Best 20 Website Fonts To Use in 2023 [+ Tips For Choosing Them]
Table of Contents
Fonts are critical design elements that can influence the overall visual appeal of a website. Aside from using high-quality images and creating copy that drives action, the right use of fonts can help you convey your message just as you intended and also enhance your brand consistency – more reason why you have to select readable and web-safe fonts.
Web-safe fonts are those fonts that are easily accessible and available on most operating systems, devices, and browsers, so users irrespective of their device are able to view your content without distortion or go the extra length to download the fonts. Unfortunately, choosing a suitable font for your website can be more challenging than expected, as you might see many visually appealing fonts that aren’t web-safe or could be the other way around.
To help you navigate this easily, we will be sharing some interesting insights on the basics of a good web font, a list of the 20 best HTML fonts for your website, and tips for choosing them.
What are Web-safe Fonts?
Web-safe fonts, also known as “browser-safe fonts” or “system fonts,” refer to typefaces that are pre-installed on a wide range of computer operating systems and web browsers. These fonts are considered safe choices for web design because they are highly likely to render consistently across various devices and browsers, ensuring that your website’s text appears as intended to a majority of users.
Some common examples of web-safe fonts include Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Georgia, and Courier New. These fonts are reliable options for designers who want to ensure that their website’s typography remains consistent and accessible to a broad audience, regardless of the user’s device or browser preferences.
Different Types of Web-safe Fonts
Web-safe fonts are essential for ensuring that your website’s text displays consistently and legibly across various devices and browsers. Here are different types of web-safe fonts:
1. Serif Fonts
Serif fonts, also known as “serif typefaces,” are a category of fonts characterized by the presence of small decorative strokes, known as serifs, at the ends of the characters’ main strokes or lines. These serifs give the font a more traditional, formal, and classic appearance.
Serif fonts are often associated with print media, books, and long passages of text due to their readability and legibility in printed materials. Some common examples of serif fonts include Times New Roman, Georgia, and Baskerville.
Serif fonts are typically used for body text in printed materials like newspapers, books, and magazines, as the serifs help guide the reader’s eye along the lines of text. However, they are also used in various design contexts, depending on the desired visual style and tone of a project.
2. Sans-serif Fonts
A sans-serif web font, often referred to simply as “sans-serif,” typeface is a type of font that lacks decorative strokes or serifs at the ends of characters’ main strokes. These fonts are characterized by their clean, modern, and minimalistic appearance, making them particularly well-suited for digital and web-based content.
Sans-serif web fonts are commonly used in online contexts, such as websites, apps, and digital documents because they tend to offer better readability and legibility on screens compared to serif fonts. Popular examples of sans-serif web fonts include Arial, Helvetica, and Verdana.
These fonts are often chosen for their simplicity and clarity, which make them suitable for a wide range of online content, including headings, body text, and user interface elements.
3. Monospaced Fonts
Monospaced fonts, also known as fixed-width or non-proportional fonts, are a type of font in which each character occupies the same horizontal space, regardless of its width. In other words, every letter and symbol in a monospaced font takes up an equal amount of space, making them appear more uniform and aligned when displayed in text.
Monospace fonts are often used in contexts where precise alignment and consistent spacing are essential, such as in coding and programming, where they help maintain the structure of code and make it easier to read. Examples of monospaced fonts include Courier, Consolas, and Monaco.
These fonts are typically characterized by their simple and square-like appearance, which sets them apart from proportional fonts, where characters vary in width.
4. Cursive Fonts
Cursive fonts, in human terms, are those that mimic the flowing and connected handwriting style. They are designed to make text appear as if it’s been written by hand with a continuous and slightly slanted flow of characters, like traditional cursive handwriting.
Cursive fonts often feature loops and curves that connect letters, giving them an elegant and decorative appearance. These fonts are commonly used for creative and artistic purposes, such as invitations, greeting cards, or design elements where a personal and handwritten touch is desired.
