Perhaps, you have found the web font of your dreams. It is beautiful, elegant, and smart, but also conveys the serious approach to your website or webpage that you intended. Having the right font is a large part of what makes your website design unique, attractive, and inviting.
Maybe you purchased your ideal web font, or perhaps, you found a free one. Nowadays, it’s easy to find unique fonts that make your website stand out, especially with so many options available on font embedding services like Google Web Fonts or Adobe Fonts.
Well, we are certainly happy that you have found an amazing font that you want to use for your website. Nevertheless, we highly recommend having a secondary, web-safe alternative font, just in case.
You may also read: “How to create a stunning website in less than an hour!“
Why ‘Web-Safe’ Fonts Are Important
Why do we say this? Well consider this, all electronic devices have a predetermined, pre-installed selection of fonts. The available selection is principally the result of the operating system of the device.
The dilemma is that each system is slightly different. So, not everyone has access to the same fonts.
For example, a Windows-based device will use one assortment of fonts and the MacOS will use another, and so on, depending on the system.
Thus, the problem is that when you view a webpage that uses a font that your device or system does not support, you will see a different font than the one originally intended. It could potentially be a font that is not visually appealing or does not coordinate well with the website’s message.
Hopefully, if you haven’t set up a web-safe font, the website will simply use a basic, well appreciated and acceptable font like Times New Roman.
Yet, if it doesn’t, the message of your website and webpage could become lost in a visually strange ensemble of letters, or worse. Think Comic Sans.
What Is a Web-Safe Font?
Fonts that are ‘web-safe,’ are those that are used throughout all operating systems. These are the modest assortment of fonts which appear whether you are using Windows or Mac, or any system in-between.
So, if you have selected a secondary font that is web-safe, you don’t have to worry about a font being used instead of your primary choice that less than desirable.
These web-safe fonts allow you to indicate which fonts to use on your website as a backup if the specialty font you have selected to use is not available on another system that a visitor to your webpage or website is using.
In this way, you still exercise a measure of control of what visitors see and experience when visiting your website, regardless of the system that they are using.
Best Web-safe Fonts
Which web-safe font is right for your website? Here is a list of the best web safe fonts for you to choose from when setting up your secondary font in the event where your primary choice is unavailable.
1. Times New Roman
The font of most encyclopedias, dictionaries, and school textbooks for nearly all of the twentieth century. It is like the educated professor of fonts. Not the flashiest or fanciest, but always well respected and clearly understood.
Much like Times New Roman, Times is also an esteemed font. And rightly so. Indeed, it was the standard font of newspapers for nearly a hundred years. Again, not especially snazzy or glittery, but intelligible and straightforward.
3. Courier New
Like the two above, it has a solid and established history in the world of print. Not exciting, but easily recognizable and readable.
Before Courier New, there was just Courier. It’s like the slightly older, aged version of Courier New. Nothing ostentatious about this font, but it is always clear and uncomplicated.
Garamond is like the slightly more elegant partner to Times New Roman. Just as legible and understandable as the above mentioned, but with an unmistakable thin grace to the style.
A font that also has a lengthy and rooted history in the world of words. Bookman is like the librarian of fonts. It projects intelligence and is legible with an uncomplicated style. However, unlike Garamond, Bookman is not as thin and elegant. It resembles a man who has sat at a desk for many years reading books and learning. Although conveying poise and precision, he is not thin. Decades of a sedentary job has left him a little thick in the middle.
This font carries the feeling and image of its name. It is like a well-dressed older man in a suit who is kind and friendly. Nothing imprudent or inordinate, but still having a little bit of class and culture.
This font is like a person who shows up to get the job done and nothing else. It is clear, readable, and simple. It is a straightforward and plain font. It neither distracts nor impresses. The reader will remember the content, but likely not have any recollection of the font. It truly is like the competent, capable worker who accomplishes his task perfectly, but you remember nothing about him personally.
Arial is the secure, web safe font. Easy to discern and read. Never difficult to look at, or hard to understand. Unfortunately, it borders on boring and dull. It seems as interesting as a somewhat stale piece of bread.
10. Trebuchet MS
Designed by Microsoft about twenty-five years ago, it has become widely popular as a basic font. It is in no way thrilling, but it does get your reader from the start to the end of the document without any confusion or misunderstanding of letters. It is a clear-cut, readable font with no special posh or charm.
Be Careful with These Web-Safe Fonts
11. Comic Sans MS
With this font, the question that needs to be asked is, do you want your reader to interpret your webpage or website as a joke? Is the content of your website on the same level as a child’s cartoon?
Why are we yelling?! This font strongly conveys urgency and intensity. And it will do so with every single word. Do you want your reader to be in shock and awe throughout the length of what they read on your page or site? If yes, then this might be the font for you.
13. Arial Black
This font is very much the same as the original Arial, only bloated. It is just as unexciting, however, because of the added width to the letters, it can at times appear less sharp and discernible.
Be Creative, yet Web-safe
No doubt, you want your website to be as visually appealing and interesting as possible. With specialty fonts, that is certainly attainable.
However, since there are times when that font won’t always be available, be sure to have a web-safe font as a backup.
We hope our discussion today will help you choose the best one for your website. The one that will still deliver your message in a clear and distinctive way, even if it’s not as impressive and unique as the font of your dreams.