We all know that writing compelling content is crucial for marketing material but it’s easy to underestimate the importance of using the right font – a word now interchangeable with typeface – for your website, flyers, posters or other paper collateral.
Whatever you choose has an impact. It can make your business stand out from the competition. When it’s too fancy or too small to read easily, it can annoy potential customers so much that you’ve lost them forever. It can convey your brand or the tone of the message you wish to get across or it can confuse because it’s inappropriate to the content.
You’re advertising pre-paid funerals. Tell you what, let’s not use Curlz MT …
Perhaps just a tad too jolly and informal?
In recent years, there’s been a lot of interest in what is actually a very complex subject. In 2001, Dr. Aric Sigman was commissioned to research into the psychology of fonts. Ten years later, Simon Garfield published a book called Just My Type. These studies offer a fascinating insight into some of the different aspects of your font choice.
First, each font has its own personality and in choosing one over another it says a lot about us at the same time. The infamous Comic Sans, for example, is meant to be perfect for ‘annoying attention-seekers,’ while Times gives a trustworthy and respectable impression. You’re advised not to use Courier unless you want to appear to be a real nerd. Oh and by the way, this is written in Calibri, which apparently has ‘a warm and soft character.’ Well, thank you kindly, but less of the soft, please.
The names of famous people are even attributed to fonts in the study, so for example, Richard Branson is Verdana (professional yet appealing) and Jennifer Lopez is Shelley (sex kitten).
It’s all very subjective, isn’t it? To us, Shelley doesn’t so much say ‘sex kitten’ as ‘Victorian school child’ – which brings us on to the next point.
Apparently, different fonts appeal to different demographics and provoke various reactions, so when creating a web page or paper document of any sort, we should consider gender, age, culture and even personality to be more effective in reaching and captivating our chosen audience.
These considerations all seems to become a bit simplistic and stereotypical, with blocky, bold, rectilinear fonts supposedly appealing to men, and curvy, round fonts allegedly preferred by women. Then, let’s use something funky for young people and LARGE AND CLEAR for an older age group.
In reality, we suspect, the most all of us want is something that’s easy to read!
Part 2 in this series, to follow shortly, is about fancy fonts.