When Choosing Web Fonts, Don’t Forget Mobile!


I’ve been experimenting with web fonts lately as you may have noticed. But I was reminded of an important lesson while switching out fonts on this blog.

I’ve always been a typeface nerd. It goes all the way back to my childhood when my father worked for a time as a commercial artist.

Part of his work involved logo design, and he used dry-transfer lettering for much of that work. Old-school font enthusiasts may remember Letraset and dry-transfer lettering that was around long before computers and laser printers came along.

In blogging, changing fonts can be easy

This blog uses a template that features Google Fonts. They’re a select group of web fonts that allow a wider variety of typefaces that are pre-loaded.

Ideally, there’s something among the list of commonly-available Google fonts that will strike your fancy.

For example, at the moment, I’m currently using a heavy version of Poppins for headlines and Noto Serif for the article text.

(This may or may not have changed by the time you read this post. But if it does, you’ll probably recognize that the samples I’ve linked to don’t match the text here.)

Don’t forget about mobile!

For most bloggers, I imagine we’re still doing the bulk of our blogging work on a desktop or laptop computer. When it comes to producing content for a website, that seems to me a much more efficient way to go.

But the majority of readers — the people who’ll actually consume your content — are on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

When I check my analytics, I find that since Jan. 1, 62.43% of my site’s visitors have used a mobile device to get here. The bulk of those — 57% of that 62% — have used a smartphone.

When I made a recent change of typefaces, I set things up so that I thought they looked great on desktop. It wasn’t until the next day that I checked out my site on my iPhone while I was on a lunch break.

The font which read so well on desktop didn’t read as well, at least as far as I was concerned, on my phone.

I should have checked sooner.

But it was a good reminder that even if we’re used to a “desktop view” of our site, most of our readers are getting the “mobile view.”

As website managers, we have to remember to focus our attention on mobile, because no matter how much we pay for our fancy desktop sites, the bulk of our audience may never see it.

So remember: any design change shouldn’t be considered a done deal until you’ve checked it out on all platforms.

It’s a simple thing we all probably know. But when you’re used to dealing with your own site on one platform, the others can easily fall out of your top-of-mind awareness.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.