a serious point to consider. 16px is often is a good size for most body text.

Adjust the height between lines. Did you even realise you could do this? Have a little play to see how different it looks if your lines are widely spaced apart or squashed together. Leaving a decent amount of space will make your text more readable.

Use colour carefully. Judicious use of colour can make a big impact. But don't overdo it. Your main copy should generally be in black or, for a softer effect, a very dark colour such as dark grey. Use stronger colours to add visual interest and emphasis, but be careful not to use too many different colours. Maybe choose one of your brand colours for headings and a different, bolder one for your call to action.

Keep a good contrast.

To ensure everyone can ready your text easily, ensure there's a clear contrast between your text and its background.

Use bold and italic sparingly Use bold and italic text to add emphasis, but be careful not to overuse these styles as they can make text difficult to read.

Be consistent!

Once you have decided on your limited palette of typefaces, sizes and colours, apply it consistently throughout your website.

All these tips really come down to two main things Limit your fonts and

Be consistent.

You’ll end up with a cleaner, more coherent website which is easier and pleasanter to use.

Let me know how you get on!


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