The right font or typeface solidifies brand identity, builds trust with customers, and creates a seamless user experience. Find the right one for your organization.
Fonts and typefaces are often overlooked as part of marketing, but when it comes to designing a professional website, they can make or break an organization’s ability to impress and attract potential customers. Like carefully selecting your organization's brand colors, voice, tone, and style, choosing the best font for your business requires thoughtful decision-making.
Why is choosing the right professional font important?
It’s not enough to choose Times New Roman and call it a day.
When deciding which font or typeface to use on a website, consider the versatility and scalability of a font, your core audience, and your brand's tone, style, and voice — and how a font may or may not align with those factors.
A professional font has the ability to build trust with potential customers and establish or reinforce an organization's brand identity. Using legible, clear fonts throughout your site creates a consistent, cohesive design. This consistency helps customers trust your organization and reminds them of your unique value proposition and brand identity, setting your brand apart in a crowded marketplace.
How to choose the best professional font for your business
There are hundreds of free fonts available on platforms like Google Fonts — so how do you pick the right one for your marketing materials?
Before determining which font style to use for your organization, it is crucial first to understand the difference between typeface vs. font and serif vs. sans serif.
Typeface vs. font
A typeface is a collection of characters with a consistent design, sometimes called a type family. It encompasses all the variations of a character, including different weights (regular, bold, italic), styles (serif, sans-serif), and sizes within a specific design family.
A font, on the other hand, is a specific instance of a typeface. It refers to a particular weight, style, and size within a typeface family. For example, Arial Narrow is one font, while the bold version, Arial Bold, is another. Both are in the same typeface, but are different fonts.
Serif vs. sans serif
The primary difference between serif and sans-serif fonts lies in the presence or absence of small decorative strokes, called serifs, at the ends of the main strokes of each character. Serif fonts that include these small decorative elements generally have a more traditional, formal appearance and are typically considered to be more readable for formal print usages like newspapers or print ads.
Alternatively, sans serif typefaces do not have small decorative strokes. San serif is better suited for digital spaces like websites, where visitors typically prefer a modern aesthetic.
What to consider when choosing a professional business font
While the differences between fonts might seem insignificant, the font you choose can impact several different aspects of your organization:
Readability: Legibility reduces user frustration and encourages visitors to stay longer on your site. If a customer comes across your website and has trouble reading it, they're unlikely to buy your product, sign up for a newsletter, or want to become a loyal customer. Poor readability can also impact your organization’s SEO.
Accessibility: When choosing a font or typeface, it's paramount to consider font size, color contrast, and the ability to resize the text without loss of functionality or readability. These considerations ensure your website is comprehensible for a wide range of individuals, including those with visual impairments or reading disabilities.
Scalability: Website design often includes several different sizes of fonts — fonts for headings, microcopy, and body text. By choosing a web-safe typeface or font, your business can ensure your website is readable and looks professional at various sizes. From mobile devices to desktop screens, your website needs to be accessible and legible. As technology evolves and new devices with varying screen sizes and resolutions emerge, scalable fonts future-proof design and content, ensuring they remain relevant and accessible.
Professionalism and credibility: The use of clean and readable fonts conveys a sense of professionalism and trustworthiness. Your chosen typographic design and style signal to customers and clients that your business is reliable and takes its online presence seriously.
Versatility: Opt for fonts that are versatile and suitable for a range of content types, from headlines and body text to call-to-action (CTA) buttons. This strategy allows your organization to use the same font for several different purposes, while staying consistent and on brand.
13 effective professional fonts
Garamond is a classic serif font with a timeless and elegant appearance. Given how clean and straightforward it is, this popular font is well-suited for organizations that want to project a formal brand identity throughout their website.
An "Old Style" serif characterized by its balanced and slightly calligraphic serifs, Garamond is an elegant font choice that offers a more refined and traditional feel with an upscale, modern twist.
A modern sans-serif font that's known for its clarity and readability, Calibri is a common choice for businesses; its legibility and versatility make it popular across mediums and industries. Professional and scalable, Calibri is a great font you can use for headings, general copy, and even microcopy for CTAs.
