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IT Basics: Incorporating Font Into Web Design

IT Basics; Incorporating Font Into Web Design

Just as handwritten calligraphy lends a personal touch to a special note or card, the right font can add whimsical style to a child's card or children's story. A flowing script can give a handwritten touch to personal emails, or a formal crisp font can grab attention of your business card. There are varieties of fonts to choose from for any tone or mood needed across a wide range of digital printing projects. Fonts may be bold or italicized, freestyle or traditional. Outlined fonts can be used to make an eye-catching headline to advertise a yard sale or neighborhood play. You may simply choose a font style that reflects your personality and use it to convey your own flair in any number of situations.

If you are designing marketing materials for a personal business, you may want to change the font size, color, and style to draw attention to specific information such as special promotions. You can easily vary your choice in font styles to capture the attention of different marketing groups. You can choose to coordinate the same font style or use a different font for your printed materials and website.

Tips for Incorporating Font Choice into Web Design

Review more than a handful of websites and it is quickly apparent that most web designers fall back on using the same four or five typical font choices such as Times New Roman, Arial, Georgia, Helvetica, or Calibri. After a while, all websites look the same even though they obviously convey many different types of information. When you design a website, you want it to grab attention and stand out from the crowd. While you can opt to use images, FLASH technology, and dynamic headlines, many of these options take valuable development time and delay site downloads for some devices. On the other hand, by taking advantage of the strategic use of font choice instead of more complicated technology, you can customize your website to grab specific target audiences, highlight special promotions, or convey a special mood or style specific to your website goals and design. A few less popular font choices that can help your web design stand out from the crowd include; Palatino, Tahoma, Impact, Century Gothic, Arial Black, Arial Narrow, Copperplate or Gills Sans. Experiment in mixing a few of these font options on your web design to accent headlines, and special notices. Also consider using relative font sizing to allow viewers the option to adjust text size based on their visual needs.

Obtaining Free Fonts

If the only fonts you have used are those that are available on your personal computer, you may be surprised to learn there are many exciting font styles available! Before you download free fonts, always check their use policies to be sure you are not infringing on any copyright laws. Many sites offering free fonts allow you to use them for personal use (such as emails), but expect you to pay for using them on a commercial website. Sites offering free fonts usually have a clear use policy statement. If you have any questions about usage, contact the site owner or try a different free font source.

Purchasing Fonts for Sale

When designing a commercial web page or business site, it may make sense to avoid concerns over copyright infringement by purchasing fonts. When you purchase fonts, you are sure you have permission to use the fonts on websites used for profit. Purchasing fonts also gives you wider access to unusual fonts, artistic fonts, or even custom designed fonts that can bring a unique look and feel to your website. Some sites selling fonts offers fonts as downloads and CDs making it easy to back up the fonts you have purchased should there be a problem with your computer.

Programming Fonts

When it comes to programming, there are specific needs to keep in mind when choosing a font style. Primarily a font must be clearly readable with a clear distinction between characters such a capital O or a zero. Good programming fonts also need to be monospaced. Fixed-width fonts are used in code listings. A monospaced bitmap allows a lot of code yet remains clear enough to be read easily. Fonts may be optimized for writing source code while retaining readability. This is an advantage for everyone but especially programmers.