We’ve all seen it. A message from a colleague appears in your email inbox. You open it, and it looks like a child got hold of their parents’ email account. Don’t get me wrong, showy fonts in bright colors are fun, but they aren’t a good fit for the workplace.
It’s important to give off a professional image with colleagues, especially in an email. Some email fonts present your words clearly and effectively, while others can be distracting and hard to read. A quirky font sent from a work email address isn’t a great way to represent your organization professionally.
But do email fonts matter that much? Let’s talk about why you should choose a professional-looking font for all of your outgoing emails and the best email fonts of 2023, and look at some tips for finding the best font for you.
Do email fonts matter?
Yes! The font you choose to express your thoughts in an email needs to be legible, readable, and clear. Legible means your font should make it easy to distinguish letters and words. Readability measures how quickly and accurately readers can comprehend your writing. Clarity is what happens when you combine professional word choice with a professional typeface. All three components of a professional email are affected by the font you choose.
For example, the US State Department made headlines at the beginning of the year when it announced that the agency will change its default messaging font to Calibri. Times New Roman has been the go-to font for many government institutions for decades, but many are switching to fonts with fewer flourishes for several reasons.
First, there has been a major shift to make technology more accessible. Communicating online via email is the most popular way that organizations collaborate and share information. To assist those with limited visual acuity, accessible fonts and other features are becoming the new standard.
Email is also used to send large files, such as audio files and videos. In an era of heightened focus on cybersecurity, a simple, clean font can help make your email look more trustworthy and credible, which is especially important if you’re sending a large attachment to someone who doesn’t know you very well.
Another reason many are shifting to plainer fonts is that they typically offer a wide range of characters that work well in different languages. This makes doing business globally more convenient no matter what language is spoken.
Finally, when we read, we aren’t focusing on one letter or word at a time. Our brains take in information like spacing, the shape of the word, and even groups of words simultaneously. Choosing a simpler email font makes messages easier for workers to read and at a faster pace than fancy fonts.
How to choose the best email font for your business
Choosing the right email font to use at work can help you start out on the right foot with clients, make a good impression on higher-ups, and improve your rapport with colleagues. But how do you choose? Let’s discuss the key factors that make a font suitable for professional emails.
What are font families?
A font family is a group of fonts that share common design elements but may differ in style, weight, or slant. Here are the four main font families:
Serif fonts are recognizable by the small lines that decorate the legs of each letter. These fonts include Times New Roman, Courier New, Baskerville, Garamond, and Georgia.
Sans serif fonts are similar to serifs, but they don’t use decorative legs. These fonts include Arial, Calibri, Proxima Nova, Helvetica, and Futura.
Script fonts mimic various handwriting styles. These fonts include Dancing Script, Mr. Dafoe, Parisienne, and Lobster.
Decorative, fancy fonts are bolder, with more flourish and personality. These fonts include Cooper Black, Bourton, Abril Fatface, Gilro, and Gazpacho.
In general, professional emails should use fonts from the serif and sans serif font families. These typeface styles are more legible than script and fancy fonts, making reading and comprehension easy for the reader.
System fonts vs. web fonts
The text of your email is the most important part of every message you send. Unfortunately, not all fonts render properly across email clients, devices, and operating systems. For this reason, professionals must know the difference between system fonts and web fonts.
System fonts are installed in the operating system. These fonts usually render appropriately no matter where emails are sent to.
Web fonts are arguably more fun than your average pre-installed system fonts, but they are not always a good choice for professional email messages. Web fonts are notorious for failing to render and might require extra TLC if you want them to land hassle-free in your recipient’s inbox.
Although a fun web font may add personality and make your emails stand out, they don’t have a professional look, plus they might not work well with reader’s email clients. For best results, go with a system font guaranteed to come across on your client’s end.
Best email fonts for 2023
According to science, some fonts are better for email than others. A recent study compared the readability of various fonts for people with a spectrum of abilities both on paper and on screen.
The results of the study showed that Arial, Courier, and Helvetica were the easiest to read for those with and without dyslexia. When it came to preference, readers agreed that Arial and Helvetica were at the top of the list, but they also liked the Verdana font.
Scientists concluded that sans serifs were the most popular for preference and readability, but the difference between sans serifs and serif fonts was negligible. Here are the best email fonts for professionals to use in their work emails in 2023:
- Courier New
- Open Sans
- PT Serif
- Times New Roman
As you can see, there are still plenty of professional-looking fonts to choose from. Don’t be tempted to go with a script or a decorative font. For business emails, serifs and sans serifs are the best choices.
Sometimes, people only have time to scan through emails for crucial information, so it’s best to choose fonts that are readable and accessible. Serifs are the easiest to read, but many people prefer sans serifs, too. Don’t forget to consider the size of your text and the colors you choose to make your emails look and feel as professional as possible.
Choose a professional font from our list of best email fonts for 2023 for improved readability, better accessibility, and improved collaboration overall.
Author Bio: Gary Stevens
CTO of Hosting Canada, a website that provides expert reviews on hosting services and helps readers build online businesses and blogs.