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What Font Should you Use?

Crazy fonts

In the 21st century we have seen some of the fastest advancements in computers and the internet. The way we view content and the written word is forever being changed. Traditional publications that have not evolved are either going out of business or losing revenue. An example of this is blockbuster video that had to shut down the vast majority of their stores last year. There has never been a time when so much information has been freely available to the so many people. There has also never been a time where anyone can publish their own content and get it seen by millions of people all on their own. Be this through a blog, video or guest post on a popular online publication. Due to the fact anyone can publish content we are seeing some absolutely horrible typography and design.

What makes a good font?

The main thing a good font must do is:

  1. Be easy to read on the chosen medium.
  2. Be clear and flow.
  3. It must communicate your story
  4. Be relevant to your audience

Starting with point 1; There are various mediums we can choose including print, desktop, mobiles and tablets. We need a font that the reader can clearly see and read on that medium

In point 2 what I mean by flow is the way the font reads. A good way to asses this is to sit down and actually really read the text. See for yourself if it really flows well or you are finding it a bit slow.

The last 2 points come together somewhat, if you are writing a story for children under 4 you will probably not want to use a traditional serif text. If you are writing content for lawyers or doctors you will probably want to avoid over sized decorated texts.

Some other things to consider are the size of your page or margins. If we have large columns we can consider using a bold or black typeface. When we have only limited space and small columns using a light san serif type may be best.

Things to remember; there are no hard and fast rules, typography is subjective. When in doubt ask someone else’s opinion.

An introduction to WordPress

The vast majority of websites on the internet are actually now made using the CMS (content management system) wordpress. There is a reason for its popularity; it’s fairly easy to use and make a website from scratch with little knowledge of coding. The platform has always been open source and the coding has been crowd sourced by donating programmers.

WordPress can be installed using a 1 click installer (most hosting companies have this). When installed it is pre-populated with a “theme” and some dummy content. There are a bunch of themes available online. Many of the free themes can be found in the wordpress back end. If you go to appearance, themes then add new. Now you can search for 10000s or more themes. Some things to note about this; most of the high quality looking themes generally have limited functionality. The reason they do this is to get you to upgrade to their premium version.

For most small local business such as solicitors, doctors and trades this is a very cost effective solution. For example this site for local solicitors was designed using a standard wordpress theme.

If you are serious about having a high quality, sexy looking website I highly recommend getting a premium theme. It actually makes a lot of sense for a few reasons.

  1. Even if you know some coding you will spend so much time trying to customise the “lite” theme it won’t be worth the savings.
  2. You usually have access to support forums or email from programmers. This can be a god send and will even help you learn a lot of new things.
  3. You get the whole package and don’t have to worry about work arounds.