Carefully choosing the best font for your email signature isn’t superficial. Don’t underestimate the importance of your email signature.
It provides your contact information, of course, but it also gives you the chance to show your personality and introduce the person behind the email. It may also include links to your business website and to other sites that you want the recipient to visit.
But did you know that the font you choose for your email signature is just as important as the signature itself? Using the right or wrong font can make or break your interaction.
If you’re not sure which font family to use, don’t worry.
In this guide, we’ll talk about:
- Which typeface to use (we recommend serif fonts and sans serif fonts)
- If it’s okay to use a custom font (it’s not)
- What web safe fonts are (fonts that show up on all or most devices)
- Best practices for creating your email signature (using bold, colors, choosing font size)
- Aspects to consider when creating an email signature (the brand’s reputation, visual perception, etc.)
Keep reading to find out which is the best font for your email signature.
How to Choose the Best Signature Font
An email signature contains several important elements and it’s important to pay attention to all of them. This includes the user’s photo, the color scheme, your template style and, of course, the font type.
Believe it or not, your font says a lot about you, your business, and your brand, so it’s important to make a careful decision when creating your business email signature.
Short List of the Best Fonts for Email Signatures
Although there are thousands and thousands of fonts in existence, there are far fewer viable email safe fonts.
Below is a list of 14 serif and sans serif fonts. All these fonts would work well for any signature:
3. Times Neue Roman
5. PT Serif
Sans serif fonts:
8. Open Sans
Serif vs. Sans Serif
The primary difference between serif and sans serif refers to the small strokes at the end of certain letters. The letters that have these strokes are referred to as serif fonts and the letters that don’t have these strokes are, therefore, sans serif fonts.
The serif font style is most commonly used in books and newspapers and is a great option for companies that want a more traditional look and to convey a sense of heritage. Companies or institutions that might use this font style would be Wells Fargo and Harvard.
Sans serif fonts are considered to be more modern, clean, and straightforward and would be appropriate for companies like Apple or Target. From a psychological standpoint, this font family is believed to indicate sensibility and honesty.
Stick to the serif and sans serif fonts that we suggest here to ensure that your signature is clean and easy to read.
The Science Behind Fonts
The use of certain fonts for your email template is not at all random. It’s actually scientific.
A study was conducted in 2006 which sought to identify the personalities and emotions associated with different fonts.
It concluded that serif fonts were seen as formal, stable, mature, and practical. In this study, sans serif fonts were neutral and did not score high or low on any traits. Script and modern fonts, which you should generally avoid in your email signature, were described as rude, sad, and rebellious.
Web Safe Fonts
While you may have personal preferences when it comes to font styles, it’s important to be practical and stick to what are called ” web safe fonts.”
These are essentially fonts that are not only compatible with all operating systems and mobile devices, but they’re also displayed correctly by all major email providers, from Apple Mail and Gmail to Microsoft Outlook, no matter the platform: Mac, PC, iOS, Android, etc.
As web safe fonts are generally included in most operating systems, it’s more likely that they will be available and appear on your recipient’s device when your email signature appears.
Best Email Signature Fonts with Examples
Let’s take a closer look at what each recommended web safe font looks like:
Times Neue Roman
Of course, you can always do a bit of research yourself into the Microsoft font library and the Google font library and look for similar fonts to use.
How Not to Use Fonts in Email Signatures
While there are certain rules you should follow when creating your signature, there are also practices to avoid in the process.
Fonts to Avoid
For the most part, you’re going to want to avoid custom fonts that are too fancy and “creative.” These are fonts like comic sans, armies display, metropolis, and anything cursive or those which incorporate calligraphy.
Even if your business uses a special custom font, you should reconsider using it as your professional signature font.
Using the “wrong” email signature font can have several negative impacts:
Difficult to read: Fonts that are very decorative make it impossible to read your signature.
Looking cluttered: The wrong font can leave your signature looking cluttered.
Impossible to see: A complex font might not even be visible on the recipient’s computer.
Chances are he or she may not have your specific font installed on their device. When your email signature appears, your information won’t be seen properly and might be replaced by a fallback font that your recipient uses.
Here are some examples of decorative fonts you want to avoid:
While they might speak to you aesthetically, and they might be a part of your brand’s identity, using them is risky.
Email Signature Font Best Practices
If you’re ready to create a stellar email signature, you’ll need to follow some best practices and consider different design elements.
Choose the Right Font
As we said, stick to serif and sans serif typefaces, especially the ones we recommend above.
Try Out Different Sizes
When it comes to font size, use anything from 10pt to 13pt. You could potentially use 14pt, especially if your recipients are visually impaired. We recommend playing around with these sizes and seeing which one works best.
It’s always a good idea to be consistent. Use the same font in your email signature as you use in the body of an email. If the company you work for sends emails using Verdana, then use Verdana in your email signature.
A mix of fonts in the body of an email and the email signature should be avoided.
Use Special Formatting
Don’t be afraid of using bold and italics in the email signature. The eye is naturally drawn to words with these types of formatting and it is absolutely okay to use them.
You can do this to your name, your email, the company tagline, or anywhere else it seems appropriate. Just don’t go too crazy.
Avoid Bright Colors
It’s perfectly okay to use color, as long as you don’t go overboard. Use 1 or 2, maybe 3 colors in your entire signature. Less is definitely more in this situation.
Along the same lines, pick a dark font color or 2, such as brown, black, or gray. When you use bright colors, like yellow and pink, the text becomes very hard to read and nobody is going to take you seriously.
Choosing the best font for your professional email signature is an important decision. You always want to put your best foot forward and leave a positive impression on the people with which you’re corresponding. It’s important to create a signature and choose a font style that conveys credibility and seriousness.
The good news is that now you have all the information you need to choose the right font for your email signature. Whether you choose a sans serif font or a serif font, both options will ensure that you come across as serious and professional.
For other related content check out our picks of the best fonts for blogs.