Even though it may seem like a small decision, your choice of font is something that impacts the entire presentation of your email.
A bad font choice could cause a potential client to ignore your message completely.
If that’s not enough, not every font looks the same on every device. You could spend an hour scrolling through the different fonts and find the perfect one, only for it to look awful on phone or tablet.
Do you go with the default font or do you venture out and try to find something special?
To try and light the way for this deceptively small decision, here is a list of email safe fonts that look great on every device.
Web-safe fonts that look great on every device
When it comes to crafting the perfect email, you should think of font as your message’s wardrobe.
Your message could be full of well-written, substantive content, but if it’s wearing a purple jumpsuit and an eyepatch, then its first impression is going to suffer.
You want to make sure your message is dressed in the most respectable, thematically appropriate outfit that compliments your message, as opposed to detracting from it.
Image Source: Really Good Emails
Here are some of the most attractive fonts your message can sport. No matter if it’s read on the computer, a phone, or a tablet, your message will look impressive in these fonts.
1. Times New Roman
When in doubt, stick with the classics.
Times New Roman has been used for newspapers since the 1930s and continues to be a highly legible, respectable font. You could be reading an email on a smart microwave, and Times New Roman would still look good.
Because of its all-purpose use as a newspaper font, Times New Roman can work with any message, regardless of tone.
Like Times New Roman, Courier is a serif font, which means it has little strokes at the ends of the letters’ edges. Adding flair without being flamboyant, like a tasteful pair of cufflinks.
While Courier began as a font for IBM’s typewriters, it’s currently one of the most popular computer fonts. This popularity is for a good reason, as Courier hasn’t yet met a non-friendly device.
Just as with its astonishingly effective jump from typewriter to computer, Courier can adapt to any situation.
This font is so beloved, Ray Charles sang a song about it. That was about the state. Or was it about a woman? Or the country? There sure are a lot of things called Georgia.
But few of them are as useful as the font, which is serif, just like Times New Roman and Courier. Georgia is much younger than them, however, as it was created in the ‘90s specifically for Microsoft.
Georgia comes off incredibly well on every device and commands a certain level of respect. Its inspiration was from the Scotch Roman font from the 19th century, so it has quite the lineage.
Simple and to the point, Ariel makes for a fantastic font, no matter the device.
Unlike Times New Roman, Courier, and Georgia, Ariel is a sans serif font, so it has no flourishes at the end of its edges.
Image Source: Really Good Emails
That means that Ariel isn’t the most mind-blowing font, but it does adapt remarkably well to any device it’s on. Unpretentious and reliable, there’s nothing wrong with opting for Ariel for a good, straightforward email.
5. Comic Sans MS
Comic Sans MS is the ugly duckling of computer fonts. On the other hand, it also translates to a multitude of devices far better than most fonts, so even an ugly duckling can know a few tricks.
While adults might find the font to be unpleasant, children are bound to prefer its lighthearted, loose design.
With that in mind, Comic Sans MS could end up being your secret weapon for an email campaign for children’s toys or events.
Verdana is another web safe font that looks immensely presentable. Like Ariel, it’s sans serif, but it’s also more stylish than Ariel. This makes it a good middle-ground between the simplicity of Ariel and the newspaper look of Times New Roman.
One thing Verdana has going for that other fonts don’t is its large, elongated size. This only adds to its universal visibility.
It might make Verdana a good choice for email campaign marketed toward an older target audience who can’t read copy with ease.
7. Trebuchet MS
Another sans serif font, Trebuchet will appear clear as day on any device.
Like Georgia, Trebuchet was created specifically for Microsoft. The creator of the font style, Vincent Connare, got the idea for it after someone asked if it was possible to launch a person from one Microsoft campus to another with a trebuchet, a French catapult.
After Connare heard this, he thought it would be cool to create a font that would launch words across the internet. His idea came true since Trebuchet MS is now one of the few universal fonts that will appear on any device.
Other than being a really fun word to say out loud, Helvetica is another email marketer’s friend. It’s a sans serif font that’s become so popular, and it’s supported on every device.
This font goes all the way back to the ‘50s when it was invented by a Swiss font designer, Max Miedinger.
In case you don’t believe how popular Helvetica is, there was a feature-length documentary made about it in 2007.
Why is it important to choose email safe fonts?
Finding an email safe font is more than just finding something attractive, though that’s certainly part of the equation.
Image Source: Really Good Emails
Choosing an email safe font is important because your recipient’s computer can only load fonts that are already on their device. If you use a certain font that’s not on your recipient’s device, then their device automatically chooses a different font to display.
The problems this could cause are obvious. If you’re writing a serious email campaign for a hospital, you don’t want your recipient’s computer turning the font into something playful.
Aside from the tonal issues, you want to make sure 100% of the time that what you’re sending is what your recipient is seeing.
By sticking with the standard, web safe fonts that exist on every device, you don’t have to worry about someone seeming something that you didn’t intend.
Is your brand font an email safe font?
Since there’s only a handful of web safe fonts, you might be getting worried about your brand’s unique font. How are you supposed to insert your brand’s name if you can’t use its font? For instance, Coca-Cola loses something without that fancy, white cursive.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to insert a unique font in the text without worrying about issues with other devices. There is a workaround, however.
All you have to do is put your brand’s name in the picture. This way, you can’t have to worry about someone’s phone altering the font. It’s part of the static image.
Of course, this also works with GIFs.
It may be disappointing that you can’t use that cool, obscure font that you found after an hour of scrolling through names, the fact of the matter is that not all devices are equipped to handle all fonts.
Only a select few of the most standard, widely accepted fonts are suitable for an email campaign. In case you forgot, here they are.
- Times New Roman
- Comic Sans MS
- Trebuchet MS
While the fonts may not be the most flashy or original, they get the job done every single time. And when it comes to email marketing, the value of reliability can’t be overstated.
Plus, not using one of these email safe fonts is a recipe for disaster, because your recipients may receive the font style you intended. That may not sound disastrous on its face, but tonal inconsistencies can and will arise.
There is a workaround when it comes to adding your brand’s unique font, and that’s by putting it in an image or a GIF.
When it comes to choosing your font for emails, don’t play with fire.
Stick with the dependable fonts.
Are you interested in other email marketing tips? If so, you may be interested in our blog about our favorite email marketing case studies from 2018.