Have you tried Google Fonts?


For a long period of time, the internet lacked a selection of fonts that could be safely used by websites for their own purpose. At that point of time, you could only use those fonts that someone had on their computer for your website. And, this issue went on for years, completely unsolved so designers developed their own ways of dealing with it. Web designers started using images to replace the non-web safe fonts but replacing fonts with images was a failure from the start as it was not good for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Even though this process had its aesthetic value but it was bound to fail because it wasn’t really practical and loading web-pages became difficult without high-speed connections. Google Fonts changed this forever.

What is Google Fonts?

In 2010 Google wished to provide a solution to this problem, as they introduced Google Web Fonts which is now known as Google Fonts. It is a collection of interactive application programming interfaces that gives access to use web fonts on websites. The service is hosted by Google themselves and it is completely free of cost. This allows web designers to create websites, apps and blogs without having to install selected fonts in a computer. Just by linking it to Google’s library of fonts you will have custom font for your website in no time.

Why use Google Fonts?

Google Fonts gives your website font a different dimension. It gives you a break from the boring, standard fonts that you get for free on the internet. Earlier on, web designers could only use fonts from a limited font pool because of compatibility issues. Not only that, font licensing was an issue so it was not really a good idea to embed random fonts from the internet in a website. Typographical beauty was limited but not for long. Google Fonts gave designers a whole new avenue to explore.

Of course there are and have been other font services on the internet like Typekit. But Google allows much more flexibility and it is a free service unlike the others. Google did what they always do, they offered a premium service for free.

How to Use Google Fonts?

Let’s see how you can get started with Google Fonts if you aren’t using it already.

Step #1: Getting Started

Head over to Google Fonts to choose fonts and begin your work. The interface as you can see is pretty easy to make out.

google fonts

On your left side there is a search bar where you can search fonts using specific keywords and filter by the type of a font. You can also sort your font by the thickness of the letters. You can spot a bar on the top that adjusts the preview text on the webpage. But if you have a specific text that you want to try out, you can get it tested, just by switching to the paragraph tab and pasting the text that you want to test.

Tip: Don’t choose anything gaudy or something that might give you nightmares later on. Playing it safe by choosing something from the Serif or sans-serif family would be a good idea, and you can easily discover something pretty unique that will suit your purpose.

Step #2: Review

When you spot a font that you like, add it to your collection. You can review it, by clicking the review button that will help you enter the review mode. Here you can compare all the fonts that you added in your collection. You will be shown different font sizes and generic text, either in the form of a headline or a paragraph. You can change the preview mode accordingly, even though it has its own way of displaying the most intelligent choice depending upon the use of that font. You can click the close button on top to reject any font that you don’t particularly like in your collection.

Tip: Check out the Test Drive mode in the page. It combines all the fonts in your collection to show it might look when combined together on a single page layout.

Step #3: Usage

When you have narrowed down your collection and there only remains the fonts that you want to use, you can click on the review button. If you have too many fonts, the page load impact will indicate a warning. Scroll further down the page and grab the relevant code from three choices.

1. Standard: You need to be familiar with HTML to use this. You can paste this into the HEAD of your website. If you are using a WordPress based website you need to add it to the header.php.

2. Import: This process makes you import the code directly into your stylesheet file where you normally note down font specifications in different parts of the webpage. It is a really easy method to go about this and for WordPress, you can place it in style.css.

3. Javascript: You can place the code anywhere in your theme and the benefit of using Javascript is that the font will be loaded differently. First the site will be displayed in the fallback font and then switch once the new font is fully loaded. Page load times are vastly improved but it will be a jittery experience for the visitor. In the stylesheet you have to specify where you want to use the fonts and you will have to adjust everything in your stylesheet that refers to the font.

Tip: Don’t go overboard with the types of fonts and choose two types of fonts at the most. So, Google Fonts are pretty easy to use, and once you get the hang of it, you will be a master in choosing which fonts to use for your website or WordPress blog. Choosing the perfect font is extremely important because it does help you to create an impression on the minds of visitors of your website. These visitors range from prospects, leads to even existing customers. Whether or not they will buy from you will depend on the impression that they have of your website.

Have you used Google Fonts? What do you like the most about Google Fonts? Leave your comments in the comment section below.

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