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I am trying to create a website for schools targeting elementary to high school students, and was wondering what characteristics I should look for in a font to make sure its "safe" or ideal? Are there particular qualities I should avoid in this situation?

Any advice would be appreciated.

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    Your wording would've been closed as Primarily Opinion Based so I edited it to be more constructive to all visitors and able to remain open. If I made any mistakes please use the edit button to make additional changes. – Ryan Jul 1 '16 at 14:46
  • It shouldn't depend on the type of business. It should depend mainly on what they want to convey, as well as drawing from any existing branding or marketing materials; in essence, normal rules for choosing a font apply. – Dom Jul 1 '16 at 15:24
  • I am not certain which schools i will be targeting. All i know is elementary/highschools and is looking for a safe font – John Jul 1 '16 at 15:25
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    Does that mean the font will have to support Devanagari? – Fredrick Brennan Jul 2 '16 at 14:18
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    to be safe yes it will have to support Devanagari – John Jul 2 '16 at 14:27
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Without knowing more about the content of the site, I could see three paths:

  1. If the website contain large blocks of educational text, I would look for

    • Legibility and ease of reading
    • Clean lines (free of distraction and emphasizing simplicity)
    • Friendly rather than intimidating

    One of the more commonly used sans serif fonts would fit the bill here.

  2. If the website is trying to establish itself as an educational institution to convince parents and prospective students that it is legitimate, a serif font would probably work better.

  3. If it's an art school, alternative school, or a new-age school, for example if the institution is similar to The Parsons School of Design, I would look to a bold sans serif (e.g. Helvetica Neue).

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From what I can understand, your asking what style of font best characterises the 'ideal' educational institution - respected, safe, knowledgeable.

This is a very personal question as the subject of fonts is a very subjective one with many personal responses pertaining to the context of exposure to various graphical triggers.

Personally, in educational institutions, I view the Serif typeface to be more authoritative, as opposed to Sans. Despite the 'older' look, which many may perceive to symbolise 'lack of progress', the font as a whole invokes a sense of foundation and stability, due to the longevity of its existence.

Times New Roman is one of the most basic and you can delve further from these.

Some pragmatistic examples include many universities, especially the top 8 in America (IVY league) which primarily incorporate these.

A good example of more modern alterations extend to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who have a badge with the older Serif look, whilst maintaining a modern Sans typeface.

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