What fonts can I use in my html email signature

The following list of fonts are safe to use in email signatures, as most PCs and Macs have these fonts installed.
  • Arial
  • Tahoma
  • Verdana
  • Trebuchet
  • Courier
  • Lucida
  • Times New Roman
  • Georgia
  • Palatino
  • Impact (now included in Windows 10)
  • Arial Black (now included in Windows 10)

What are email signature safe fonts?

We call the above fonts “email signature safe fonts” because they’re safe to use as they are the default fonts that are pre-installed across different computers, devices and operating systems. They are on almost all devices.

What are web fonts?

Web fonts, like Google fonts on the other hand, are not found across multiple operating systems like Mac and PC’s and devices like iOS and Android. They are designed and licensed for use on websites, to give Designers a broader range of fonts to get creative with.


Why can’t I use web fonts like Google fonts in my email signature?

Some email clients strip the head of the HTML email signature on send, which is where you specify your web fonts, so if you’re using an email client that does this, you definitely can’t include web fonts in your email signatures (see our list below).

But for other email clients that don’t strip the head of the HTML, you can technically use web fonts, but we would advise against it. Why? You run the risk of the formatting of the signature changing when it’s viewed by users who don’t have that font installed.

Unless your recipient has that exact web font installed in their PC or Mac too (which most people won’t), they won’t see the email signature like you designed it and intended it to be seen.

Instead they will see it with a fallback font like Arial or Times New Roman and this can cause all sorts of other problems with line heights and throw out the entire email signature design.

Therefore if you want to be sure that the email signature you’re sending is going to look the same when it’s received by anyone, our best recommendation is stick to using the above email signature safe fonts that come pre-installed in macOS and Windows software.


Fallback Fonts and Email Signatures

You could specify a fallback font that will show instead of the Google or Web font if someone doesn’t have that particular Web or Google font installed on their PC or Mac. But again, our recommendation is to still just use the email signature safe fonts, as line heights and formatting of your email signature could be compromised if the height of the fallback font and the web font don’t match up.


What about @font-face rules and email signatures?

New technologies are available to the web browser, for example the @font-face rule, which enables you to load any font you like into a web page, however @font-face is not supported in the vast majority of email software, like Gmail, Apple Mail and Outlook.

The @font-face rule allows custom fonts to be loaded on a webpage. Once added to a stylesheet, the rule instructs the browser to download the font from where it is hosted, then display it as specified in the CSS.

We have to code our email signature templates using older methods of coding, like tables and inline CSS, (similar to HTML emails) and the head of the HTML is sometimes stripped on send from some email clients.

For these reasons, it’s safer to only use the system fonts that come pre-loaded in both Mac and Windows software to ensure your email signature displays consistently across all major email client software, no matter which OS or email client it’s received in.

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