Fonts are a surprisingly tricky aspect of web design. This seemingly small choice has the power to make or break your website when it comes to giving off an aura of professionalism and quality. Unfortunately, many web designers fall victim to using popular fonts that have overstayed their welcome in the world of design.
This happens simply because they’re used to seeing them or because they buy into the belief that because others have used them so prolifically they should stick to “what works”. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. When designing your website be wary of these popular fonts that are actually some of the least appropriate ones for web design:
Poor Comic Sans doesn’t stand a chance in the world of fonts and is largely referred to as the worst font of all time. Originally designed for comic books (like its name implies), it has become so hackneyed that the mere mention of it makes many designers shudder. Unless you’re a teacher or a child, Comic Sans should be avoided at all costs. The childish feel does nothing positive for websites.
The problem with Bradley Hand is that while it’s made to mimic actual handwriting, it still comes off looking like a font. This immediately retracts from the attempted authenticity of the font, making it one to avoid. You don’t want to make your viewers feel like you’re trying to put one over on them, which is exactly what Bradley Hand is doing.
Papyrus is a strange font that channels a very Egyptian feel that no business can effectively use, despite many widespread efforts. Also, people seem to be overdoing it to the max with this font, which just further solidifies that it should be avoided. Add in that it really isn’t that visually appealing or easily readable and you have a recipe for design disaster.
50 years ago this was the “it” font. But where Brush Script once served its users well, it now has fallen victim to the times and just looks outdated and old. If you have to go with a cursive-style font, pick one that has a bit more of a modern vibe to it.
When your goal is coming across as professional and high caliber, using handwriting fonts is not the way to go. And yet people still defer to Lucida Handwriting time and time again, despite the ironic fact that the more text typed in it, the more illegible it becomes.
When choosing fonts for web design, don’t get trapped in the idea of using fonts that attempt to mimic handwriting – which is never really successful – or fonts that have become so overwhelmingly overused, that you are likely to see them on every website, menu, or flyer that you come across.
Stick with fonts that are easily readable and not a visual attack on the eyes of your audience.