If you’ve ever received an email from someone written in Papyrus font or Comic Sans, you’re already well aware that font choice matters. 

The fonts we use make a huge difference to the professionalism, legibility, and aesthetics of our employee emails.  

And since the majority of emails sent from internal communications are text-heavy, font choice plays a big role in whether or not employees actually read your emails. 

Just like choosing the right template and images, choosing the right font for your employee emails is crucial. 

Unfortunately, support for fonts is often inconsistent across the email clients your employees use and email safe font choices are pretty limited. 

That’s why we’ve just released our own Custom Fonts feature—which we will tell you more about later in this post. 

But first, we’re going to show you:

  • Which fonts are email safe
  • Which fonts are safe for internal emails
  • If you should use web fonts in your internal emails
  • How to embed web fonts in your internal emails
  • How to use custom corporate fonts
  • How to convert fonts to images
  • Email font licensing considerations
  • How to use Custom Fonts in Bananatag

Let’s dive in.


Which fonts are email safe?

If you just want to keep things simple and use fonts that will look the same in all email clients, stick to the basics:

Serif (fonts with small decorative lines, or tapers, at the end of each letter):

  • Courier New
  • Georgia
  • Times
  • Times New Roman

Sans-Serif (fonts without the little decorative bits):

  • Arial
  • Helvetica
  • Tahoma
  • Trebuchet MS (Supported in all major clients except Outlook 2016)
  • Verdana

If those fonts work for you, then email away.

However, if you want to make your emails match your organization’s brand or take your designs to the next level, read on.


Which fonts are safe for internal emails?

If your employees are accessing their emails from the same or similar email clients, there may be additional fonts that are safe for you to use. 

For example, Arial Black is supported by Outlook 2016 but not by Outlook for Mac, iOS Mail, or Android Mail. So if Outlook 2016 is used company wide, feel free to add Arial Black to your list of safe fonts to use. 

If there are other fonts that were installed on your work computer by default, they also might be installed across your organization. Check with your IT or system admin team to confirm which fonts your employees have access to.


Can you use web fonts in your internal emails?

Web fonts are fonts that are hosted online by services like Google Fonts or Adobe Fonts.

Marketers tend to love web fonts because recipients aren’t required to have them installed on their devices for them to show up properly.

Unfortunately, they can cause problems when used for internal comms.

This is because many corporate firewalls block links to external resources, including web fonts. Using these fonts may expose information to the sites hosting them, which your IT team may view as a security risk.

They’re also only supported by some email clients, including:

  • The iOS mail app
  • The Android mail app
  • Apple Mail
  • Outlook 2000
  • Outlook.com app
  • Thunderbird

It’s for these reasons that we don’t recommend the use of embedded web fonts for internal communications.


How to embed web fonts in your internal emails, if you must

If you still want to try using them, you’re going to need some basic HTML knowledge since you’re going to have to stick some code in the <head> of your email.

The following steps are for Google Fonts and will differ slightly with different font providers.

  1. Head over to Google Fonts
  2. Find a font you want to use, likesuch as Open Sans
  3. Click ‘+ Select this style’
  4. Click the ‘View your selected families’ icon in the top right
  5. Select ‘Embed’
  6. Copy the following line of code: “<link href="https://fonts.googleapis.com/css2?family=Open+Sans&display=swap" rel="stylesheet">”
  7. Paste the line of code in the <head> section of your email
  8. Specify the font using the following CSS “font-family: 'Open Sans', sans-serif;”

Since web fonts aren’t universally supported, you also should specify a fallback font for email clients that don’t support them. The easiest way to do this is to add one of the always safe fonts from above to your CSS font stack. For example: “font-family: 'Open Sans', Arial, sans-serif;”.

Make sure to pick a fallback font that is as similar to your chosen font as possible so that your employees have a consistent email experience.


How to use custom corporate fonts

Many organizations have developed their own fonts to use across their brands.

In order to use these fonts in your emails, your recipients must have them installed on their machines. This may already be the case, but the fastest way to confirm this is likely to check with your IT or system admin team.


Converting fonts to images

If you want to use a custom font in just a few places in an email, like in the heading of your newsletter, a low-tech solution is to create the heading with something like Adobe Photoshop or Canva, save it as an image, and upload it as an image into your email design.

You can rest assured knowing that all recipients will now see the heading in the way it was intended.

We recommend only using this method for headings or titles and never for paragraphs or other longer amounts of text.

If you use images in the place of text, make sure to specify alt text so that recipients who rely on screen readers will still be able to hear the text that is contained in the image.


Licensing considerations

Whether you’re using a free, licensed, or corporate font, make sure that you understand the font’s license.

Some fonts may have a strictly ‘Desktop’ license, which means you aren’t permitted to embed them in emails. Additionally, web font licenses actually often prohibit using the fonts in emails.

Many fonts also limit the number of computers they can be installed on, so make sure your license permits enough users across your comms team and/or your wider organization.


How to use Custom Fonts in Bananatag

We’ve recently added a new feature to Bananatag that makes it easy for users on Power and Enterprise plans to add custom fonts to their emails.

If you’re already a Bananatag user and your organization has its own corporate font, or there’s a font that your organization uses but it wasn’t previously available in the Email Designer, simply reach out to your Account Manager and they can add the font to your account.

Your Account Manager will also specify a similar email safe fallback font that will display if the recipient doesn’t have your custom font installed.

Once we’ve added your custom fonts to your Bananatag account, you’ll see them listed in the Email Designer. You’ll also be able to set them as your primary fonts from the Branding Settings page.

If you’re not using Bananatag yet and would like to increase engagement with your communications by creating on-brand, professional internal emails with our drag-and-drop Email Designer, now featuring custom fonts, click below to book a demo.