Why is Open Sans such a popular web font?

Have you also wanted to find and use a new, beautiful, special fonts for a web site, but ended up using Open Sans again? And again. I have.

There is an interesting article today at “A List Apart”, written by Jeremiah Shoaf, called “The Rich (Typefaces) Get Richer”. About why the majority of people end up using the same very few fonts over and over again. And how to break that and find something that can be a more unique graphical identity, for your company or blog. I think he is totally right and could not agree more.

But why did I use Open Sans again? (Not on this site, another project.) Well, I actually tried and tested a lot of fonts. But I wanted it to be a free font (and that maybe was my biggest mistake…). I wanted it to signal “nice and open, but serious business”, “modern, but neutral, not young and trendy”, “facts, numbers and tech, but not boring”. And it should be easiest possible to read online and on mobile.

So, after much testing, it landed on Open Sans. Even thou I knew it was over-used already. Because many other free fonts felt too soft, or too geometrical, or did not handle numbers the way I needed it too, or just had poor kerning and looked awful.

But after reading this great article I got some new inspiration and new tips on where to look for good fonts, so whenever I feel that I have nothing to do and lots of hours free, I will dig into the world of fonts again. Because you need time if you are gonna find something not on the top 10.

Typography is so interesting and nice to learn more about! I can really recommend Jeremiah Shoaf´s site Typewolf if you are interested too, it is very good! I follow his newsletter and you should too.

I do not follow all rules, but I know why I break them. ;-)

Lena Svalfors Hedin
Hi! My name is Lena and I love creative and beautiful things in life. Sometimes it inspires me to photograph and write something about it, hopefully you can enjoy it too. I have previously been freelancing as an illustrator, now I have a day job focused on communication, web development and graphic design for print and web.
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