Choosing the Right Font

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Smart Media Creative Solutions

Believe it or not, there is a philosophy and a method behind which fonts should be used depending on the situation.

Fonts are divided into two basic categories, Serif and Sanserif.

Serifs are the little tails that extend from the ends and various parts of some fonts.  The most commonly used serif font is Times.

Sanserif fonts do not have these tails, this would include fonts like Arial and Helvetica.

 

When should I use a font with serifs?

The purpose of these serifs is to create subliminal lines for the eye to follow and keep its place. Serif fonts are meant to be read in large blocks of text at smaller sizes, which is why they are a popular choice of newspapers and magazines.

 

When should I use sanserif fonts?

Sanserif fonts are intended for headlines, and small pieces of text, not large blocks of text. If you are creating a larger publication such as a newsletter, it is highly reccomended that you do not use a sanserif font for the body text. On the flip side, most of the time it is better to not use serif fonts for headers or logos. Text in logos and headers is meant to grad your attention and pull you into to read the body text. Serif fonts, thought easier to read up close, lose their definition at greater distances and are not as attention grabbing.

There are exceptions, there do exist very bold serif fonts designed to work well at greater distances. These are referred to as slab-serif fonts.

 

Cheat Sheet:

Font Cheat Sheet

 

 

Some general font usage tips: 

Never stretch a font! A skilled typesetter will never stretch a font, it destroys everything that the font was designed to accomplish visually and it is a dead giveaway that the layout was not professionally done. If you need to make text fit in a space, try changing the letter or word spacing, using a hyphen, or changing the font size. Never resort to stretching text!

Always select a bold font for your logo. If the logo is not readable at great distances, it is a failure. Look at all major national company's logos, pretty much all of them have a bold font, there is a reason for that. 

 

As always, please feel free to ask any questions about specific situations, I love to answer them. Thank you!

Comments (13)

Anonymous
Anonymous

Thanks for the font tips.  I see some websites that use way too many fonts.  I would keep it to no more than 3 fonts per page.  I prefer one for headings and one for the body text.  Thanks again!

Dec 26, 2007 02:14 AM
#1
Robert Krames
Smart Media Creative Solutions - Gainesville, FL
Another good tip, don't use too many different fonts in the same layout.
Dec 26, 2007 02:15 AM
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth
I like Arial and Times New Roman for correspondence. There are so many fonts to choose from.
Dec 26, 2007 02:24 AM
Mimi Osterdahl, NW Living
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA
"Do good work for good people."

Robert-

Cool info on serif-vs-sans serif thanks for sharing!

I have another idea about fonts...they should be used consistantly in EVERYTHING you print and publish as another form of branding and image.

Use of the same font-s (but NO MORE than 3) on EVERYTHING brings cohesion to an image and immediatey communicates to folks who get your stuff regularly that it is from you.

Thanks again for the info!

Mimi Osterdahl

Dec 29, 2007 03:17 PM
Robert Krames
Smart Media Creative Solutions - Gainesville, FL
I absolutely agree!
Dec 30, 2007 11:40 PM
Lou Farris
Your Castle Real Estate, Inc! - Highlands Ranch, CO

HOw can we change the font size (typeface heighth) of our posts?

 

Feb 28, 2008 03:27 PM
Robert Krames
Smart Media Creative Solutions - Gainesville, FL

In a blog post, switch to html format, and put all your text between these tags:

 <div style="font-size: 18px;"> Type your text here </div>

 That should work for you, and you can change the 18px to any pixel size you want.

Feb 28, 2008 11:26 PM
Julie Jalone
MagnumOne Realty - Roseville, CA
Thank you, very informative.
Feb 29, 2008 09:26 AM
Robert Krames
Smart Media Creative Solutions - Gainesville, FL
You're welcome.
Mar 02, 2008 11:25 PM
Kate Jahnson
Home Stage Home - West Linn, OR
Home Stager

Hi Robert,

I'm trying to customize my blog fonts by creating them on Kompozer and/or Nvu and then copying them and pasting them in.  It worked once but now everytime I copy text and/or an image it copies into the blog with the default AR font and size no matter how I customized it on another program.  AR tech help has no answers for me.  You seem like a guy in the know.  Any suggestions?

Aug 20, 2009 12:02 PM
Robert Krames
Smart Media Creative Solutions - Gainesville, FL

You can only use fonts that are standard on peoples computers on the web. ActiveRain probably only wants you to use their font choice anyway to keep it consistent across their whole site. But even if you were editing your own website, if you use an uncommon font, and someone looks at your site who doesn't have that font, they won't see your font choice, they'll see some other default substitute. And I've seen fonts default to some pretty wierd substitues.

If you would like to see a list of standard fonts for the web, here is one:

http://www.ampsoft.net/webdesign-l/WindowsMacFonts.html

Most web designers just stick to Arial, Verdana, Times and Georgia.

On the images issue, why don't you just use the "insert/edit image" button rather than copy and paste to place your images?

I hope this helps you.

Aug 21, 2009 12:45 AM
Kate Jahnson
Home Stage Home - West Linn, OR
Home Stager

Hey Robert,

Thanks so much for your time and help.  I found some compatible fonts through Firescribe from the firefox browser that I use but I'm going to check out your resources as well.

Thanks again!

Aug 27, 2009 04:04 PM
Anonymous
gc

which font is used for Christie's International Real Estate logo on their website?

May 17, 2011 07:20 AM
#13