Finding the right web font is a tricky business. Fonts are subjective. What seems bold and authoritative to one reader might appear stuffy and forbidding to another. If you’re trying to decide among several styles, why not do a survey? First, find a test group. Your test group should be comprised of your target audience.
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a blog, launching a commercial website, or putting together an online portfolio. The most effective sites are created with a particular reader in mind. Write down a description of your ideal reader, including their age, music taste, fashion sense, and preferred beverage. The more detailed your characterization, the better. Then find 10 people that embody these qualities. They can be friends, colleagues, relatives – anyone who fits your ideal demographic is a great candidate for your survey.
Next, compile 5 examples of suitable web fonts. Print out the examples on a single page, then ask readers which they prefer and why. Keep in mind that the more provocative the questions you ask, the more evocative the answers you will get. For instance, you can ask, “If these fonts were people, which would you trust with an investment. What font would you want to take on a date? Which hobbies do you think this particular font would have?”
These questions may sound silly, but they invite readers to articulate their subconscious reactions to each font. Once you discover which typeface suits your desired demographic, you’ll be well on your way to designing a successful website!
Stephanie Dempsey, FontGear