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December 1, 2017

Font Basics for Branding Your Small Business | Part Three


Fonts can require special consideration when you send materials to a professional printer for reproduction, use them on your website, or send Word documents to others. Here are some basics on using fonts and preserving their appearance in these cases.

1. IN PRINTED MATERIALS: It’s easier to read long blocks of copy that is set in a serif font. Sans-serif fonts are usually used in print for short blocks of information, like headlines, pull quotes, or bulleted lists.

• When sending your materials to be professionally printed, make sure to address your desires regarding the use of fonts. You can either include the fonts with the files you send to the printer (which might be considered a copyright license infringement), rasterize your artwork (convert it to pixels, so the font data is no longer needed), or outline your fonts (creating shapes out of the fonts, an option that’s available in most vector art programs such as Adobe Illustrator), so that they can be printed accurately.
• Outlining the fonts is the best way to guarantee that your fonts will remain accurate and sharp.

2. ONLINE FONTS: In websites, emails, and HTML newsletters, sans-serif fonts look the best: they’re clean, clear, and easy to read.

There is one other trick to online font use: you have to make sure that you use fonts that will be installed on the computers of people reading your site. Otherwise, your text will appear in the default font selected by their browser, which is often Courier, a very plain font. That limitation does leave you with several fonts to choose from, though, including Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, and Trebuchet.

• Serif fonts could also be used on websites; however, it’s best to use them in limited quantities, such as for headlines and subheads.
• Some fonts that are available to use on the web include Times, Times New Roman, and Georgia.
• Another issue that commonly arises with online fonts is the difficulty in controlling the size and appearance of those fonts.
• Standard font tags in HTML don’t offer precise sizing control and need to be used several times throughout each HTML document, so making changes can be time-consuming.
• You can use Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, to precisely control the exact size of your fonts and to make site-wide font, size, or color changes with one simple alteration.

3. IN WORD DOCUMENTS: You also want to make sure that the fonts that you use for the text will be available on the recipient’s computer.

• Good fonts to use are the standard fonts that come installed on PCs, which include Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, Times New Roman, Georgia, Palatino, Courier, and Trebuchet.
• In order to insert a small amount of customized text—such as your logo, tagline, or address information—create an image of that information and to place it in the header and footer of the page.
• Another way to preserve the appearance of text is to export your document as a PDF file and send it to the recipient; PDF files embed the fonts into each document so that they can be viewed on any computer and still look right.