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Common Font Family and Typeface Styles

typeface help Be sure to use common fonts such as these on your web pages. If you don't use a common font and the person viewing your page doesn't have the font you are using on your page installed in their computer, they will not see the font you want them to see. Their browser will display a default font such as Times New Roman for example and your design will not display the way you intended.


To easily solve this problem web designers use what are considered to be common fonts. Designers consider these names to be some of the ones that most people already have installed on their computers. It is an easy solution because you don't need to do anything extra. Now you can use the fonts that most everyone already has.

Another method called embedding fonts can show a font that most people don't have. This method requires extra coding and planning. You will place code on the page that automatically downloads the required fonts from a source that is external to the viewer's computer. They are not installed on their computer permanently. However, the browser temporarily uses them while you are viewing the page.

The upside of this method is that you can use almost any font provided it is of the proper type. Common file extensions include TTF, OTF, WOFF, and EOT. Developers have designed browsers to use these types when you embed them into your pages.

The downside is that since the browser must download these fonts in an on-demand fashion that adds to the total file size of the page. A font used in this manner can add another 500K to the page. This added size may not be so bad for a desktop device on a high-speed connection that has mostly unlimited bandwidth. A mobile device, however, usually has bandwidth limits and speed constraints, so on a mobile device, this arrangement would not be as desirable. Running your page through one of the online web page testers would frown upon this additional page load.

We don't delve into the complete process of using embedded fonts here. However, there are numerous resources available that you can find by running an internet search. Search for: open fonts embedded on websites or web pages.

Here Are Some Examples of Common Fonts and Typeface Styles

  • arial
  • comic sans ms
  • courier new
  • georgia
  • impact
  • ms serif
  • sans-serif
  • serif
  • tahoma
  • times new roman
  • trebuchet ms
  • verdana
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