To Font Or Not To Font

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Let me preface this post by saying that I am without a doubt the most fonty and colorful blogger you’ll ever meet. If it’s a downloadable font I’ve downloaded it. If it’s a color I’ve tried it. So, I come at this subject with more than just a little experience. Trust me, I’ve been there and I’ve done that.

Fonts are a funny thing. They look so pretty and swirly and inviting. But, don’t be fooled. Fonts are little troublemakers in disguise. They are just waiting to wreak havoc on your site. Fonts are like Indy cars. You should be required to have a license AND special training to use them.

As you can deduce, I have strong feeling about fonts.

When you start a blog what do you want most? Did you say readers? If you did, you are right. You want people to read your blog.

But, if they can’t make out the words, what’s the use? Uhhh….there isn’t any.

Fonts may seem cool, however, they can distract from your writing and take away from the readers experience.

Here’s the deal. If you insist on using a special font, you need to make sure it’s readable on all screen sizes, from phones to tablets to computer screens. You need to be sure it shows up properly on all web browsers. Does it look the same in Chrome, Safari & Firefox?

Ask yourself, does it add value to my writing? Does it lend well to the flow of my ideas on the page? Does it compliment my tone and my message?

Remember, you’re first priority is your readers not your design ambitions. It’s not about you.

If you are using a font just for show, ditch it.

Now, I’m not saying you can’t use extra fonts, ever. I have set up my theme to use two Google fonts that are easy to read and embedded into my theme. I never need to go outside the main area to retrieve my fonts and I know that everyone can read them no matter what browser or platform they use to read my posts.

The rule of thumb to remember here is: Save the cool fonts for your pins and graphics. Fonts are most effective on eye-popping graphics. Maximum impact. Minimum fuss.

To get the most bang for your buck limit fonts to your graphics. Draw your reader's eye to something that will make a lasting impression. For your writing stick with clear, readable fonts. ★ Learn HOW To Blog ★

Now, to a word about color. I’m a color addict. I freely admit it. I like colorful blogs, when done tastefully. I also like beautiful, serene pastel blogs.

The thing to remember about color and blogs is that first, rainbows are so middle school. Rainbow colors are for notebooks and socks, not blogs.

Every blog should have 2 main colors. A passive color and an action color. A passive color is any hue that is used to emphasize an idea or a thought. An action color is anything you want your readers to click.

You need to pick two colors. They should compliment your blog. They should be colors that are easy to read. They should be the same every time.

You have a couple of choices here. You can use the pre-defined colors in the edit menu of the dashboard or you can choose your own color hex codes. These are the #xxxxxx numbers that define every color in the universe. My favorite place to find these codes is and The Hex Hub. Sometimes I start and The Hex Hub to find the code and then go to to find all the complimentary colors and hues.

One final note about colors. While it’s nice to have a light gray color for your main writing and it may match your blog really well, but make sure it is readable and printable too. This is especially important if you write things people might like to print out such as how-to instructions.

Also, keep in mind that more and more people are reading your posts on mobile. If the color of the font is too light it will be difficult to read on small screens or outdoors.

There is a blogger who writes posts I love to read. The information is valuable to me and I like to make notes on some of her instructional writings. But printing out her posts to read offline doesn’t work. The printing is so light it doesn’t come through. Keep it dark, please.

When dealing with color these resources will help:

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win
This posts covers two very important topics, font and color.

When in doubt think of fonts like icing. Too much icing makes everyone sick. Learn to use fonts well for a delightful reading experience.

Use color with intention. Make your colors work for you not against you. Use them to direct your readers to what you want them to click and take interest in.

Do you have questions? Need clarification? Please ask me in the comments. I’ll be happy to help.


Comments (8)

  1. Reply Martha Brady

    how rigid are the rules re the shades of colors? do i just use my judgement (i’m a quilter and learned some about color that way) but i feel i do a lot by trial and error with color. i love when colors pop. they are awesome. but i never took art classes to know the rules. i tend to wast a lot of time trying to get the right combo of colors b/f they come out right. i looked at those color sites and they looked hopeful.

    1. Reply Debi Stangeland

      Color choices are all about you. Of course they should be somewhat complimentary, but it’s whatever you like, not necessarily because of rules. One thing that I think you should remember is how will this color print – if someone wants to print your post, will it work out ok both in color and in black and white? I have great faith in you Martha. You can do this!

      1. Reply Martha Brady

        and that hex page shows how it prints right? i like what he said about the passive and active colors. i never tho’t about that! great idea!

        1. Reply Debi Stangeland

          I know right? It was new to me as well before I heard him speak. I think the hex page will show you the color, but you’ll have to check it for yourself on your site.

  2. Reply Martha Brady

    also, do you recommend any fonts over others. i find i like combos of ordinary ones with a manuscript or funky print. i have read that there are some rules here as well. also some function better online than others. is that still true?

    1. Reply Debi Stangeland

      You know, there are a lot of pins about this on Pinterest. The more I see them and study them, the more confident I feel about combining different fonts together. In regards to function, yes, some just work better than others. I really think that for your actual blog you should stick with the very basic fonts but for graphics, that becomes more permanent, so you can play around and not worry about how they show up because they are embedded in a JPEG or PNG file.

      1. Reply Martha Brady

        i enjoy playing with fonts, etc. on picmonkey. that is fun! i don’t feel like i have to be an expert but i feel that over time i have seen some improvement in the quality. give me hope:)

        1. Reply Debi Stangeland

          Excellent. That’s what I wrote about today – I’m not an expert either, but I love messing around. I’m trying to develop a consistent look for my site though.

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