A knowledge of fonts

As well as being Winchester Computer Tutor, since the spring I’ve been the editor of a local newsletter, the Badger Farm and Oliver’s Battery Community News. I’ve enjoyed redesigning the newsletter and when setting up my first edition I took a long time choosing the fonts. Font choice is like housework – no-one notices when you do a good job, but everyone notices when you don’t! 

The right font can make a difference in the way you get your message across, not just in publications like Community News, but in work and personal documents and even in emails. If you’re designing a website, font choice becomes even more critical:

it can have a real effect on your site’s bounce rates and conversion rates, especially if you choose a font that’s hard for your visitors to read


Windows 10 comes with around 100 fonts already installed, with a few more available from the Microsoft store. While that sounds like a lot, you may still feel that you can’t find the perfect font for your project. So where can you get new ones?

It takes time and effort to design a great font, so many cost a lot of money and have restrictions on, for example, commercial use. There are sites that offer free fonts, but some are notorious for pirating copyrighted fonts or including malware, so you must choose carefully.

If in doubt, go with the big boys. And they don’t get bigger than Google. With over 900 free fonts at fonts.google.com, your problem may be that there’s too much choice. You can use the search tools to find fonts based on their type (serif or handwriting, for example), language or other characteristics. You can also use the font pairings recommendations to find fonts that work well together. When you’ve found your ideal font, select, download and install it: HowToGeek will guide you through this process.

If the Google fonts don’t meet your needs, other reputable font sites are dafont.comfontspace.com and fontsquirrel.com

Some of my favourites for fun projects are Ink Draft from the Microsoft store; Courgette, Parisienne, Poiret One from Google; Kingthings Wrote, Montez and 1942 report from Font Squirrel. The medieval section of FontSpace has a great collection of illustrated letters and there’s a party atmosphere in the Mexican section of daFont!

​One word of warning – too many fonts can slow down your computer, so don’t get too carried away. ​







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