When it comes to marketing, emails, and even social media, many people seem to know a little or nothing about the difference between a good font choice and a poor one. Fonts can sometimes seem superfluous, as something that only matters for artsy types, but when taken hand in hand with branding, font choice can be the difference between being unforgettable and being ignored.
So you know that choosing the right font is important, but how do you straddle the line between being memorable and being annoying? Being easily read and quickly deleted? It all depends on what the purpose of your writing is. An infographic should not have the same fonts as an annual report, a presentation should not have the same fonts as a press release, and an email should not have the same fonts as a brochure.
The length of your text also has an effect on which font you will use; a longer piece of writing will need something easier to read to encourage people to finish the whole thing, while a shorter piece of writing can be more complicated because you don’t need to keep your audience’s attention for quite as long.
There are two directions you can take with font, one is to stand out and to get attention, while the other is to blend in so perfectly that the average audience member doesn’t recognize that a choice has been made. Outside of major branding and marketing efforts, most of the time you will want to focus on the second half. Be careful that you do not get sucked into using a whole bunch of unique but hard to read fonts when trying to get your message across. Sometimes it is the simplest ones that will do you the most good.
While it can be useful to mix fonts to draw attention and separate out different ideas, it is a good idea to limit the number of fonts you use in one project from two to three, any more and it goes from an interesting design to a busy mess. When you do mix fonts, it is a good idea to also mix the styles. For example using a sans-serif font for your title and then a serif font for the general wording helps to distinguish each section and organize what you are trying to say. By mixing the styles you are able to have multiple fonts that don’t clash with each other, use some creativity and still make the body of your text easy to read.
Each letter takes up the same amount of space, and has an equal amount of space around each letter. Also known as fixed-pitch, fixed-width and non-proportional font. It can be serif or sans-serif. It is often used in biology, tabs in music and in screenplays.
This font is often mistaken for old English (even though it isn’t) and was widely used up until the 17th century. It is still used in German. It is also known as Gothic Script, Gothic Minuscule and Textura.
It is also important to note that fonts that you can get in Microsoft Office, you may not be able to get for Apple iWork and vice versa. Those that come on your desktop may not be available online. (This is the reason the fonts in my logo are not used on the website). You can check the full list of web safe fonts at Google Fonts. It is important to pick a font that works with the medium you will be using. Reading online already strains the eye more than words on paper, so you should consider that before you pick a difficult font to write with.
While there are hundreds, if not thousands of fun fonts online, many of them you have to pay for and many more will not work across all of your devices. It is important to test out the fonts you want to use before you make the official to ensure that they are showing up instead of being shown as random exes, square boxes or an error message.
Do not use famous fonts for business purposes (where you can profit from its use) or you may get sued by the copyright holder.