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I just read a study on fonts and people's preferences
for them. As an experiment I changed my font to the second most popular one they had listed ( Georgia). Within two days sales were up 20% and have stayed up for the last two weeks. Thinking it was a fluke I checked my stats for this period over the last three years and sales had been pretty equal for March. Has anyone found experimented with fonts and got an increase in sales?
For those of us unfamiliar with Georgia, Lovejoy's link includes a graphic comparison [img.clickz.com]. Interesting how Georgia appears to be a hybrid, coupling the roundness of san serif fonts Arial and Verdana (but not as wide) and Helvetica with the serifs of good old Times.
Note to (potential) Switchers: Georgia may not be installed so sales bumps or hit rates, up or down, may be independent of font changes.
(Where things get really odd for me is when people set font size on the tiny side. Most -3 'PC font' settings on my both my Mac desktop and laptop machines are practically unreadable, even with reading glasses:)
Anyway, thanks again for the info!
And then again, there could have been a number of things that contributed to the downfall. I find it really hard to say one font is better or worse than another since there's rarely a case in which you use just text on a page or site. Fonts play with the other graphics. Some matches are better than others.
So, just wanted to put that out there - no, I don't think Georgia is the secret power-font. Especially for lists of numbers . . . ;)
I was just explaining this the other day. People who do alot of shopping online are familiar with certain fonts representing different functions. Other than the fact that these fonts are easy to read, they are also familiar "shopping" fonts which makes visitors comfortable to "do what they came to do" on your site.
this article provides a good font family declaration for unix, mac and windows machines- [realworldstyle.com...]
imo, visitor stats are very useful in deciding fonts. niche sites with mainly Mac or Windows users can take advantage of the OS's anti-aliasing to use fonts like Myriad, etc (http://www.digital-web.com/)
This morning the New York Times, along with many other changes to its website, changed its font to Georgia 11.
F! What are they thinking over there?! Ok, I may have implied earlier that I didn't like Georgia but now I'm stating it: Georgia is a mess. NYtimes used to be my favorite site to read without RSS. Dang!
font-family: Arial, sans-serif
font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif
font-family: Georgia, serif
In addition to being a near-historic real world typeface, Helvetica is a Mac font, akin to a narrow Arial.
(Ironically, there used to be a very vocal contingent that argued against hard-coding any font faces whatsoever because of a decrease in accessibility/readability and a (potential) increase in rendering time. I guess that group went the way of the contingent that argued against advertising on the Web. My eyes miss those guys.)
2.) One other font-related factor is that most young'uns (thirtysomethings and under:) tend to discount or ignore an aging population. The advent of LASIK notwithstanding, many moons ago in the print marketing world, a very smart boss taught me not to incorporate too-small text into my designs because X number of people wouldn't be able to read the copy.
3.) I've found the same holds true on the Web today. One seller on eBay uses a speak-the-listing clip, multiple animations, mixed fonts and sizes, and poorly lit and focused 400k photos in every listing. They tend to sell in my collecting area so I encounter their stuff via e-mail link on occasion. The second I hit one of their sensory-assaulting auctions, I am so outta there.
Bottom Line (imo): If you want to communicate with the largest group of people/buyers possible, don't get all fancy with your code because with every doo-dad you add (or font face you specify, or font size you decrease), you lose part of your market.
(Plus, as in the case of that eBay seller, you also look really nutty:)
They give an "elegant", flowing feel, and since there generally are no pixel-resolution concerns in print, they are popular for newspaper and magazine articles.
A lot has been done to redesign serif faces for digital use. (And Georgia is one of those faces designed specifically with this in mind.) But I think the holy grail for serif faces is simply to be as readable as a sans-serif face.
I'd stick to sans-serif faces on websites, except for decorative and headline use.
A given face might look good on YOUR monitor, but keep in mind that webmasters generally have much better monitors than their readers.
** Been number 1 on Google for my keywords and on the first page of the other major engines for the last two years.
But even similar san serif fonts' widths can differ a lot so if a page or site is particularly dependent on Verdana, Arial, etc., Mac people may not appreciate the nuances (or perfectionism:) involved. Of course, the reverse is also true -- if a Mac person hard-codes Helvetica, or, say, Apple Chancery, they'll be more than a bit surprised when they see their work on a PC.
small and standard size print = Arial
standard and medium (up to around 15px) = Verdana
larger (16px or 1.4em+) = Georgia
Verdana is kind of an iffy one, as the kerning can be a bit too much at times, and the "em" is much larger than Arial and most other fonts, so even though the letters look OK in small sizes, the spacing does not. Also, because Verdana in 12px is about the same size as Arial at 13 or 14px, it can mess up spacing.
We occasionally use other fonts, but even then stick with the "browser safe" ones, such as Tahoma, Comic Sans, Lucida, Palatino - and most of those only look decent in larger sizes, over 12px.
I tried putting a paragraph of arial with a paragraph of verdana below it and I found my eyes went to the verdana. But that's just a study of one. I wish there was more research on this topic.
Lovejoy, Are you using georgia in long articles or more on product pages? That could make a difference.