Fonts Part 2: Choosing Proper Fonts for Print

In “Web Design on a Dime | Fonts Part One: Choosing Web Friendly Fonts” we discussed elements to consider when choosing a font to use online. This week, while still discussing fonts, we are shifting our focus to fonts for use in print. The factors to consider between the two are similar, although due to the different mediums there are some slight differences.

Like with web, it is important to consider the readability andtone of the fonts you choose. You may remember that when choosing a font for the web we never use serif fonts except for in headings. When choosing fonts for print, however, this changes and it is best to use serif fonts for the body. This is because the serif marks lead the eye from word to word and guide your reader through your article.

Unlike fonts for web, availability of the font does not need to be considered in print. The way you see your font is the way it will be printed and the way your reader will see it. Consider though that some of your fonts may be used both in print and online (for example in a press release). In this case it is important to keep availability in mind as well.

ecofontOne aspect that may not be instinctually considered when deciding on fonts is printing costs, but they can vary depending on what font you select. Matt Robinson studied ink usage between different fonts and found that Garamond is the most economical font, followed by Brush Script, and that Impact is the least economical of the experiment. When you are choosing a font to use for internal publications only or where quality is not a concern you can always use an Ecofont. Ecofont is an Arial font with holes in it to reduce ink usage and can be downloaded here.

In Summary

When creating content, whether online or in print, font is an important design element. Regardless of your medium, readability and tone should be considered, and although availability is only relevant for web fonts, consider that your print content may be used for both. Lastly, the cost of the font you chose is something to keep in mind, especially if you are printing a large quantity in-house.