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Selecting the right fonts and colors

Like paint and wallpaper do for a room, fonts and colors set the tone for your site and help make great first impression. 

If you’re not sure where to begin, use the three basic ideas outlined in this guide as a first step on the path to finding your site’s design. We recommend experimenting with different combinations before publishing. 

1. Match fonts to content

Similar to how clothes say a lot about an individual’s style, it’s important to match your site’s design to the ideas and objectives of your content.

A blog about medieval manuscripts might look good in Arial, but a serif font is probably truer to its character. If you’re writing a blog about modernism or technology, a sans serif font creates a tight, contemporary mood.

Every font was designed for a purpose. Comparing the theme of your website with a font can tell you a lot about whether they belong together.

When choosing a font, asking the following questions can help narrow down the choices to what will appeal to your unique audience:

  • Who will be visiting your site? 
  • What’s their age? 
  • What's the website about? 
  • What's its theme?

After you’ve got a feel for the tone and texture of your site, Squarespace puts the Adobe and Google Fonts libraries at your fingertips, so you can easily find a font to match your unique style.

For help setting fonts, visit Changing fonts.

2. Find your rhythm

Like wine and cheese, some fonts are perfect for pairings. If you’re using a simple sans serif font, try pairing it with an ornate, serif font. Using Franklin Gothic? Try balancing it against Adobe Garamond.

Thin, intricate fonts pair well with bold fonts. Every typeface adds its own personality and voice to the conversation, so choosing the right combination can be the difference between a harmonious duet and a shouting match. To get started, try finding a serif and sans serif that you feel match the rhythm and mood of your site.

As a general rule, it’s best not to have more than two fonts throughout your site. When it comes to typography, less really is more. Two complementary choices make your site readable, while tastefully highlighting the key points.

3. Create character through color

What is your website’s big idea? If you’re selling beachwear or showcasing your portrait photography, matching your site’s content to a color scheme can create its character. Beachwear could work with soft blue and yellow tones, while classic black and white lets your original photography shine through. A great place to start is with your imagery. Look at your images and see if there are certain colors or tone that appear again and again.

Whatever your vision, there’s a color scheme that can show what you’re about. Varied hues, shades, contrasts—each one affects the eye, telling the world a different story about who you are.

If you’re seeking inspiration for the perfect color palette, take a look around you. If you own a restaurant, let its color scheme be your guide. Blogging about nature? Earth tones may conjure the proper tone. But like with typography, too many colors can muddle the message. It’s best to find two complimentary colors to anchor your site, then vary those hues just slightly for the occasional accent.

Just make sure the colors don’t clash. Yellow type on a white background can make your text illegible, while a black font on a red background is headache-inducing to some.

For help with changing colors on your site, visit Changing colors.

Above all else, have fun. Your site is an extension of your thoughts and identity in the online world. Squarespace helps you get your ideas online, but it’s up to you to make them your own in terms of character, color, tone, and design. A site that feels like it’d be at home in your closet or sitting in your workspace is one that you’ll delight in revisiting and improving as your ideas continue to grow and evolve.

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Selecting the right fonts and colors