Fonts can play a huge role in the overall look and feel of your online course.

What, you don’t believe me?

Ok…did you know that using the right font can give your brand instant credibility and trust?

Seriously, I’m not joking!

If you’re still not convinced, then check out this article by Creative Market on the 10 facts about fonts.

Like I was saying, all fonts have a specific personality so you need to choose them wisely so they align with your brand and course topic.

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There are two font families:

  • Serif fonts have short lines called serifs at the top and bottom of the letters. They have a formal and classy feel and are often used in print media. Popular examples are Georgia, Times New Roman and Garamond.
  • Sans serif are the fonts without the short lines (serifs) and are very popular on the web. The letters are of uniform thickness all the way around. These fonts have an informal and friendly feel about them and are used by many apps and social media programs. Popular examples are Helvetica, Arial and Geneva.

So how do you choose fonts for your online course? 

#1 consider your course topic

What are you teaching, is it something fun and silly or is it very serious and professional? Choose a font which reflects and matches the topic of your course. Don’t feel that you have to use the same font as your logo or branding.

#2 what’s the mood of your course

How do you want students to feel when you’re teaching them? Do you want them to be excited, motivated or happy when they’re learning? Browse a few fonts and choose one that matches the overall mood of your course.

#3 Choose an easy to read font

How easy is it to read and understand your font on screen? Curly, handwritten or cursive fonts look great on flyers and brochures but are not as legible, online. Poor readability can frustrate your students.

Once you’ve selected your ideal fonts, let’s look at a few easy ways to make them pop!

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Simple ways to rock online fonts

#1 Use contrast

Try to vary the size, weight and colour of your fonts.

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  • When contrasting size, make the contrast obvious; so very big vs very small. When fonts are too similar, it tends to become boring.
  • Light, bold, semi-bold and heavy are all forms of font weight. Again make the contrast super obvious by contrasting heavy weights with light weights.
  • Use strong contrasting colours to gain attention and add bold colours to headings and sub-headings. Don’t forget about black and white colours or the many varying shades of black and grey which you can use to add further contrast.

#2 Don’t use similar fonts

When combining fonts, don’t be afraid to mix different font families. Study the example below and notice how something seems amiss. They clash because they’re too similar even though they’re different sizes and cases.

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Browse through magazines and newspapers to get an idea of how different typefaces are being combined. Using fonts that are too similar normally ends up looking wrong!

#3 Stick to 2 or 3 fonts

Using too many fonts can be visually distracting. Choose a maximum of 3 fonts, one for headings, sub-headings and body text.

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#4 Create a font style guide

Creating a font style guide will help to give your course a more cohesive look.

Select different fonts for:

  • Main headings such as module and lesson names
  • Online screen text and body text in worksheets, pdf’s and slides

Determining the font, size, weight, colour, spacing and alignment beforehand will save you bucket loads of time.

#5 Add kerning, in other words letter spacing

This is design jargon for the spacing which occurs between letters. Your computer automatically sets the spacing.

You can give your fonts more character by increasing the space between the letters so that they’re visually consistent. Definitely consider kerning your headings and sub-headings or when using larger text. Generally good design software or Canva will let you adjust your text spacing manually.

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And lastly, I wanted to share a few cool sites that can help you with your font selection.

Bonfx.com is an Apple app that helps you to choose complimentary fonts and preview various font combinations.

Wordmark.it is a website that lets you type words or phrases and gives you instant visual previews in different fonts

Typetester.org lets you compare different typefaces while also allowing you to adjust size, weight, colour, spacing, alignment and so much more.

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