Millions of fonts are available at your fingertips. Times New Roman. Helvetica. Comic Sans. With so many fonts to choose from, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, or to feel that you need to use as many fonts as you can in your publication. You can survive the immense ocean of fonts by remembering two rules:
1. Consider your goal. What tone are you going for in your campaign? Is it for a sophisticated brand? Or is it a brand that’s more fun and playful? A brand that leans toward being clean and simplistic? Or is it brand that is more text heavy?
2. Stick to three fonts or less in one document (unless, of course, you’re writing a blog entry about font choices!)
There are multiple types of font styles. The main three are serif, sans serif and calligraphy. Each style has its own voice.
Serif fonts, defined by Merriam-Webster, are fonts with “any of the short lines stemming from and at an angle to the upper and lower ends of the strokes of a letter.” They lend a sense of prestige. A 2015 study done by Siegel + Gale showed that logos that employ serif fonts are often perceived as respectable, sophisticated and traditional. They can also be seen as being exclusive. Take a look at the logos for Tiffany & Co., The Gap and Coach.
Sans serif fonts are fonts without strokes on the letterforms (Sans being the French word for without). Typically, they are used in minimalist styles. They give a modern,clean feel and are recommended for large bodies of text on the web since lower resolutions on monitors can make complex looking serif fonts difficult to decipher on a screen. Examples of sans serif fonts in logos include the Facebook logo, Nike logo and redesigned Google logo.
Calligraphy is a rising trend in graphic design. In a time when schools have cut back on teaching cursive writing, it is interesting to see the art form gain popularity. Calligraphy evokes a sense of class and a vintage aesthetic that many millennials find genuine as well as aesthetically pleasing. The Siegel + Gale study showed that calligraphy and handwritten fonts are regarded as highly trendy, fun, friendly and stylish. Disney, Instagram and Ray-Ban all use calligraphy or handwritten fonts.
Different fonts lend different moods to your publications. Take care to choose the font that meets your brand’s goals. It will help support the voice in your writing and grab your audience’s attention.