I’ll admit, that title isn’t totally true. I have way more than three favorite serif web fonts! But three is a nice number to start with and I plan to turn this into a series. So really these are my current favorite serif web fonts.
I try to keep several things in mind when looking for client web fonts:
What is the goal for the final look and feel of the website?
Who is the website's target audience?
What font is going to be the most legible when read on a screen?
I stand by the idea that large amounts of sans serif fonts are easier to read on a computer or electronic device. Serif fonts almost always work better as headers or very large text. I know there is some contention about whether this is true or not at this point in time, but I err on the side of caution. And my own experience! I can’t count the number of times I’ve gone to a website that looks very pretty but is killer to read. That gray teeny tiny serif font bums me out and strains my eyes.
So I’d recommend the following fonts for large text on your website.
Adobe Garamond might seem like an odd choice, but it’s a font I return to again and again. Adobe Garamond is a classic (it’s an Adobe original font), it’s readable, and it has a beautiful italic option. I particularly like Adobe Garamond when it's used as the only font on a website. The difference between regular and italic Adobe Garamond is so distinct that it's like using two different fonts.
Freight Text is a font I recently discovered. To me, it’s a friendly font that looks great when it's big. It has a high x-height, so it’s very readable. It's a font that can convey different meaning just by changing the weight. I’ve been using Freight Text on a website for a reluctant client. He isn’t very interested in having a web presence, but his profession makes it necessary. Freight Text felt like a great option to use throughout his website. It’s professional, but also bold, clear, and doesn’t feel old fashioned.
Merriweather is one of the fonts I return to again and again. I love it! I find that Merriweather connotes a certain professionalism without being too stuffy. It looks more modern at a lower weight, but looks great large and bold as well. If you couldn’t tell, I use it on my own site for my logo and it continues to make me smile!
What serif web fonts do you love?