In the simplest of terms, typography describes the creative design of text. It includes such stylized aspects as letter design, kerning and leading. While we often don’t give much thought to what fonts are being used by our favorite brands, the fonts we choose do much more than deliver your carefully-crafted brand messaging, they evoke strong, emotional reactions.
The reason that font choice is so important for your brand or company is that you want your fonts to evoke positive emotions and provide easy readability at the same time. With those two criteria driving your font choice as well as your font pairing, let’s discuss some other important factors you’ll want to consider.
Aside from considering the emotions and readability of your font, the next factor to consider when choosing fonts is your industry. Why is your industry so important? It will dictate whether you choose a fun, casual font or a more serious, professional one. If you’re a professional IT firm, you might want to choose a modern, more professional font. If you’re an online retailer targeting teenagers, a casual, fun font might perfectly suit your brand image.
Let’s examine a few examples to help convey the meaning of what a fun font is versus a professional one to help guide you in your decision. Take the Pinterest logo, for example – it is a more casual, scripted font that conveys friendliness and fun, which are the perfect emotions that the image pinning site likely wants to elicit from their primarily female, creative audience.
Now, let’s take a look at the logo for a more serious company, such the following IT managed services company as mentioned earlier. This company uses a more straightforward, modern font that evokes less emotion and conveys a more professional tone, the perfect feel for an IT managed service company.
Now that we’ve covered what some would consider a casual versus a professional font, let’s review what else your brand guidelines should include – a font pairing and the instances or scenarios those fonts should be used. Often times, companies will use two or three fonts throughout their website.
You might be wondering why you need more than one font for your brand and website. And, you may not need one, depending on your industry or if your website and marketing materials are more image centric than text centric, such as on online retailer that focuses on product image versus descriptions. But, by adding a second font, it often does help to provide visual cues to what information the text offers and easy readability.
In the instances where two fonts are used, companies typically use one font for headers and the other for body copy. If a third font is used, it might be used in sub headers or a CTA (Call To Action) button to visually cue the reader that there is a link to more information. In essence, by using different fonts, you can make pages with a great deal of copy more visually appealing and readable.
Now, where to begin when choosing a font pairing? The good news is there is an easy rule of thumb when it comes to a font that can help you guide you in your decision; choose a serif and a sans serif font. A sans serif font is a font without the use of a serif, which is a stroke added to each character or number.
To help demonstrate what stroke is and how to identify a serif font versus a sans serif font, the font.co site pairs the fonts together. In the example below, the headline utilizes a serif font and the body copy, or paragraph below the headline, a sans serif font.
As you can imagine, in instances where you have a great deal of copy a good font pairing improves readability and provides that visual cue for the type of information that is within the text. If you’re not sure where to begin, your graphic designer or the firm you’re working with should be able to help in this area with a few recommendations.
If not or you’d feel comfortable doing some research yourself, this post by Visme is a great place to start. They provide several images that play with various font combinations, font weight – which pertains to letter thickness or boldness – or sizes. If you’re a visual person, here’s a couple of other great resources to help you get going.
Font Squirrel is a great site that you can visit to download fonts that you need or search for fonts based on common search descriptors, like grunge or elegant. You can also look at categories like “what’s new” or “hot,” which are also good to check out because there are always fonts that are trendy, new or popular for certain industries.
Google Fonts is another great place to start that allows you to search by criteria like serif, sans serif or handwriting. It provides a visual display of each font, including what each font looks like in a paragraph, in the alphabet or as a numeral. You can select a few fonts that you like and view them paired together.
In summary, the fonts you select are important to supporting your brand image, your website readability and providing visual cues through text. If you’re not sure where to begin, check out some of your competitors or give us a call at Awebco. We’re happy to help guide you in selecting your color palette and font choices for your website.
In today’s tech-savvy world, a company’s website is analogous to a retail location’s storefront or the cover of a book. In other words, it will take a website visitor seconds to judge whether or not they want to purchase goods or services from you. Believe it or not, if you don’t have a website or it’s frequently down or difficult to navigate, someone may immediately cross you off their list.
If you suffer from any of the website woes mentioned below, you should undoubtedly address the issue. If that’s not possible or you suffer from several of the issues mentioned below, it may be time to consider a website redesign.
If you don’t think mobile is something you need to worry about yet, consider that mobile searches surpassed desktop as far back as October of 2015. The same goes for internet usage on mobile in general and that mark was hit the following year, with “51.3 percent of worldwide internet usage in October, compared to 48.7 percent via desktop.”
