Wait! What is a font you ask? And why is it so important in design?

The words ‘font’ and ‘typeface’ are often confused when talking about website design, so think of it like this, the difference between a font and a typeface is just the same as songs on an album. The songs are the font which belong to the album – the typeface.

The font itself can be of a certain style and size for example, the Times New Roman typeface – Times New Roman in 12 pt bold is the font or, Verdana typeface in a Verdana 14 pt, italic font.

An important element of design and one that shouldn’t be overlooked when you are planning your new website is to spend time considering and choosing the font that will match your intended audience and echo the kind of message you wish to convey. After all, your font choice, the website colours and content can either make or break the level of engagement your audience has with your site. Imagine for example, if the serious headline of an online newspaper was developed in Courier New, green 16 pt? Or, your favourite surf website was uploaded using Georgia for all body text – it would feel very sombre and official, much like the New York Times.

If you would like to experiment with different fonts, you can access free open-source Google fonts at www.google.com/fonts.

The visual characteristics of a font do speak louder than words. Although there are an overwhelming number of fonts available, there are four main categories of fonts – those with serifs, those without serifs, decorative styles and script.


These fonts are called serifs because of the small lines that appear on the main stroke of the letters or characters, think Times New Roman. These fonts are used commonly in print documents and also make an impact as online headlines and in body text.


Sans-serif fonts lack the ‘serif’ detail, (the small lines on the main stroke of the letter or characters), Arial and Verdana are good examples of sans-serif. The sans-serif is more modern in appearance than the serifs and used widely in online text and is easy to read on a small screen such as your mobile phone.

Decorative Styles

Decorative styles are fancy fonts. They make a visual impact but may not be that easy to read on a small screen. These fonts need to be used sparingly for great effect and can be used as decoration or headings for your website; they should not be used for body text.

Script Fonts

Script fonts are the fonts that look similar to handwriting in that they have fluid strokes. These fonts mostly are used mostly for invitations, text on certificates, in blogs, advertising and promotional material.



A general rule is to use no more than two fonts in your website design, although a third can be used sparingly especially if you are adding a decorative font to your webpage. You must ensure that your font choice is easy to read and remains clear when it is reduced to a small size, for example on a mobile phone, or if the font has to be expanded for readability purposes.

If you’re wondering how to strengthen your digital presence but you’re feeling confused about where to start and what direction to take with your web colours, text and font choices, then don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Fireworks Websites on 1300 660 160.