May 11, 2015

What you should know about the use of fonts in blogs



I bet you've seen some of those beautiful and gorgeous script and brush style fonts that are in fashion right now. Many designers like to use them in their logo or website designs and who can blame them? The image below is a perfect example of these kind of fonts. And no wonder I get more and more questions from clients to use these kind of fonts in their blog or website header design. These fonts are definitely an eye catcher in a design! But did you know that unfortunately not all fonts can be used in a blog design? To get you all prepared to find the perfect font for your blog I will go deeper into the font subject in this post. So, let's get started!



THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DESIGN FONTS & WEB FONTS

Did you know that there are basically two kinds of fonts and that only one of them actually works on a blog or website? Fonts can roughly be divided into two categories:

* design fonts (also called desktop fonts) - these fonts are used in image editing programs like Adobe Photoshop to make images like logos, headers etc. With these kind of fonts you create a so called 'static' image. You can upload this image to a website, as a header image for instance, but no more than that. It stays static. If you alter the name of your blog on your blog platform, the image doesn't change.

* web fonts - these fonts are used in the coding of a website and they react to the actions of the website owner. So in the case of your blog, when you change your blog title on your blog or you add a new page to the menubar, the coding of the website will cause the web font to appear in that header or menubar in the actual text that you type.

WHEN A FONT IS BOTH A DESIGN FONT & WEB FONT

Some fonts are designed to be both design font as well as website font. This is the case with Google fonts. On the website https://www.google.com/fonts you can find over 600 fonts that can be used as web fonts in the coding of your blog, but also in an image editing program to make static images like website headers and logos.

When I work with clients on a custom blog design I let them choose from this list of fonts for blog parts like the menubar, the sidebar titles, blog post titles, tagline etc. If they want we can use the same font for the header image, but if they want a more playful or stylish font, we can choose from a long list of design fonts to make a static header image.

FREE FONTS

The Google fonts are all free fonts. I can download them for free from the Google site and incorporate them in the coding of a blog. And when I want to use these fonts as a design font I can find them on multiple free font websites. These websites have thousands of other beautiful design fonts for free as well. A couple of examples of these free fonts sites are:


While the google fonts are both design font and web font, the majority of the fonts on these free websites are all design fonts. Some of them are available in a web font version, but mostly in a paid for version.

PAID FOR FONTS

With so many free fonts at your disposal you might ask yourself why on earth you would want to pay for a font. This was exactly what I thought when I first started designing blogs, but along the way I discovered the fonts of some designers that weren't free but were absolutely stunning. And if you want your blog or logo to stand out, you might want to consider investing in such a beautiful font.

While I am a designer I am not a font designer. But there are graphic designers that make their living with designing beautiful fonts. You can find them on sites like:


Prices for font types range from $10 per set to over a $100 per set. I recently invested a little in some paid for font types that I've used in some of the Premade Blogger Designs I've created. And as a designer I'm always looking for so called 'bundles' and 'packages' which give me multiple font types for a nice price.

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A FONT TYPE

When you decide to buy a font type set from a designer, make sure you buy the right one. If you only need a font to design static images in Photoshop you buy the desktop version, but if you need it in a website coding you need to buy the web font version. These are often two different versions you can buy and some fonts don't even come in a web font version, so pay attention when looking for this!

Other things to consider when buying a font type set are:
* are you permitted by the designer to use the font for commercial purposes?
* when you buy a web font can you use it freely on multiple sites or are you restricted to use it on only one website?
* when you buy a web font, does it come with the restriction to only use it for a certain amount of pageviews on the website you need it for? Some designers have this restriction and demand you to keep buying permissions once you exceed a certain amount of pageviews.
* while a curly, calligraphic kind of web font might look awesome on your website, it will probably also need a lot of loading time to show up on your page. Readers don't like slow loading pages, so chances are they will leave your site before it is fully loaded with beautiful font and all.
* make sure you buy a web font that is supported by all or most browsers!


FONT TYPES I LIKE TO USE IN MY DESIGNS

For the overall design of a Blogger layout I always use one of Google's web fonts. They are easy to embed in the coding and are recognized by most browsers. I have seen blog designs where the designer decided to use a design font for the page names or the sidebar titles. This might look great, because you can use those beautiful, stylish and over the top design fonts, but the downside of the story is that the blog owner will never be able to add a new page or sidebar category themselves. After all, the titling of these items was made in an image editing program and then uploaded to the blog as a static image.

Personally, I think a blog owner should have the freedom to change these items whenever they want. And using one of Google's web fonts for these items will give them that freedom. When they add a new page or sidebar title, this piece of text will automatically appear in the web font that is installed in the coding of the blog.

A blog header image, a blog post signature or a little piece of welcome text under the sidebar picture is often made in a nice design font. To give the blog just that little extra styling without losing too much freedom to change things later on.

I hope this post explained the use of fonts in blog designs a little. There is so much more to tell and discover about fonts, but this was meant to point out the difference in use of design fonts and web fonts. Hopefully this will make it easier for you to find the right font for your blog design or for other creative projects!
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