Font-tastic emails: How to choose the right font

Have you ever received an email that was difficult to read because the font was too small or the style was hard on the eyes? Or maybe you've sent an email that didn't quite convey the message you intended because the font choice was off. It's easy to overlook the importance of fonts in email but the truth is, they can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your message.

In this article, we'll explore:

  • Why fonts matter in email
  • Which fonts you can use to enhance your communication and make a lasting impression on your recipients

Let’s get into it.

Why do fonts matter in the first place?

To answer this question, please take a moment to read the text in the image below.


Image source: Bonfx

Was it easy to read the text? Could you read it quickly and still get the message? If your answer was "no" for both of these questions, we’re sure it’s now getting clearer why fonts matter.

Fonts are important because they:

  • Increase readability: When your fonts are easy to read, your communication becomes more effective. When it comes to readability, the right font can make a world of difference. Your email recipient might find it hard to understand if the font is too small or complicated for the eye. However, a carefully chosen font can make your email easy to read and easy on the eyes.
  • Convey the tone: Different fonts can convey different tones and emotions. For example, a classic serif font might give your email a formal, professional feel, while a playful script font might convey a more casual, friendly tone. Choosing the right font can help you set the right mood for your message.
  • Help with branding: The font you use when sending an email on behalf of a company or organisation can be an essential element of your branding. You can strengthen your brand identity and help people recognise your brand by using a consistent font throughout all of your communications.

Now that we’ve established why fonts matter, let’s discuss the different fonts that you can use in your emails.

Firstly, let’s talk about the different font families…

It might interest you to know that there are different font families, each with a distinctive look and set of qualities. Some of the most popular font families are listed below:

  • Serif: Serif fonts have small lines or strokes at the ends of each letter. They are often used in print materials and are considered to have an elegant, easy-to-read look.
  • Sans-serif: Sans-serif fonts do not have small lines or strokes at the ends of each letter. They are often used in digital media and are considered to have a modern, clean look.
  • Monospace: Monospace fonts have each character take up the same amount of space, which can be useful for certain types of programming or coding work.
  • Cursive: To create a more natural effect, these fonts imitate human handwriting. They are best used for things like invitations and diplomas.


These are just a few examples of the many different font families available. Choosing the right font for your message will depend on different factors, such as the tone you want to convey and the context in which it will be received.

Tips for choosing fonts for emails

Tip 1: When choosing a font for your email, it's important to stick to web-safe fonts. These fonts are regarded as being "safe" because they are widely accessible and may be viewed on a range of devices without the need for download or installation. This will ensure that your email looks the same on all devices, regardless of whether or not the recipient has the font installed.

Tip 2: Avoid using too many fonts. Using too many fonts in an email can make it look cluttered and difficult to read. Stick to one or two fonts to keep your email looking clean and professional.

Tip 3: Use a larger font size. Emails are usually read on mobile devices, which can make the text appear smaller. To ensure that your email is easy to read, use a larger font size than you would for printed material. However, also be careful not to use a font that’s too big or else your audience will think you’re screaming at them.

Tip 4: Use plenty of white space. White space is the space around text or images. It can help make your email easier to read and less cluttered. So use plenty of white space between paragraphs and around images.

Fonts that display in all email clients

As mentioned before, fonts that display consistently in all email clients are known as web-safe fonts. Some of the most commonly used web-safe fonts are:

  1. Arial
  2. Verdana
  3. Helvetica
  4. Times New Roman
  5. Georgia
  6. Tahoma
  7. Trebuchet MS
  8. Courier New

Now to the crux: what fonts can you use?

1. Arial

Arial is a popular sans-serif font that looks fantastic on screens and is simple to read. It's a well-liked option for emails because it's easy to read and has a professional look. Also, because it is a commonly used font, your email recipient is probably already using it.


2. Verdana

Another sans-serif font that works well for emails is Verdana. It can be easier to read, especially for longer emails, because it is a little broader and more evenly spread out than Arial.


3. Georgia

Georgia is another serif font. It's a perfect option for emails that need a more formal look. Georgia is a well-liked option for business emails or formal invites due to its timeless and exquisite appearance. Serifs can help direct the eye along the text, making them an excellent option for longer emails as well.


4. Times New Roman

Another common serif font used in emails is Times New Roman. It's a classic font with a formal style that has been used for many years. It's important to remember that Times New Roman can be challenging to read on screens, particularly in smaller font sizes. If you do decide to use Times New Roman, remember to leave a lot of white space and use a bigger font size.


5. Tahoma

Tahoma is a sans-serif font that looks somewhat more compressed than Verdana but is otherwise similar. It's a fantastic option for emails that need to look professional but not overly formal. Tahoma is a preferred option for company emails and newsletters since it’s simple to read and looks great on screens.


6. Roboto

The sans-serif font Roboto is a modern and well-liked choice for mobile apps and online design. For emails, it's great because it's neat, readable, and simple to see on screens. There are many different weights of Roboto, including thin, light, standard, medium, bold, and black, giving you plenty of options.


7. Open Sans

Another popular sans-serif font that is readable on screens is Open Sans. It is a flexible font that can be used in both formal and informal emails. Open Sans is a great option for informal emails or marketing campaigns because of its inviting nature. There are also different weights of the font, including light, regular, semi-bold, bold, and extra-bold.


8. Lato

Lato is a sans-serif font with a crisp, modern feel. It's a popular option for emails that need to have a polished and professional look, such as business emails, newsletters or formal invitations. You also have a lot of options with Lato because it also comes in a variety of weights, including thin, light, regular, bold, and black.


9. Merriweather

Merriweather is a multipurpose font that is easy to read, making it suitable for use in body text. There are various weights and styles available for Merriweather, including regular, bold, italic, and bold italic. What is more, it has a variety of special characters, including ligatures, small capitals, and several numerical forms, making it a fantastic option for a variety of creative tasks. Overall, Merriweather is a well-liked font among designers and authors who want a classic, easily-read font with a dash of personality.


10. Playfair Display

Playfair Display is a serif font that has a stylish and sophisticated look. It's a popular choice for emails that need a formal or elegant look, such as wedding invitations, corporate emails or newsletters. It’s also a good option for use in headings, titles, and other large display text. It features tall, thin letterforms with dramatic curves and serifs, giving it a refined and luxurious feel.

One of the unique features of Playfair Display is its use of contrasting letterforms, which means that some of the letters are thinner or more condensed than others. This adds visual interest and draws the eye to the most significant areas of the text.


Key Takeaways

We hope this article has been helpful in guiding you towards choosing the best fonts for your email communications. Remember, the font you choose can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your message, so take the time to consider your options carefully.

Whether you opt for a classic serif font or a more modern sans-serif typeface, the most important thing is to make sure that your font is easy to read and doesn't distract from the message you're trying to convey.

So, next time you're composing an email, keep these tips in mind and choose a font that will help you to communicate your message effectively and with style. Thanks for reading!


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