If your core customers or prospects are more likely to be on mobile than desktop, then your website should definitely be responsive in addition to being desktop ready. A responsive website requires your designer to design for a multitude of devices and operating systems. A responsive site basically adjusts the design and ease of use of your site based on the device the end user is using to access your website. A simple test you can conduct yourself is by visiting your website on your own device via Google or Safari.
Once your site loads on your mobile device, is it still easy to navigate? Is the copy legible without zooming in? If you answered no to both of these, your site is not mobile ready.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is defined as the process of optimizing your website to appear organically in search results. While you aren’t paying for advertising directly, the tactics required to support SEO, such as content creation and keyword selection, do come at a price. In fact, there are many factors that support a well optimized website. But, when a well designed website is combined with stellar SEO strategies, business owners can let lead generation work in the background while focusing on other areas of their business, such as new business development or customer care.
As mentioned in the introduction, if your website doesn’t put modern design tactics to use, you are undoubtedly sending that prospect to your competitor down the street. Today, websites are a reflection of your business. If your website looks like it was born in the 90s or its cluttered with too many design elements or copy, you are likely to lose that visitor quickly and thus, their business. Do your research on typical website design elements used in your industry, as that does often dictate the approach needed, or check out this post from the inbound marketing experts at Hubspot.
A website that isn’t easily updateable is a disservice to you and your business. Even if you plan to have someone design and update your website on an ongoing basis, the CMS (Content Management System) and login credentials to your site should always be in your hands. More importantly, never purchase a website that only one person knows how to update. For many small businesses, WordPress is a cost effective and robust CMS. There are others, such as Squarespace, which tend to be popular with eCommerce shops. But, more importantly, your website should be designed based on your business needs and not the CMS the designer wants to use. WordPress is a great solution also because if you eventually decide to bring web design and development in house, it’s very popular and easy to find individuals that have years of experience with the platform.
If your website is elegantly designed but cluttered with too much copy, you will lose a visitor in an instant. It’s important to have concise, clear messaging and communicate only your core competencies on your home page, above the fold, for example. Website copy should utilize the KISS theory – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Your copy should target your core customer or audience and put succinct, clear headlines to use.
A beautifully designed website with SEO does little good if analytics aren’t in place on your site. That’s because analytics provide you with a glimpse of how visitors are reacting to your website as well as where traffic is coming from, both of which will provide you with insight into adjustments you need to make to your site and inbound marketing efforts. Many WordPress users opt for Google Analytics for tracking.
You might have a beautifully designed website, but if server performance, code density or text-based graphics are slowing your site down, you may be losing future customers before your site fully loads. You can either test your site from home or ask some friends to test it out to get load time feedback. Or, test it here. Either way, it’s critical that you pay attention to load time as well.
This website analytic, known as your conversion rate, is found in your website analytic tool, such as Google Analytics. It can be due to poor website design, a confusing color palette or copy that doesn’t convert. While this challenge is a tough one to address, you’ll want to look at all aspects of your site, including which pages and types of content are converting or being viewed the most, in order to correct this issue.
Today, website visitors either want to receive ongoing information from you via an email newsletter or contact you with their preferred method, whether by phone, chat or a form. Methods to contact you should be easily accessed throughout a website visitor’s journey, perhaps in the same location on every page or via a highly, colorful button known as a CTA (Call To Action).
Today, everyone likes to consume content in their preferred manner. As a result, it’s important to have a wide variety of content for website visitors to choose from, whether it’s a blog, video library or a selection of white papers and case studies. The point here is to have variety and that you are adding new content weekly, which is beneficial for multiple reasons. First, it keeps people that are interested in your company or product coming back for more. And, second – it supports your SEO strategy, which in turn will help organically lead to more inbound traffic to your website.
In summary, while this list might seem long and that we’ve emphasized every one as a must have, the truth is that all of these factors are important to the success of your website. When combined together, these tactics will produce the results you want, the analytics you need and more importantly, new business to maintain a healthy business or an aggressive growth plan.
If you’d like a free assessment of your website or you’d like to discuss how a redesigned website can help grow your business, we’re happy to help. Give us a call and we’ll come see in you in Champaign, Danville or the surrounding area to reduce your time investment. We’ll follow up with some recommendations and how AWEBCO can help.