The appearance of your site makes a huge impression on every potential customer. So choosing a typeface – which will appear all over your storefront – is an integral factor to the consumer’s overall brand experience. But how do you determine what typeface(s) will work best for your ecommerce brand?
Audience – Always ask yourself, “Who’s reading this?” Is it an uninformed consumer or a well-versed expert? Also consider your consumers’ age group, since it can dictate whether you should take a contemporary or classic approach. A more mature audience may get turned off by unconventional typeface styles. Follow a hierarchy of characteristics to determine what is most important and distinctive about your audience. Depending on the age group, culture, or sex you should use different colors, styles, and sizes.
Subject – What are you selling? Depending on the product, certain fonts are unacceptable and out of place. You wouldn’t use embellished script for a legal web site, right? That said, getting fancy on a fashion storefront would feel elegant, natural, and expected. The subject/product directs the tone and with it, the type.
Placement – Where is your copy going? Text placement plays a big role in how your messages are read. On a site, text should be readable and easy on the eyes. If it’s the headline of an email, it should be bold and eye-catching – try Helvetica, Trajan or Futura. Need it to be more informative and long-form? Go with Times, Poynter or Franklin Gothic. Know the limitations of the reader and how long you need their attention.
Don’t forget, it’s ok to use more than one typeface, but they should never be too similar. Pick two that are stylistically different, but still compliment each other. And most of all, don’t try to pick the craziest, “Look at me!” font. Appearance is more important than originality.
Design Instruct has some very detailed infographics if you’re trying to pick a particular typeface.
Some aspects of ecommerce web design are straightforward but others are more nuanced. At Ripen, we excel at creating professional, eye-catching design for ecommerce sites through our custom web development approaches.