It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it, right? That’s true in print as well as in person. The right font can supercharge your marketing message so it pops right off the page – or screen – to grab your reader’s attention.
Your business probably already has official fonts you use day in and day out. They provide a consistent look to all your print materials. Along with your logo, they give you a recognizable visual “signature” that establishes and reinforces your brand.
But what if you want to spice things up?
Often individual marketing campaigns or specific types of content need a visual life of their own to generate the greatest impact. They need great fonts – something powerful that can supercharge your marketing by:
- Capturing attention.
- Evoking emotions.
- Reinforce your branding.
But a great font also has to make your message easy to read. If it fails, your marketing fails.
So choosing the right font is something of an art and something of a science. But it’s not hard to find fonts that perfectly match the theme or mood of your marketing message and medium.
That’s important, because a typeface that’s out of context won’t work. For instance, you don’t want to use a frilly, feminine font to promote a carpet cleaning service or a sturdy-looking, in-your-face font to promote a spa.
Variety is more interesting, therefore more likely to capture attention – if you sent out postcard mailers that were covered in a sea of small type like a textbook page, how many people do you think would give it a second glance, let alone make an effort to read your message?
Graphic designers use something called “visual hierarchy” to make key points stand out from supporting text, like newspapers use bigger, bolder font for headlines. You could simply bold your text font and bump it up a size or three, but why not be more original (and successful)? The key to differentiation is contrast.
Size, weight, style and color all provide contrast. A fine-lined, delicate font might be pretty, but if it’s too small it will become indistinguishable. And huge heavy font on a small postcard mailer might be overpowering — unless, of course, your postcard simply promotes “SALE.” Consider fun style contrasts such as:
- Tall vs. short
- Slender vs. heavy
- Modern vs. old-fashioned
- Plain vs. fancy
- Serif vs. san serif
Remember that white space – the absence of words or any other visuals — provides additional contrast, helping to supercharge your text.
Go wild, but don’t go nuts.
Stick with two fonts. Just because there are thousands upon thousands of type choices out there doesn’t mean you should use them all, especially all at once. Your goal is to be eye-catching, not eye-crossing.
Think about what you’re trying to accomplish. “Hey, here’s a cool font!” isn’t an adequate criterion if you expect your marketing to be effective. Can you read it? Can you read it against whatever background you plan to put behind it? If not, that font is not cool.
A little bit of ALL CAPS goes a long way. Used sparingly, it can be a great way to draw the eye, but too much is off-putting in a very pushy way. The same goes for all those super-fun and funky display fonts. They are true charmers if used as accents, but most are impossible to read in smaller sizes or larger groupings of words.
Become a font aficionado. Play around with fonts to see what combinations work the best for your type of business, the medium you’re using (web page, mobile ad, print ad, postcard mailer, infographic, poster, etc.) and the message you want to convey. The more comfortable you become choosing and pairing fonts, the more supercharged your marketing will be.