Examples of cursive fonts include Brush Script, Lucida Handwriting, and Snell Roundhand. They add a touch of personality and sophistication to the text, making it feel more personalized and visually appealing.
5. Fantasy Fonts
Fantasy fonts, in simple terms, are whimsical and imaginative typefaces designed to evoke a sense of wonder and enchantment. These fonts often feature elaborate and artistic designs with unique, unconventional shapes for each letter.
Fantasy fonts are commonly used in contexts where a touch of creativity and magic is desired, such as in fantasy novels, children’s books, or themed party invitations.
They can range from gothic and medieval-inspired fonts to more playful and fantastical styles. Some fantasy fonts mimic ancient runes, while others resemble fairy tale lettering. These fonts are ideal for adding a touch of whimsy and uniqueness to your creative projects, making them stand out with a touch of magic and imagination.
6. Custom Web Fonts
Custom web fonts refer to typefaces or fonts that are not included in the standard set of web-safe fonts and are specifically selected or created to enhance a website’s design and branding. These fonts are chosen or designed to align with a website’s unique style, personality, and visual identity.
Unlike web-safe fonts, which are universally supported by web browsers, custom web fonts require additional steps to be displayed consistently across various devices and browsers. They are often loaded from external sources, such as web font services like Google Fonts or Adobe Fonts, using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) or other web development techniques.
Custom web fonts allow website designers to break free from the limitations of standard fonts, enabling them to create more visually appealing, brand-specific, and engaging web experiences for users.
When choosing web-safe fonts, prioritize readability and legibility, as well as the overall design aesthetic of your website. Always ensure that your selected fonts align with your brand’s style and message.
Are Web-Safe Fonts the Same as Google Fonts?
Web-safe fonts and Google Fonts serve a similar purpose in web design, but they are not the same. Here’s a deeper look at their differences and similarities:
Web-safe fonts are fonts that are pre-installed on most operating systems and, therefore, reliably available on nearly all devices and browsers. These fonts are designed to ensure consistent text rendering across various platforms, reducing the risk of font-related issues.
Web-safe fonts offer a limited choice of typefaces, typically consisting of common serif and sans-serif fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, and Verdana. They are lightweight and load quickly since they don’t require external server requests.
Google Fonts is a free web font service provided by Google, offering a vast selection of fonts that can be easily integrated into web projects. While Google Fonts are widely supported, they may not be available if a user’s device is offline or if they block external resources, potentially leading to front-loading issues.
Google Fonts provides access to hundreds of fonts, including various styles, weights, and scripts, allowing web designers to choose fonts that align precisely with their design vision. Google Fonts are loaded from Google’s servers, which can add some latency to page loading times.
- Both web-safe fonts and Google Fonts aim to ensure consistent text display across different devices and browsers.
- They are suitable for enhancing web typography and design.
- Web-safe fonts are limited in selection and come pre-installed on devices, while Google Fonts offer a more extensive library.
- Google Fonts require an external server request, potentially affecting page loading speed.
- Google Fonts provides greater design flexibility and the ability to choose from a wide range of fonts to match specific design aesthetics.
To sum it up, Web-safe fonts prioritize reliability and consistent rendering, while Google Fonts offer a more extensive, customizable, and modern font library for web designers. The choice between the two depends on your design needs, project goals, and considerations for performance and aesthetics.
What Makes a Good Web-safe Font
A good web-safe font possesses several key characteristics that make it a reliable and versatile choice for web designers and developers:
Readability is paramount for any font used on the web. A good web-safe font is easy to read, even at various font sizes and on different screen resolutions. It ensures that website content is accessible and user-friendly.
2. Cross-Platform Compatibility
Web-safe fonts are universally supported by all major web browsers and operating systems, ensuring consistent display across different devices and platforms. This compatibility is crucial for delivering a seamless user experience.
