As writers, we all know that Times New Roman is the go-to font choice for submissions. But when choosing the font for your author website, you can be a bit more creative and let your personality shine through.
Serif fonts like Times New Roman and Georgia give your text an air of journalistic integrity. They are the typeface of print books and newspapers, and the erstwhile default for earlier versions of Microsoft Word. They are clean and simple—perfect for the traditional writer.
People who use serif fonts in their Web design tend to fall into two different camps: 1) those who chose the font specifically to make their website text look “official” or 2) those who simply set the font of their site to the browser default.
Sans serif fonts are the modern standard. The name comes from the shape of the characters: Serif fonts have little “feet,” therefore fonts that do not have serifs are sans (without) serif. Clean, crisp, and easy to read, these fonts are used in everything from Web design to advertising.
People who prefer sans serif fonts like Arial or Trebuchet MS on their websites understand that legibility and user-friendliness offer their website visitors the best user experience. Sans serif aficionados value simplicity and modernity.
Named for the way each individual letter takes up the same amount of horizontal space, monospaced fonts harken back to the days of the typewriter. Certain monospaced fonts like Courier New are still used for writing that has inflexible formatting standards, such as screenwriting.
If you prefer these rigid throwback typefaces, you may be a traditionalist with a yearning for the days when writers spent their mornings hunched over an old Underwood, the clackety-clack-clack of their furious typing drowning out all other sounds of the world.
Break out the fancy pants—script fonts are all about style. A script font like Edwardian Script or Rage Italic can make for a great header or text on a decorative element. However, these fonts are generally not well-suited for the body text of a website, as they become illegible in smaller sizes.
Writers who favor script fonts want to convey a certain level of class and elegance. Their work may be romantic or historical in nature, and the design of their site should be soft around the edges. It’s the typeface equivalent of a poet shirt (which isn’t always a bad thing!).
Speaking of style, let’s talk about decorative fonts. Although not as frilly as their script counterparts, decorative fonts add just as much visual interest and flashiness to a website. This category has the most amount of variety—you can go for an art deco look with a decorative font like AR Bonnie or get a little more out of this world with something like Planet Benson.
People who employ decorative fonts in the graphic design and header images of their website have a strong sense of the tone they want to set on their website. When used correctly, decorative fonts can let site visitors know exactly what to expect the second they land on a page.
Handwritten fonts can range from whimsical, like Catholic School Girls, to literal interpretations of real people’s handwriting, like Pablo LET, which is based on Picasso’s handwriting. Much like script and decorative fonts, these usually aren’t text-friendly and are, therefore, better suited for use in headers or graphics.
If you prefer the look of a handwritten font, chances are you’re friendly, casual, and earnest. Handwritten fonts in key places—like a “Dear Reader” letter—can add a touch of handmade charm.
Whichever font you choose, make sure it reflects you—as a writer and as a person. As long as the text on your site and in your graphics is legible and aesthetically pleasing, there is no wrong answer when it comes to the question of what font you’d like to use on your author website.
QUESTION: What is your favorite font? What does your choice say about you as a writer?