Ok so this time in my continuing “what annoys me about your blog” series 🙂 I’m going to look at item number two, Unreadable Fonts.
As with the previous posts I again state that this is opinion only, not fact, and that anyone is welcome to offer an opposing view especially if they have a reasonably well thought out response as to why they oppose it.
Unreadable fonts are becoming a big issue in the blogging world as more and more people search for something extra, some Zing to offer their viewers. A font can be easily changed and a new font can really offer a radical change to the aesthetics of your site, but they can also do the opposite just as easy.
With the wider usage of online fonts like Google fonts etc the variety offered to the web blogger now is extensive. What once used to require a graphic can now be done with a simple coding, coding often already included in free themes.
But consider how you use those fonts. Some fonts are great for headings, some are great for text but not all fonts and variations of fonts work for all applications.
Note: the below are only examples from a five minute photoshop session. Any resemblance to a particular site is co-incidental.
Both headings above use an identical font and size but one is clearly more readable than the other. While most people could easily decipher both headings, there will be people who struggle especially with the capital “I”.
The font used in the featured image (see below) is another good example. All capitals, all cursive and not very good at getting its message across.
A small consideration at the time of making headings goes a long way to how your site is viewed over all. Test your fonts at different sizes and uses those sizes applicably, check your colours and above all make sure they are readable.
That brings us to the next mistake made by some people. Using a fancy font for the body of your text.
The image below is an example I found on the net, it’s short and it’s not that hard to read but it does show the point I am trying to make. The font on the left may be pretty when used as a heading but in a small sentence it becomes crowded and harder to read.
There are many cursive fonts now available, some worse than others, but used in bulk even the slightest curve on a few letters can make text hard to read. Now imagine an entire paragraph of it! Don’t laugh I have seen quite a few WordPress sites that do it.
As a web designer I still often use a graphic to display a heading or business name purely because I have more control over the way things can be displayed. While that may not be an available option to all bloggers it may be worth considering. A program like Paint.net is free and requires very little expertise to make a reasonable looking logo or heading in a few minutes.
The one thing I have repeatedly told web clients over the years about fonts and how they are displayed is that you need to look at the font and text as if you’ve never seen it before. For anyone that’s been involved in proof reading (your own work or others) you know how easy it is to overlook small mistakes or typos because your mind thinks it knows what is there. Reading fonts is the same thing, you know what you are trying to say on your website (well some of us do 🙂 ). But someone who is reading your site for the first time doesn’t so requiring them to decipher the text as well as read it can easily turn viewers away.