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Email typography: Choosing the right fonts
Email typography: Choosing the right fonts
Andy Fowler avatar
Written by Andy Fowler
Updated over a week ago

Typography is one of the many ways that you can make your marketing emails stand out. Make sure that your messages look good in as many inboxes as possible by choosing fonts that work well with most email clients.

In this article you’ll learn about the font choices available to you in Nutshell Campaigns and some best practices for choosing ones that work in most inboxes.

Which fonts can I use in my emails?

HTML email supports two types of fonts: system fonts that will display correctly for most recipients and web fonts that are provided through services like Google Fonts. Nutshell Campaigns provides you with some great options of both.

System fonts

System fonts are fonts that are already included in most operating systems. Since most recipients will already have these fonts installed on their phones or computers, you can expect messages designed with system fonts to appear exactly as you designed them in most email clients.

Nutshell Campaigns provides a handful of the most reliable system fonts:

Sans serif

  • Arial

  • Arial Black

  • Tahoma

  • Trebuchet MS

  • Verdana


  • Courier

  • Courier New

  • Georgia

  • Times

  • Times New Roman


  • Courier

  • Courier New

Web fonts

Web fonts allow designers to use fonts that are not already installed on their recipients’ computers. These are sourced from libraries like Google Fonts and are widely supported in modern web design. Unfortunately, HTML email lags behind.

Only a very small number of email clients currently support web fonts:

  • Apple Mail

  • iOS Mail

  • Thunderbird

  • Outlook 2000

  • Android (default email client)

  • app

If you prefer to design your messages with web fonts, it’s important to keep in mind that they may appear differently in some inboxes. When this happens, the email client will display a fallback font instead.

Nutshell Campaigns provides a variety of web fonts in many design styles:

Sans serif




Fallback fonts

Some email clients do not support the use of web fonts.

In these cases, the email client will display a hand-selected fallback font instead. These are system fonts we’ve chosen for you that match the style and character width of each web font as closely as possible.

For example, this is how a message designed with Poppins might appear in a mail client that doesn’t support web fonts. Instead of Poppins, the email client displays a fallback system font, Verdana:


We recommend using the Litmus email testing tool to quickly preview how your messages will display in over 90 different email clients.

Frequently asked questions

Why aren’t my web fonts displaying correctly?

When a message is opened in an email client that does not support web fonts, it will display a fallback font instead. These are system fonts that match the corresponding web fonts as closely as possible.

I don't see the font I want to use. Can I upload my own?

Nutshell Campaigns doesn’t currently allow custom font uploads, because custom fonts are very unlikely to appear correctly for most recipients.

To stay on brand and make sure your messages look great to all of your recipients, we recommend selecting a readable system font that goes well with your usual brand font and sticking with it. Color goes a long way for brand continuity in your messages, too!

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