Fonts are often an after-thought in marketing materials, web design, email and all other types of communication methods. It’s an integral part of the branding process as certain fonts can evoke feelings and project your intent. Your font selection also sets the tone for the content. If the font is not in sync with what you are presenting, it muddles the message and creates confusion.
If this sounds like crazy talk, there is actually a psychology to font selection! Here is a list of some font categories and how their usage translates in general terms.
- Serif fonts such as Times New Roman and Slabo, which have a touch of flourish at their tips, are classic and project feelings of tradition and being a part of the establishment.
- Sans serif fonts such as Calibri and Roboto are plain and send a contemporary, innovative feel.
- Script/handwriting fonts such as Bradley Hand and Kaushan can be inviting and elegant although sometimes less is more.
- Display fonts such as Broadway and Lobster are used for headlines and to grab attention. The selection will announce your boldness.
In specific terms, always consider your audience. Let’s look at these two businesses in opposite worlds – a water park and a spa. The park needs to project a fun, loud, youthful tone. A spa needs to be calming, tranquil and fresh. The font will start the feeling process. See the before and after picture below.
With upwards of 100,00 fonts floating around to select, there’s a perfect font for every marketing project, branding campaign and communication tool. To help make the selection easier here are some critical items to consider.
- Does the font work for the target age group? Boomers, for example prefer something that is very readable.
- Is the font appropriate for the message? Serious issues need a serious font, not a playful one.
- Do the colors provide the right contrast to make it readable? Black text on a white background is a standard for print. What about orange on blue for a brochure? I recently saw a printed piece with yellow on white and it was not a good choice.
- Are you using the right size and spacing? Fonts that are too big can seem juvenile and gawky. Fonts that are too small will cause people to stop reading whatever you are promoting.
Sometimes, you can’t choose your font such as with some social media posts and text messaging. But, when there is a choice, font selection deserves thoughtful consideration.
Leisa Chester Weir
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