Anything to lose using non-standard fonts for web page content?
Posted on 2012-08-14
I have heard there is an unwritten (or maybe it is written somewhere) rule to only use extremely basic fonts when creating copy or page content for a website. How important is it to follow that rule?
I have been told that the rationale for this practice is related to not everyone having a full complement of fonts on their computer. As a result, when the web page is rendered on their screen, their system has to replace the font with one it does has.
That makes perfect sense but the question that comes to mind is, "Do you really have that much to lose?" In other words, suppose for example you want to use a font like Comic Sans MS because it fits more with the feel you want for the page.
When the page is rendered, users who have Comic Sans MS on their system will see it that way and everything will be peachy. On the other hand, users who do not have Comic Sans MS, will see the page rendered in some more ordinary (boring) font supplied by their own system. The net effect is that you haven't really lost anything with the latter group compared to having used the ordinary font yourself (as is recommended) but you have possibly gained something with the former group who sees the more lively Comic Sans MS.
I am anticipating that there is some flaw in my thought process but I cannot figure out what it is. If someone would therefore enlighten me, I would be most grateful.