Good web-safe fonts are typically lightweight in terms of file size. This means they load quickly, reducing website loading times and improving overall performance, especially on slower internet connections.
Versatile web-safe fonts can be applied to a wide range of design styles and purposes. They adapt well to various design elements, including headlines, body text, and call-to-action buttons, allowing for cohesive and visually appealing web designs.
Legibility is closely related to readability but focuses on individual characters within a font. A good web-safe font ensures that each character is distinct and easily recognizable, even in smaller font sizes or low-resolution displays.
Accessibility is a crucial consideration in web design. A web-safe font should meet accessibility guidelines, including sufficient contrast between text and background colors, to accommodate users with visual impairments.
7. Compatibility with Branding
While web-safe fonts are more limited than custom fonts, the best ones align with a brand’s identity and design aesthetic. They can convey the desired tone and personality of a website while maintaining professionalism.
8. Multilingual Support
Ideally, a web-safe font should support a wide range of languages and character sets to accommodate diverse user audiences. This ensures that content can be displayed accurately in different languages.
9. Web License
It’s essential to use web-safe fonts that come with proper licensing for online usage. Many web-safe fonts are available under open-source licenses or are part of font libraries that grant permission for web embedding.
Web-safe fonts should remain visually appealing and maintain their proportions when scaled up or down. Scalability ensures that fonts look good on various screen sizes, from desktop monitors to mobile devices.
These fonts strike a balance between aesthetics and functionality, making them a reliable choice for web projects.
Best 20 Website Fonts To Use in 2023
Selecting the right fonts for your website in 2023 is crucial to creating a visually appealing and user-friendly online presence. Here are 20 website fonts that are popular and versatile for various design needs:
Roboto is one of the most popular versatile sans-serif typefaces known for its clean and modern design. Developed by Google, it offers excellent readability on various screen sizes and is widely used for websites, apps, and digital interfaces. Roboto’s neutral appearance makes it suitable for a wide range of online content and design styles.
2. Open Sans
Open Sans is a popular sans-serif web-safe font cherished for its readability and simplicity. Developed by Google, it offers a clean and contemporary look, making it perfect for online content, websites, and user interfaces. With a broad range of styles, it provides flexibility in design while ensuring excellent legibility on screens of all sizes.
Lato is a versatile and web-safe sans-serif font that’s ideal for both digital and print projects. Known for its pleasant, modern appearance, Lato offers excellent readability in various sizes and resolutions. This font family’s wide range of styles and weights makes it adaptable for a variety of design applications, ensuring a professional and legible presentation.
Montserrat is a contemporary, web-safe sans-serif font that combines elegance with practicality. Its geometric, clean design makes it a popular choice for websites and printed materials.
Montserrat offers multiple font weights and styles, making it versatile for various design purposes. Its readability and balanced proportions make it an excellent choice for delivering a clean and modern aesthetic.
Raleway is a web-safe sans-serif font known for its elegant and minimalist design. It offers a variety of font weights and styles, making it versatile for both headings and body text. Raleway’s clean and open letterforms contribute to its readability, making it a popular choice for websites and digital content where a contemporary and sleek appearance is desired.
6. PT Sans
PT Sans is a web-safe sans-serif font designed for legibility and clarity, particularly in digital environments. With its rounded letterforms and generous spacing, PT Sans ensures comfortable reading on screens. It comes in multiple weights and styles, making it adaptable for various design purposes, from headlines to body text, while maintaining readability and a modern appearance.
Merriweather is an elegant and versatile web-safe serif font known for its readability and classic appeal. Its balanced letterforms and open spacing make it an excellent choice for both digital and print designs. Merriweather is ideal for long-form content, providing a comfortable reading experience. It comes in various styles and weights, offering flexibility for various design needs.
