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.
So, are you a Lobster? Or do you prefer Oxygen? Find out what your favorite font reveals about you:
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?
I like Comic Sans MS and Tahoma. I wonder what that says about me.
I find Comic Sans the most readable, but I know this font is highly disparaged by font designers and others. I wouldn’t, therefore, use it for a submission, but do for my own drafts.
Carolyn Martin is spot on. If you want to use Comic Sans for your own documents that you’re not going to share with others go right ahead, use any typeface that pleases you.
However, it’s not just type designers that dislike Comic Sans (strongly dislike). Many people, dare I say most, find Comic Sans to not only be an ugly typeface, they find it childish, anything but professional. So I would avoid its use entirely in the workplace and any official documentation.
I think I prefer Lucida handwriting as a font, but years ago I discovered that many people, including those with vision loss, cannot read curvy or fussy font styles, including Times New Roman. The ‘blocky’ fonts work best, so I tend to use Tahoma or Arial Black, which met with everyone’s approval.
For creative writing, I very much appreciate a distinctively different font when the story references an internal document, email, note, etc. It helps the reader switch gears from the storytellers’s voice or reporter’s voice to the voice of the character.
I am also a fan of Lucida Handwriting, however being from the media industry, I mostly use Times New Roman — though it is not my favorite. MY other favorite is Verdana.
Courier New eases my mind
I find a sans serif font stays readable at smaller points than serif. I put my poetry chapbook in Vinerhand, a handwritten style that is slightly “scripty” without all the curlicues that make a lot of script fonts annoying to read. One of my writing club members mentioned that she liked it–it slows you down just enough to be thinking about what’s being said, instead of just glossing over it. I also use Technical a lot.
I’m still looking for a good text font (what non-typographers often call “Gothic”; to a typographer, “Gothic” is a completely different class of fonts) that isn’t so think you can’t tell one letter from another.
My two favs:
Goudy – graceful serif
Arial – delicate sans serif
But I’ve many more…
I like Garamond or Caslon pro for publication of non fiction features – it sets a tone of authority while being cleaner & less “stuffy” by association than Times New Roman. I favour decorative fonts for headers & legible script fonts for pull quotes such as Lucida Calligraphy. I enjoy browsing & trying out new fonts to see what effect they have.
For official things like letters etc I like to use Tahoma as I find it quite classic and easy to read however not to old fashioned.
For things that are a bit more fun and relaxed like messages with friends etc I like to use Comic Sans.
I know what the Comic Sans means but what does the Tahoma mean??
I like fonts like Papyrus, Bradley Hand, Lucida Handwriting. I will use Arial for submissions.
This is very creative and helpful!