Fonts are key to the character and personality of your designs
An essential design element of almost any marketing piece, fonts (or typefaces!) can be easy to overlook in the planning process.
Like images and colors, fonts provide a powerful first impression and set a lasting mood. Educating yourself about font options before even beginning a marketing project will make you a more effective designer with a clearer vision of what you can achieve.
So, how to choose the best font choice for your next project? Here are some categories and tips to consider:
Serif vs. san serif
This is the most commonly known font dividing line. Since a serif is the little extra line at the end of each letter, and “sans” is French for “without,” sans serif fonts are plain without extra embellishments.
As a general rule, serif fonts give a more traditional look, while sans serifs are more modern and streamlined. Serif fonts play well on a printed page, but can appear busy or pixilated in digital media.
Script vs. printed
Another common differentiator is script versus printed style. While script (aka: cursive) has fallen from prominence in actual writing (it’s not even taught in my town’s schools anymore!) it remains a prevalent option in the world of digital fonts.
Some cursive fonts can portray a certain elegance, while others are more lighthearted. Print fonts are versatile, easy to read and a good choice for overt messaging. They are also better suited for longer text passages than cursive.
Thinking ahead about the mood and purpose of your design project is the best way to arrive at the right font.
You may be tempted to start a font search by scrolling through the dozens of options preloaded into your design software. But your process will benefit by forethought about the message you are trying to convey, so that when you do begin browsing, you can match the characteristics of each font to the mood you already have in mind for your design.
Also realize that your design may benefit from two or more fonts. There is a big difference between the fonts that play well as headlines and bold call-to-action phrases and the fonts that are made for longer, explanatory text. That said, most designs become busy and hard to digest if more than three fonts are involved.
Some fonts can be classified as decorative and work well as large centerpieces to a design. These are featured optimally at about one to three words. For longer body copy, it’s best to choose a font that is neutral, versatile, and easy to read.
Pick a handful of practical fonts that work for longer sections of text that you can go back to over multiple projects, no matter what elaborate designs you create for your headlines and calls-to-action. This will make your design work more efficient and give your marketing a cohesive, brand-aligned feel.
Premium design software like the Adobe Creative Suite comes with dozens of preloaded fonts. Freemium model, web-based platforms like Canva - as well as website builders and email marketing services - also provide preloaded font options that give most marketers enough to work with to accomplish attractive and creative designs.
For more high-end or widely distributed projects, consider what’s available on font-specific websites. Most font websites provide free font options for download, however some fonts require licensing agreements. Thousands of free, downloadable options are available on these websites:
- FontSquirrel - Searchable fonts that are pre-licensed for commercial use
- Google Fonts - Searchable fonts optimized for digital use; no download required
- DaFont - A source of unique, user-submitted fonts that are easily downloadable
- 1001 Fonts - Pre-licensed, easily downloadable font database with advanced search options
If you’re still not finding that perfect fit, consider making a custom font!
Well-chosen fonts accentuate the personality and character of your designs and your brand as a whole. Use these tips to navigate the vast world of fonts thoughtfully for marketing success.
Thanks for stopping by,
Breezy Hill Marketing is a Vermont web design company serving clients in Vermont and throughout the United States. We specialize in marketing strategy and social media marketing. We build beautiful, optimized, and mobile responsive websites.