Like love, fonts come in all shapes and sizes. There’s your classic 12-point Times New Roman regular, a reliable choice for readers. Or, Impact at 40-point, which makes a statement when used for a headline. Fonts can be friendly, futuristic, practical or playful, formal, confident, sloppy and so on. As designers and marketers, we have some favorite fonts and advice to share, including how to know which font is “the one” for your firm’s website.
Typography, like the legal profession, has existed for centuries. The first typeface was a “Blackletter” variety (most associated with a “Gothic” style) used by Johannes Gutenberg on the first printing press. Art movements, hand lettering and calligraphy, advancements in typesetting, and other technological innovations have influenced changes in typeface design.
Typefaces are an essential element of every design produced—from physical marketing to responsive websites. The body font a graphic designer selects for an employment lawyer’s blog will be different from what a brand like Vans might use to target teenage skateboarders. A typeface on your website influences the site visitor’s experience by conveying a mood or emotion. In fact, a 2009 study conducted by Concordia University in Canada confirmed typefaces have perceived personality traits. For example, Times, Arial, and Helvetica all exhibited the trait of “directness” by study participants (for their legibility).
When determining the typeface design for your website consider what impression you want to make on the visitor reading your content. A serif typeface (characterized by a small stroke at the end of each letter), such as Garamond, is an older style that evokes feelings of tradition. A sans serif typeface is absent the small stroke on each letter and its letters are more linear and distinct.
“Estate Planning attorneys often like a traditional look with a serif font; while we find corporate clients want something fresh and modern, so we’ll give them a sans serif font,” said Rosalee Valenzuela, lead graphic designer at Omnizant.
A good graphic designer chooses fonts for their legibility, readability, and aesthetics. Which leads us to Ominizan’ts recommendations for law firms.
Crushin’ On Web Fonts
Web fonts are used online and are embedded in websites. We’re big on web accessibility here and design with inclusive, common fonts for a better user experience. Arial and Calibri are examples of typefaces that are web accessible and commonly used for body copy.
Rosalee’s favorite web font is Segoe UI because, “it goes with any heading font and it’s fabulous because it’s web safe and not all sans serif fonts are web safe.” Plus, she added that it looks great in all caps and bold.
Segoe UI is the “default system font” for Windows, and a favorite as well for Bryan Vandenheuvel, Omnizant’s creative director. Other default system fonts are San Francisco on Mac and iOS, and Roboto on Android. Here’s why Bryan recommends these web safe fonts, that are also available in a full range of weights:
- The font matches the user’s operating system so it is familiar to them.
- The font doesn’t need to be downloaded, so it helps increase site performance and load time.
- Default system fonts are all authored by major companies that have spent lots of time and resources optimizing and designing these fonts.
Objects of Our Affection
Raleway is a san serif, elegant typeface with a modern feel and geometric shapes that we will use as a headline font on legal websites. Rosalee is fond of how the “W” looks in Raleway, because it has a decorative flourish.
Cormorant Garamond has thin line serifs that look good in all caps, bold, italic, and large sizes. It’s more lavish and ornate than the commonly found Garamond.
Made With Love
Roses are red, violets are blue, let Omnizant help find the right font for you. We design and build websites and visual identities, lawyers (and their clients) love. Find out more about our design services.