I know I'm in the right line of work because browsing through typefaces is almost as good as a visit to a candy store for me. I was up past midnight the other night admiring and scrolling through new typefaces that I hadn't seen before that are offered in the Adobe Typekit. With the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription I've chosen for my work, I have access to many typefaces that I can add to Adobe Photoshop, the drawing program I use to combine images and text for logos and other images.
A typeface or font family is an artistic expression of letters and numbers that are designed to look similar to one another in their varied styles – whether the characters are emphasized in bold, slanted in italic, or standing upright in regular type. Each of these styles is called a font.
One of the first decisions you'll make with a new website is the choice of typefaces, especially those used as display accents throughout your site, such as the Site Title and Headings. Squarespace and Weebly come with designs that include typefaces that suit the designs as they are, but if you would prefer another typeface, there are many to choose from.
There are two main classes of typefaces: Serif and Sans Serif.
- A Serif typeface has what I think of as "feet," extra lines that flare out from each letter or number.
- A Sans Serif typeface (from the French for "without Serif") has no extra lines.
In addition to those two categories, Squarespace and Weebly give you other categories of fonts to choose, such as Script and Decorative.
Here are some important things to consider when making your decision:
- Make sure the text is readable. Fancy fonts can be interesting to look at and, when used sparingly, can spruce up your site. But every word on your site is there for a reason, so make sure that whatever you choose is readable.
- Choose a style that matches the design or message of your business. If you have a high-tech business, you're not going to want a typeface that looks like it was designed for the first printing press.
- If you have a logo or will be designing one, you may want to coordinate the logo typeface with the site title to make your branding more consistent. For our personal website, Sustainable Green Life, I changed the site title font to Sansation and I used Sansation for the text in the logo image as well.
Where to make the change
In the Squarespace Design panel and the Weebly Theme - Change Fonts panel, you first select the element to change (like Site Title or Headline) and then make a choice about the new font family you want to use for the element. Then based on the font family you choose, you'll have an option of which style to use. In many cases, your choices will be Bold, Italic, and Regular, but there may be more choices or fewer depending on what font family you've selected.
Tip: If you use Weebly, make a note of what is selected before you change to another font in case you want to revert back to the previous selection. Weebly design changes are automatically saved, so there is no Oops! option.
Try and try again
The wonderful thing about do-it-yourself websites is that you can make changes easily and also change your mind if you don't like the result. You can have some fun trying out typefaces on your site, even making them visible to the public if you want, and simply change them back if you don't like what you see. Don't let typeface changes keep you up at night, unless you're like me and browsing through typefaces is a form of late-night entertainment.