What are the Best Fonts for Email? What Are Email Safe Fonts?

Email Fonts

You’ve all heard my complaints on the lack of advancements in email support over the years so I won’t spend (too much) time whining about it.  I only wish that one large email client (app or browser), would break out of the pack and try to fully support the latest versions of HTML and CSS. I have no doubt that tens of millions of dollars are being spent by companies to fine-tune their emails.

That’s why it’s fantastic to have companies like Email Monks who stay on top of every aspect of email design. In this latest infographic, Typography in Emails, the team walks you through typography and how different fonts and their characteristics can be deployed to customize your emails. 60% of email clients now support custom fonts utilized in your email designs including AOL Mail, Native Android Mail App (not Gmail), Apple Mail, iOS Mail, Outlook 200, Outlook.com, and Safari-based email.

There are 4 Font Families Used in Email

  • Serif – Serif fonts have characters with flourishes, points, and shapes on the ends of their strokes. They have a formal look, well-spaced characters and line spacing, greatly improving readability. Most popular fonts in this category are Times, Georgia and MS Serif.
  • Sans Serif – Sans serif fonts are like the rebellious kind who wish to create an impression of their own and so don’t have any fancy ’embellishments’ attached. They have a semi-formal look which promotes practicality over looks. Most popular fonts in this category are Arial, Tahoma, Trebuchet MS, Open Sans, Roboto and Verdana.
  • Monogram – Inspired from the typewriter font, these fonts have a block or ‘slab’ at the end of the characters. Though rarely used in an HTML email, most of the ‘fallback’ plain text emails in MultiMIME emails use these fonts. Reading an email using these fonts gives an administrative feeling associated with government documents. Courier is the most commonly used font in this category.
  • Calligraphy – Imitating the handwritten letters of the past, what sets these fonts apart is the flowing movement that each character follows. These fonts are quite fun to read in a tangible medium, but reading them on a digital screen can be quite cumbersome and eye-straining. So such fonts are mostly used in headings or logos in the form of static image.

Email-safe fonts include Arial, Georgia, Helvetica, Lucida, Tahoma, Times, Trebuchet, and Verdana. Custom fonts include quite a few families, and for the clients that don’t support them, it’s necessary to code in fallback fonts. This way, if the client can’t support the customized font, it will fallback to a font that it can support. For a more in-depth look, be sure to read Omnisend’s article, Email Safe Fonts vs. Custom Fonts: What You Need To Know About Them.

Typography in Email Infographic

Be sure to click-through if you’d like to interact with the infographic.