Transform Your Blog’s Look with Custom Fonts

Last month, Matt Wiebe announced a collection of new fonts for users with the Custom Design upgrade. In the past, we’ve highlighted blogs using fonts in creative, effective ways, so we wanted to dive into the pool of customized sites again to find more examples of fonts in the wild.

things{we}make

Things We Make

The fonts at Claire Sutton’s blog, things{we}make, are bold and strong, but readable and elegant as well. Claire didn’t want the typefaces to stand out too much. “I wanted the photos to lead the stories, so that the words are just a foil to them,” she says.

Things We Make Header

Her font choices complement the design of her custom header (above), created by Jacqui at Print for Love of Wood, a letterpress studio in the United Kingdom. “I asked Jacqui to print ‘Things We Make’ using some of her wooden letters, as I love their quality and texture,” says Claire. She chose this antique typeface:

letters

Font choices in the Customizer.

With that design in place, Claire chose Museo Slab as the font for her headings, as it was the closest approximation to the slab serif font in her letterpress header. “I like its bold, clear, unfussy appearance,” says Claire. For the body text, she knew she wanted to contrast Museo Slab with a sans serif font. “Calluna Sans is a humanist, open, and easy-to-read font that works well in white on a black background.”

“The best thing about Custom Design is the ability to try things out until they look right,” says Claire. “I flick through different themes, colors, and fonts to see if I fancy a change, and you can do this without breaking anything — even if you know nothing about code.”

You, too, can test custom fonts in live preview mode. To try it out, go to Appearance → Customize in your dashboard. Claire has written about customizing her blog in more detail, including other CSS tweaks. Check it out!

Tie That Binds

Tie That Binds

Over at Tie That Binds, Mekala showcases her company, which specializes in custom invitations and styling for weddings. Her blog design is soft and inviting, and the dark text and silver accents contrast her pastel background and pink headlines nicely. Her font, Sorts Mill Goudy, complements the site’s aesthetic, her stationery design, as well as the photographs in her posts:

Image from Tie That Binds

Image from Tie That Binds

“Sorts Mill Goudy is a revival of the original trusted font, Goudy Old Style. Goudy Old Style was designed in the early 20th century and is a classic, solid, and easy-to-read typeface,” says Mekala. “It’s known to be graceful and balanced, with a few eccentricities — much like the love stories of those for whom we create custom invitations.”

Tie That Binds-social icons

Sorts Mill Goudy helps tie her site’s design elements together and matches the festive mood and elegance shown in her event styling.

Intoxicology Report

Chris Kassel’s Intoxicology Report — a “contra-connoisseur’s guide to wine, beer, and spirits” — has a creative background reminiscent of filed papers and written reports.

Intoxicology Report

Here, he transforms the ever-popular Twenty Ten theme with a bold background and header image designed by his son, Jesse Kassel, and selects Arvo for his headings and body text. Arvo is a geometric slab-serif typeface that’s strong and holds its own against the site’s design, but doesn’t call too much attention to itself, allowing Chris’ thoughts to take center stage:

Arvo

Other blogs with custom fonts

A few more sites using custom fonts caught our eye — if you’re looking for more ideas and inspiration, read on:

  • High Plains Thrifter: Blogger and thrift store shopper Meghan uses the calligraphic font Fertigo Pro Script to dress up the titles of her posts and widgets. Designed by Tabitha Emma, the site is whimsical, crafty, and fun.
  • A Quiet Week in the House: Lori writes about Asperger’s and autism as both a parent of an Asperger’s child and as an adult with Asperger’s. She uses Elemin, a premium theme, and keeps her site minimal and clean. Her fonts — Ronnia Condensed for her post titles and PT Serif for her body textcreate an easy reading experience, allowing visitors to focus on her content.
  • The Blue Hour: The blog of photographer Brian W. Ferry nicely displays his images, while the familiar typewriter-style Courier fonts in his posts creates an almost DIY/documentary feel, as if he’s jotting down notes to accompany his snapshots. He also uses Typekit to display Luxi Sans and Vera Sans for his menu links and tags.

