Back in the days, only a few fonts were available for web designers to choose from. Nowadays, there are plenty of typefaces that they can use to show a creative look on web pages. But if you notice, the top sites on the web are still using the same old Fonts like Helvetica, Arial and Georgia.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the famous websites like Facebook, Google and Wikipedia to check which font they have used in their headings and body text.
Why Website Font Matters?
For one, it helps communicate your subconscious message to your visitors, easing the process of creating a brand identity. When readers start feeling comfortable reading your content in a particular font, they tend to stick around and respond to you CTAs. Let’s be real – your site would have a hard time growing if your audience isn’t comfortable with the font of the digital material present on your webpages.
Difference Between Typeface and Font?
For an average person both the terms font and typeface might seem interchangeable but actually, they are not. Although both of these words deal with typography, they have distinctive meanings.
If we use the term typeface then we are talking about the appearance and style of the character within a font family. But on the other hand, the font is the typical weight or stylistic variant that can be used for different characters in any typeface.
What are new-age sans-serif
Sans serif is the derived type of font or typeface. The word serif means small strokes that are attached to the end of the longer strokes which can be found in serif fonts for example, Times New Roman.
The new Sans-Serif is a kind of typeface which omits these lines or short strokes. This removal of small strokes made the font more easily readable and it got popular for its use in newspapers and advertisements. It was also used by many software developers in the 1990s.
You might be really surprised to know that cute social media sites like Facebook use Helvetica in almost all of their content and text. Helvetica is a very popular Sans serif font which has been used by so many famous websites other than Facebook as well. The best part about using this font is that it doesn’t change even if you are using Facebook on your phone or your desktop because it is one of the most common fonts.
We all know Facebook is a giant and in a time where there are so many new startups coming ahead, Facebook is displaying itself as a standard of all social media sites. Not only Facebook but famous sites like Pinterest and Tumblr also use Helvetica. Moreover, BuzzFeed also preferred it while working on the body font on its homepage.
Just like Helvetica, Arial is also one of the most used fonts. Not only websites Giants use Arial but so many people prefer using Arial because it is very easy to read and the most obvious reason is we are all quite fond of it. Digital pioneers like Google and Twitter also pick Arial as their choice for all the copies and content they have.
Huffington Post which is a famous American news aggregator also prefers Arial when creating their front pages. But for the rest of the content in the articles, they use Georgia font. Not to get surprised but Arial font also hails from Helvetica, as the origin of the Arial font is Helvetica. So the science behind Arial and Helvetica similarity is both Arial and Helvetica have the same dimensions. The best thing about Arial and Helvetica in the eyes of web designers is they have so much similarity. This similarity allows web designers to use Arial instead when they can’t afford the rights to Helvetic. In this way, they can later replace it easily when they change their mind. This Is an easy way to keep their options of changing the font always open.
Georgia is a very famous font for being on newspapers for so long. This is exactly why the New York Times and the Huffington Post chose Georgia for their headers and body font of all the articles. To keep the feeling of reading a live newspaper alive, they used Georgia and preserved the tradition. Georgia is a sibling serif font of Verdana. Not only these newspaper giants use Georgia but also websites like Wikipedia use it to keep the old world feeling of reading newspapers alive. But Wikipedia only uses Georgia typeface for their titles and for the rest of the body text they use Sans serif. Tumblr also chose Georgia to add a little classic touch when quotes are reblogged.
4. Proxima Nova
It is a perfect kind of typeface that can be used to announce hippie news so that it looks equally pop as the news is. Buzzfeed, which is known for its creative and millennial content uses Proxima Nova typeface. Proxima Nova is a new Futura-like font which is created by Mark Simmons. It is one of the few fonts which feature different weights and alternative characters which makes it extremely versatile. But Buzzfeed does not only use Proxima Nova. There are a few other bold fonts that Buzzfeed uses to make its homepage look a little more significant. Cracked is another website which uses Proxima Nova for its body font. Also for the simple headlines and footers as well.
We just mentioned that BuzzFeed and cracked use Proxima Nova as their fonts but the major font type that these sites use for catching more attention from their headers is Arvo. Arvo has just become super popular because of it being available easily on Google. The best part about using Arvo is it is free to use and can be easily available through Google. Arvo is a very geometric kind of font which is quite similar to Egyptian.
Since we have advanced so much in resolution, we do not need to have clear fonts to provide better readability. Different websites use various types of fonts irrespective of the factor clarity. This is the reason we have gained huge versatility in fonts. Industry giants like Facebook and Google have decided to stay on a single font while the newspaper websites are carrying their traditional font just to preserve the trend.
Hopefully, you’re inspired to use these popular fonts on your own web properties. After all, if they managed to have a significant positive impact on people’s perception of the mentioned websites, they will definitely improve reader’s perception of your site. With a vast range of styles for many of the font, there’s no shortage of ways to incorporate them into your online presence.