How Many Typefaces Is Too Many?

How Many Typefaces Is Too Many?

When it comes to designing your e-commerce site, typography can present one of the most enjoyable – but ultimately most challenging – aspects of webpage creation. There is the temptation for designers to get carried away with dozens of different typefaces and fonts, which can sometimes result in a headache-inducing ordeal for the user. On the other side of the coin, employing too few variations in your font can lead to your page becoming boring or unengaging. As a result, choosing the specific number and styles of font can prove to be something of a minefield upon which you must tread very, very carefully.

Here are a few important factors you should keep in mind when approaching the touchy subject of typography. Keep our tips in mind and you’ll end up with content that is clean, compelling and easy to digest.

Less is more

While there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to the number of typefaces you should combine, a good general philosophy would be to limit yourself to two, perhaps three at the most. Use any more and you run the risk of over-complicating things. While it’s entirely possible to successfully combine a higher number of different fonts, it’s a tricky skill which shouldn’t be tried at home.

Prioritise

It goes without saying that the font in which your copy appears will have a direct bearing on its impact on the reader. Larger fonts will jump out the reader initially, while the use of italics and bold can also help to highlight the more vital pieces of information. You can even manipulate colour to give words more or less impact on your page.

Proportion is important

Variation in scale and proportion can be very effective – but it must be used responsibly. Combining fonts which are too similar or too different in close conjunction with each other on the page will confuse the brain and alienate users.

Don’t go overboard

If you’re hell-bent on using five different typefaces, that’s absolutely fine – as long as you go about it in the right manner. You can certainly achieve a balance with five fonts, but if you then try to introduce five distinct colours onto the page, you might find yourself in a with a site that’s impossible to read and navigate. Remember: if in doubt, keep it simple.

Don’t mess with the main text

While changing things up for headers or menus is completely acceptable, altering font in the middle of the body of the text is a big no-no. Select a clean, stylish font that’s easy to read and is compatible with all devices and stick to it for the majority of your content. Save the flourishes for titles.

Go with your gut

Most importantly of all, you should trust your instinct when it comes to typography. After spending hours grappling with Times New Roman and Tahoma, Verdana and Helvetica, sleep on it or do something else for a few hours. Then come back to the design with fresh eyes and if anything looks out of place or not quite right, cut it. Be ruthless.

Get Help from the Experts

While selecting your own typography can be fun and rewarding, it can also be incredibly time consuming and infuriating when things don’t go to plan. Why not leave it up to the experts? At Fluid Digital, we have years of experience in creating e-commerce sites so you don’t have to. To see what we can do for you, get in touch or give us a call today on 0161 762 4920.

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