How Many Fonts Is Too Many?
In recent years, the world of web designing has seen a significant rise in the field of online font services. Font services like Google web fonts, Typekit, and fonts.com have totally changed the way we type on the web.
Years ago, it would have been mandatory for you to choose web-safe fonts when designing a website. As a web designer, you constantly had to hear about which fonts you could use and which ones you couldn’t. There were only a limited amount of fonts that you could use for web pages. However, with the introduction of all the new services and techniques, you can use just about any font that you desire.
But, a new responsibility also arises when you have all this unlimited freedom. You must make sure that you don’t overuse the fonts in one single page.
So how much is the perfect number?
With so many fonts available, you might find something that you really like, and you’ll perhaps want to use it. But before you go and actually use it in your next design, stop and think for a minute. Does it add anything to your design or improve user experience? Or does it make things more complicated instead?
Ideally, you should avoid using more than three fonts regardless of what you’re writing or designing. You can use one for your title, one for your headings, and finally one for your body. When you mix in the italic and bold variants, you’ll have more than enough fonts to design your page.
While there are no definitive rules on how many fonts you should use, it’s best to keep it as few as possible.
Things to Consider
If you do a quick Google search, you won’t find any specified rules which prevent you from using thousands of different fonts on one page. However, there are certain things that you must consider.
With every font that you use, you are affecting:
Using different weights and font sizes are not the only things that affect visual hierarchy. What matters is contrast.
If you’re only using just a single font, minor adjustments like the spacing between headings, paragraph height, etc., can completely change the balance of your design.
Likewise, adding a bunch of different fonts can also change the tone and balance of the whole thing.
Weight of the page
Typically, the average font is around 40kb. So if you use two different fonts, it comes to about 80kb. Now multiply that by 2 for the bold and italic variants. You’re looking at around 160kb for your page.
Sometimes you might only need a single type of font. But if the font you choose is a bit complex, it could even come up to 80kb. So it’s definitely crucial for you to decide and select fonts based on their weight.
It is also worth noting that if you add a particular font that you rarely ever use through your sites, the weight of the font can become more than the size of the image. In such cases, it’s best not to use it at all.
Now that you have a brief idea about how many fonts you should use, it’s up to you to make that decision. Just remember to keep it simple and not go too crazy with your fonts.