8. Playfair Display
Playfair Display is a sophisticated web-safe serif font designed for elegant and high-end designs. With its distinctive and stylish letterforms, it adds a touch of luxury to websites and print materials. Playfair Display is often used for headings, titles, and other prominent text elements. Its timeless appearance makes it suitable for projects that require a touch of refinement and class.
Nunito is a versatile web-safe sans-serif font known for its clean and modern appearance. It offers excellent readability, making it suitable for various design applications, including websites, mobile apps, and print materials.
Nunito’s balanced letterforms and wide character spacing enhance legibility, making it an ideal choice for body text and headings alike. It adds a contemporary and friendly touch to your design projects.
Quicksand is a modern sans-serif web-safe font favored for its simplicity and versatility. With a clean, rounded appearance, it works well for a wide range of design projects, from websites to print materials.
Quicksand’s legible and stylish characters make it an excellent choice for both body text and headers. Its contemporary feel adds a touch of sophistication to your designs while maintaining readability.
Cabin is a humanist sans-serif web-safe font known for its clarity and readability. It strikes a balance between modernity and tradition, making it suitable for various applications, such as websites, print materials, and user interfaces.
Cabin’s well-proportioned characters and open design ensure comfortable reading, even in smaller text sizes. This font adds a touch of professionalism and elegance to your content while ensuring it remains accessible to a wide audience.
12. Source Sans Pro
Source Sans Pro is a versatile web-safe sans-serif font designed for readability and legibility across various digital platforms. Created by Adobe, it features a clean and contemporary design that ensures optimal readability, even in small text sizes.
This font’s wide range of styles and character sets makes it suitable for both web and print applications, making it a popular choice among designers and developers.
Alegreya is an elegant and versatile serif web-safe font designed for optimum readability and classic appeal. It offers a range of styles, including regular, italic, bold, and bold italic, making it suitable for various design purposes.
With its graceful and timeless character, Alegreya is often used in body text, headings, and other web elements to create a sophisticated and pleasing reading experience.
Poppins is a contemporary sans-serif web-safe font characterized by its clean and modern appearance. It features a harmonious balance between geometric shapes and legibility, making it an excellent choice for both digital and print designs.
Poppins offers a wide range of styles and weights, making it versatile for various design applications, from web content to headlines and branding materials. Its straightforward and elegant look adds a touch of professionalism to any design project.
15. Noto Sans
Noto Sans is a versatile and comprehensive web-safe font family designed to support various languages and scripts worldwide. Developed by Google, it aims to provide a consistent and visually pleasing reading experience across different cultures and writing systems.
As a popular Google font, Noto Sans offers a wide range of styles, making it suitable for websites, documents, and digital content that require multilingual support without sacrificing aesthetics and legibility.
Dosis is a clean and modern web font that offers a sense of minimalism and sophistication. Known for its simplicity, it provides excellent readability, making it ideal for various web design projects.
Dosis is versatile, with different weights and styles available, allowing designers to create a harmonious and balanced typography for their websites. Its contemporary look and legibility make it a popular choice for both headers and body text in web design.
17. Ubuntu Text
Ubuntu Text is a humanist sans-serif font that balances both style and readability. With its open, friendly appearance, it’s a popular choice for websites and interfaces. Ubuntu Text is the default font on Ubuntu OS and is part of the larger Ubuntu font family, known for its versatility and extensive character set.
This font lends a contemporary and approachable feel to web content while ensuring ease of reading, making it a suitable choice for a wide range of online projects.
18. Roboto Condensed
Roboto Condensed is a condensed version of the popular Roboto font family. It shares the same modern and minimalist design but has narrower characters, making it ideal for situations where space is limited.
This font offers a clean and professional appearance, making it suitable for headings, subheadings, and other design elements where you want to maintain a sleek and contemporary look while conserving space. It’s a versatile choice for web and print materials, providing an elegant and space-efficient typography option.
Avenir is a popular geometric sans-serif font known for its clean, modern, and timeless design. Designed by Adrian Frutiger, it features precise, evenly weighted letterforms with a touch of humanist warmth.