A versatile sans-serif font with a contemporary feel, Lato is suitable for various corporate design applications, including websites, due to its readability. Organizations that use Lato ensure their website is accessible and user-friendly.
Futura's geometric and sans-serif design gives it a modern and contemporary appearance that stands the test of time.
Readable on-screen and off, Futura is celebrated for its geometric simplicity. Its letterforms are constructed with clean lines and circles, giving it a precise, balanced appearance. The letter "O," for example, is a perfect circle, and many other characters feature geometric shapes. Not only is this choice great for accessibility, the clean, modern look is perfect for organizations that want to give off an immediate professional impression.
We often associate DIN fonts with an industrial and technical aesthetic, given their origin in these industries. They are popular choices for projects related to engineering, manufacturing, transportation, and architecture.
A font you can use for several different purposes on a website — microcopy, headings, or even body copy — DIN is a great choice for organizations looking for a readable and versatile font that's clean and professional-looking.
Baskerville is a classic font known for its refined and timeless appearance. It features moderate contrast between thick and thin strokes and elegant serifs.
Elegant and readable, Baskerville is an excellent choice that comes in various weights and styles, including regular, bold, and italic, allowing for flexibility in design and typography. For organizations looking to nail a more upscale look and feel, Baskerville is a superb choice.
7. Playfair Display
Playfair Display is a serif font with elegant, decorative serifs. While some might shy away from this font because of how many websites use it, Playfair Display is a great option for organizations whose brand identity offers a timeless, upscale experience. Plus, Playfair’s more ornate style doesn’t sacrifice readability, making it ideal for any organization looking to reinforce their brand identity while providing a clear and legible website.
Didot is a high-contrast, elegant serif font known for its thin, delicate serifs and tall letterforms. Like Playfair Display, this font exudes sophistication and refinement, making it an excellent choice for luxury brands or organizations that desire a high-end, modern aesthetic. Its elegant serifs make it ideal for headings and titles.
9. Book Antiqua
A serif font with a traditional, book-like quality, Book Antiqua is an excellent choice in terms of readability and scalability — this font is suitable for both body text and headings. Plus, it features traditional, slightly calligraphic serifs that give it a warm and approachable appearance, making it a great match for corporations that want a professional feel without coming off too cold or unfriendly.
Unlike some of the other fonts and typefaces on this list, Pacifico is a more casual script font that offers a relaxed style and tone. The font's playful curves and informal letterform offer a more friendly, youthful, or vibrant aesthetic, which is perfect for creative and artistic brands and organizations or those trying to appeal to younger demographics like Gen-Z or Millennials. Plus, it offers businesses a chance to be creative without sacrificing readability — despite the script nature of Pacifico, it’s still an excellent choice when it comes to accessible fonts.
11. Century Schoolbook
Century Schoolbook is a serif font with a clean and straightforward design. It features rounded serifs and a friendly, approachable feel. For organizations that are looking for a font that matches their friendly, warm tone, Century Schoolbook fits the bill — its rounded features not only offer great legibility and web accessibility but also offer a more casual reading experience.
Bodoni is a bold and modern serif font with pronounced contrasts between thick and thin strokes. It features sharp serifs and a distinct geometric quality. Bold and eye-catching, this font is a great choice for creating attention-grabbing headlines. Its strong contrast and modern feel convey a sense of authority and innovation.
Most graphic design wizards know the power of Helvetica, given its association with one of the world’s biggest companies, Apple. In fact, this font type is wildly popular across several industries, not just tech — Target and American Apparel use Helvetica as their default font for most of their marketing materials.
While plenty of reputable and well-known brands use this font, organizations shouldn’t shy away from using it, too — Helvetica's versatility allows organizations that use this font to distinguish themselves from others.
Put your professional font into action
When creating your business' website, selecting a professional font builds a recognizable brand identity, connects with your audience, and provides a seamless customer experience — no matter what industry you’re in. From assessing the readability and accessibility of a font to considering the tone and style of a sans serif font versus a serif one, your chosen font has the ability to captivate, inform, and inspire.
Once you’ve chosen your font, create your website using a Webflow template, or start from scratch with Webflow.