Interested in using custom fonts, too? Check out the Custom Design upgrade, which allows you to tweak your blog with custom fonts, colors, and CSS.


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Cheri Lucas Rowlands

16 Comments

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  1. Sofia

    Ever since I started blogging here at WP and got the customisation pack I’ve been totally obsessed with learning about fonts (even though my rather minimalistic blog might not show it…), so thanks for sharing these blogs and seeing these great font ideas setting together with the mood of their blogs. Cheers!

    Like

  2. Teepee12

    I use custom fonts and have for a year. I love the choices they give me. There is a minor issue in that you cannot use a one font for the blog title but a different one for other headlines. You can get around this by creating a special graphic to use for the title, but that is a lot of work when, like me, you change your header picture daily … it would mean creating a new graphic every day — a bit more work than I have time to do. If you ever feel inclined, it would be nice to be able to designate a special font JUST for the blog title and “slug.” What do you think?

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  3. The Om Room

    Lovely, though I’ve got my website how I want it and I don’t want to potentially mess it up trying something new. I think I’ll leave it until after Christmas, when I’ll have more time!

    Like

  4. aqilaqamar

    Great option but it is free in some blogging platforms. Uh, is the Vigilance theme taken off?

    Like

  5. PiedType

    Any time someone says “fonts,” they instantly get my full attention. I’m so grateful that WP gives me so many opportunities to play with fonts (I remember the old days when we could design any page we wanted but had about two default fonts to choose from).

    Like

  6. dilmilgaya.com

    Love the way the different fonts emphasize the content. I am happy with my blogs font & design but just need to change the font colour which maybe someday will not require paid customization but will be be allowed as a free option.

    Like

  7. Matt George

    Custom fonts is one thing I have to try and exploit more on my blog. Cool font you showcased for the “things{we}make” blog.

    Like

  8. belle.beckford

    I purchased the CSS upgrade a month or two ago and I have been so obsessed with testing out new fonts, changing colors, and writing CSS codes to improve the look of my blog! I’m so obsessed! I fear I may be spending more time doing that than blogging :)

    Like

  9. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    Must admit fonts do make a difference. Alas alas, my budget. But a very tempting post.

    Like

  10. Ninna

    I just love the customization pack, but I have one little problem with the fonts. I can’t see what the fonts do to my blog while doing it! I have to save, and then look at the pages, and if I don’t like it or want to change the size, I have to open the custumizer again and start all over. Without seeing any changes of the default font. At first, when I bought the customizer all was okay, but later something must have happened. It’s a pity!

    Otherwise I love it! I test backgrounds and colours, and now and then I try out different themes. I have really much fun with it! For the moment I have christmas on the blog, but as time passes I’ll change colors and header pictures to match the seasons.

    Like

  11. Tũn Xinh Trai

    Must admit fonts do make a difference. Alas alas, my budget. But a very tempting post.

    Like

  12. ange79398

    “We should score literature like we score wine.” The art of writing is embodied from font to sentence structure to paragraph arrangement. It is really helpful for starters to get into writing with variety of fonts and other designs they could play with. Interest is the best motivation.

    Like

  13. orthodoxchristian2

    This looks like a cool customizing tool. I should try it out sometime.

    Like

  14. KidLitReviews

    I have the custom fonts and would change them up more often if when you changed the font, all the past posts and pages did not also change to that font. Is there way to stop this from happening?

    I cannot figure out the point of paying for the privilege of changing fonts and colors if I cannot change them on a page by page or post by post, basis rather than by a blog by blog basis.

    I tried using the small, medium large css/html with the fonts as I write (per a support page at WP), but it never works.

    I would love for some suggestions that have worked for you.

    Or maybe WordPress will change something so having varied fonts actually means something other than changing the entire blog each time the font for one post changes.

    Like

  15. KidLitReviews

    One other thing I would love for WordPress to change is charging one fee for all my blogs (3 Right now it would cost $90 if I did this with all three instead of the only one I can afford.

    Like

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