How to Choose the Best Font for Your Marketing Material
When it comes to creating printed marketing material, the design and content is usually the first thing we consider, followed by deciding on colours and images. Choosing the type of font to use is often one of the last things on our minds.
However, the type of font you employ can say a lot about your brand and it can create a powerful first impression, so your font combinations should stand out to give your message weight. Here’s how to choose the best font for your marketing material.
Two Types of Fonts
For marketing purposes, the two main types of fonts are Serif and Sans-serif. Serif fonts have little lines attached to the ends of their letters and are usually thought to look more serious or traditional.
Sans-serif fonts don’t have the extra lines on the ends of the letters and are generally thought to look more modern and streamlined. Although it’s debatable, it’s often said that serifs make long print passages easier to navigate visually by helping to move your eyes along the lines of text.
Why the Right Font is So Important
If your customers can’t read the leaflet, brochure, billboard or poster easily, your message is instantly lost. Whatever you’re printing, you have a message you want to convey; be it on a business card, newsletter or leaflet. In most cases, the simpler a logo is, the better. Text must be clear,
and fit with your overall brand identity.
Garamond is a serif font that’s very popular with designers who use it for a wide variety of purposes. The Bookman font is considered a good alternative. The key is to choose fonts that complement each other. Extreme choices will distract from the content.
The following sans-serif fonts also work well in print:
• Century gothic is a great choice for print material because it’s neat and easy to read. It can be read at a distance and is a great choice for headlines
• Helvetica is probably one of the most commonly used fonts. It has a clean, simple feel to it and is easy to read. Helvetica is a great choice for the detailed information inside a brochure or flyer
• Verdana was designed to be read on a screen but is also great for printed material because of its flexibility. It’s an extremely legible typeface and looks good in large and small sizes. Verdana is a great choice if you want a consistent look for both the headings and the body of your text.
Ultimately, the goal should be to make sure the body text is readable. Overstated fonts can be used for titles and headings, which are meant to give order to a layout, grab your attention and draw you in. The ultimate goal of a title is to stimulate interest and guide the reader’s eye around the page.
Fonts to Avoid
Despite the arrival of online content and e-readers, print material is still regularly used. The font you select can have an incredible impact on your message, tone and audience, so choose carefully. There is no right and wrong answer but it’s important to give a unified, professional feel to your marketing material. Some fonts to avoid:
• Never use a statement font for the body of your marketing text; it can make the most important points unreadable
• Script and handwriting fonts are difficult to read
• Comic Sans can be difficult to read, and most designers avoid it
• Segoe Script is also hard to read and doesn’t complement well with other fonts
• Impact text has ultra-thick strokes and a compressed letter structure, which can also be hard to read
Choosing Font Combinations
To make the most of fonts it’s important to realize that it’s not just about one font, but how different fonts work together to form a striking layout.
Choosing two or more fonts to use together isn’t always easy. You want the fonts to complement each other, but not be too similar. They need to be different, but not so different that they clash. Avoiding these two extremes is often a process of trial and error.
Fonts that have something in common but look significantly different are more likely to work well together. That might mean general proportions like letter height or width are the same or the two fonts might share an underlying structure or skeleton. It will help to give your font combination unity, even if the similarity is understated.
Your chosen fonts will need to be different enough to create a clear visual ranking that shows readers where to look and what’s important.
After you’ve decided on the fonts you want to use for your printed marketing material, it might be a good idea to include them in your brand guidelines. That way you can be sure that all future printed materials will be consistent with what’s been published before.