Font-astic Advice for Swiftpage Email Marketers

Why can’t I use a particular font in my email template?

The Swiftpage Basic Editor has 6 embedded fonts. The Swiftpage Advanced Editor has 9 embedded fonts. Many desktop email clients have 250+ fonts available for use (mine has 868 to be exact). So why can’t I use one of the other 250+ fonts in my email template?

Swiftpage Editor Fonts

Many email clients such as Outlook and Gmail will allow users to pick fonts installed on a computer when creating emails. But what if your email recipients don’t have that particular font installed on their computer? A common misconception about emails is that whatever you send out, the recipient will see in the exact same manner. This includes font size, layout, color, and ultimately the font. Rendering of the email depends on the program your recipients are using to view their email as well as what fonts they have installed on their computer. Click here for information about email rendering>

Whether it is a web-based option like Gmail or Yahoo, or a desktop program like Outlook or Apple Mail, font selections differ greatly, therefore introducing the need for Browser Safe Web Fonts. Browser Safe Web Fonts are fonts that allow for universal rendering and generally come pre-installed on most computers as defaults without the necessity to install anything extra to view them. For a list of all Browser Safe Web Fonts visit:

Font Q & A

Why does it matter what the font looks like when the recipient receives it?

  1. Consistent branding
  2. Better user experience
  3. Higher readership
  4. Professionalism which drives business and sales
  5. Peace of mind

What is the best way to test an email template for rending and compatibility issues?
We recommend testing your email across as many email services and Internet browsers as possible. Many web email clients offer free email accounts and desktop programs offer free trials. We recommend using email systems that most of your recipients will be using as well as having your co-workers or peers double-check emails as well. Once you have your list of email addresses, it is easy to create a test group inside your CRM software or Swiftpage List Manager.

Editor Test Group

If you don’t have time to test your email against different email clients and devices, Bright Peak offers an Email Analysis service that shows real examples of your email campaigns in over 30 email clients and eight devices so that you can get an accurate assessment of how your campaign will look before you send.

But what if the recipient is on an Apple computer and you sent from a PC?
The best resource to check Browser Safe Web Fonts for Windows and Mac parallels is to visit: This site allows you to preview fonts on different operating systems as well as gives you alternatives for Mac/PC differences.

Tired of Arial or Times New Roman?
If you are looking for Browser Safe Web Fonts that are unique, try Trebuchet MS or Palatino Linotype. These fonts offer subtle variations and can add a fresh look to your marketing design pieces. Note: You need to edit the HTML code in order for these to show in your templates. Bright Peak and Swiftpage do not offer technical support or training for HTML.

Still looking to use a specific font in your email template?
The answer is simple, use an image instead. This allows you to get the look, effect and branding you would like. Just be sure to edit the text in an external image editing software like Paint or Photoshop beforehand and then import the image into your email template.

Bright Peak uses this workaround if a client wants specific areas of their templates a particular font like Museo 300 Regular but wants other sections with editable Browser Safe Web Fonts like Arial.

Fonts Example

What if I want the entire template to be a non-Browser Safe Web font?
Best practice is to have a balance of editable text and graphics. If you have an email template that is all images, it can affect the deliverability rates, complicate rendering, affect text-only based emails if the proper alt (alternative) text isn’t implemented, and loss of image quality. You are also heavily relying on the fact that the recipient will receive the images or allow for the images to automatically download into their email client.

I saw a font website offering “web fonts”; can I use these in my emails?
Web fonts are fonts embedded with the website for use on that specific site using CSS. As it says in the name, they are “web fonts”, not “email fonts” and cannot be used for emails.

If you have more questions about fonts or are looking for help with your email design, contact Bright Peak.

About Luke Siegle

Joining Swiftpage in July of 2010, Luke currently manages Bright Peak, the creative services division of Swiftpage. A Colorado native, he can be found outdoors skiing, fishing, or hiking. He also enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family.


  1. Bright Peak Tip: Matching Emails and PDF Document Fonts | Swiftpage Marketing Blog - February 27, 2013

    […] a Listed Browser Safe Font or Find a Close […]

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