Avenir is highly versatile, making it suitable for a wide range of design applications, including web design, branding, and print materials. Its legibility and aesthetic appeal have made it a favorite among designers seeking a contemporary and professional typeface.
20. Crimson Text
Crimson Text is an elegant serif font designed for readability and classic style. With a balanced mix of old-world charm and modern simplicity, it’s often used for web content and print materials like books and magazines. Crimson Text’s versatility and legibility make it a great choice for designers aiming for a timeless and sophisticated look in their typography.
21. Bonus Font: Arial Narrow
Arial Narrow is a condensed version of the popular Arial font. As one of the 38 styles of the Arial font family, Arial Narrow has a more compressed design, making it ideal for situations where space is limited or when you want to fit more text within a confined area. This font maintains the clarity and legibility of Arial while conserving horizontal space.
When choosing a font for your website in 2023, consider factors such as readability, branding alignment, and your target audience’s preferences. Additionally, ensure that the fonts you select are web-safe and have the appropriate licensing for online use to avoid any legal issues.
Tips On How To Choose the Best Fonts For Your Website
Selecting the right fonts for your website is a critical design decision that can significantly impact its overall look and feel. Here are some valuable tips to help you choose the best fonts for your website:
1. Prioritize Readability
The most crucial aspect of font selection is readability. Your chosen fonts should be easy to read, especially for body text. Stick to clean, legible fonts for content to ensure a positive user experience. You must also work with a font size that complements your design.
2. Understand Your Brand
Your fonts should align with your brand’s identity and personality. Consider the emotions and messages you want to convey. For instance, a modern tech brand might opt for sleek, minimalist fonts, while a whimsical brand might choose playful and creative ones.
3. Limit Font Variety
Using too many fonts can create visual clutter and confusion. Stick to a maximum of two or three fonts for your website and avoid using fonts in different font families to aid visual appeal and brand consistency. Typically, you’ll use one font for headings, another for body text, and a third for accents or special elements like logos.
4. Responsive Design
Ensure that the fonts you choose are responsive and look good on various devices and screen sizes. This is crucial for maintaining a consistent user experience.
5. Consider Loading Speed
Heavy or numerous font files can slow down your website’s loading speed. Opt for web-safe fonts or those available through services like Google Fonts, which are optimized for web performance.
Pay attention to accessibility standards. Your fonts should offer good contrast against the background and be easy to read for people with visual impairments. This includes using appropriate font sizes and line spacing.
7. Experiment with Pairings
Pairing fonts effectively can enhance the visual appeal of your website. Experiment with different font combinations to find ones that complement each other and create a harmonious design. There are online tools and resources available to help you identify suitable font pairings.
8. Cross-device and Cross-Browser Testing
Test how your chosen fonts appear on various devices, browsers, and operating systems. This ensures that your fonts maintain consistency and readability across the digital landscape.
9. Licensing and Usage Rights
If you’re using a custom font, make sure you have the proper licenses to use them on your website. Avoid any legal complications by adhering to licensing agreements.
10. Stay Updated
Stay informed about design trends and font updates. Web design evolves, and new fonts are regularly released. Keeping your font choices up-to-date can help your website remain fresh and appealing.
Selecting the best fonts for your website involves a balance between aesthetics and functionality. By prioritizing readability, aligning with your brand, and considering technical aspects like loading speed and accessibility, you can create a visually pleasing and user-friendly web experience.
Choosing the right fonts for your website is a critical design decision that can greatly impact user experience and overall aesthetics. By considering factors such as readability, branding, and compatibility, you can select fonts that not only convey your message effectively but also create a visually appealing and cohesive web presence.
Whether you opt for classic web-safe fonts or explore newer options, the key is to strike a balance between style and functionality to ensure your website leaves a lasting impression on visitors. So, remember, the right fonts can make all the difference in creating a successful online presence.