Paul Kent, Freelance Web Designer, East Sussex, UK.

Affordable web design for ambitious organisations

Being creative and practical with your choice of typography


As a lover of typographic design the web now offers me an array of font choices to free up and expand my designs. Fonts can now be licenced for use on both the web and also synchronised to your computer. Adobe’s TypeKit offers this service which means I can use exactly the same font styles for both printed material and web applications.

It’s sensible to weigh up the cost of font licensing before committing to a typographic style for your brand. Font licensing can be expensive for both web and print use, particularly if purchasing the font files. Check the licence too, whether the font is available for web use.

However, using a service such as TypeKit or even the free GoogleFonts service can save a lot of money for small organisations and charities. TypeKit in particular offers a low fixed annual fee with access to a decent sized font library. Many of the premium web font services will charge on a per page hits basis.

The price of individual fonts can vary greatly and it soon mounts up when you have to purchase several different weights or a whole family of font styles (italic, bold, condensed etc). You may unsuspectingly choose a font that is either very expensive to licence or isn’t available as a web font. I never use more than two font styles in a creative.

I also think that, while the traditional approach to creating brand guidelines is to start with print, the online product or service should be the first consideration when choosing a font style. This will ensure that your typography is practical and cost effective across all devices and print formats.