How to Choose a Font

By: VID Interns

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What is important when choosing a font?

When choosing a font, the most important thing to consider is legibility and readability. The legibility of a font refers to its typeface, such as the stroke width and if it has serifs or not. Legibility must follow the purpose of the text. If the text is meant to be read at length, the font needs to have high legibility. Readability concerns how the font is used in its context. The properties of a font such as its size, color and type style combined with its background determines a font’s readability. The legibility and readability of a font is crucial for communication. 

How are fonts classified and when should they be used? 

Fonts are classified by the style of its typeface. A typeface is categorized by four basic groups: script, decorative, serif, and sans-serif. A serif typeface has a slight projection at the end of its stroke. Times New Roman is a classic example of a serif typeface. Serif typefaces are typically used in print, as serif typefaces are believed to be easier to read in print. Serif typefaces are also associated with a formal tone. Sans-serif typefaces, such as Helvetica or Roboto, use plain and simple lines. Sans-serif typefaces are associated with an informal tone and are used more often in a digital format such as websites, blogs and PDFs. For an academic project, serif and sans-serif typefaces are best for legibility and clear communication. Script and decorative typefaces are not preferred for academic projects as they are more decorative and harder to read at length. 

How do fonts organize the contents of a project? 

Using two fonts or font styles is the best way to separate the contents of a project. If one font is used in a project, use its bold or italic style to organize the information. Two different fonts in a project can use one font for the title and headings and the other for the body text. When choosing which two fonts to pair together, it is important that the fonts contrast yet complement each other. Different fonts that looks too much alike defeats the purpose of using two fonts and fonts that clash too much can pull the design of a project in opposite directions. Using more than two fonts in a project is not recommended as that can affect the consistency in a project’s organization. Below are some examples of creative complementary font pairings as well as some fonts that are recommended for use. 

Recommended Font Pairings:

Playfair Display Bold & Source Sans Pro

Montserrat Bold & Lora Italic 

Source Sans Pro Bold & Times New Roman

Roboto Bold & Roboto Regular

Nunito Bold & Nunito Regular

Lato Bold & Lato Regular

Proxima Nova Bold & Proxima Nova Regular