Your Guide to Choosing Typefaces for Marketing

Your Guide to Choosing Typefaces for Marketing

If you ask some web designers what the most challenging aspect of design is, you might find that many would attest to the challenge of choosing appropriate typefaces. They’re just letters, comprising words, comprising sentences! And, when they’re executed effectively, one might not even recognize the typeface altogether. However, when poorly executed, typeface has the power to destroy a marketing campaign at large.

Type is an incredibly intricate process, matched with an incredibly intricate set of decisions. Choosing the appropriate typeface for any marketing campaign can be likened to the notion of choosing an outfit. When you wake up on Friday, you’re eager and energetic self is more apt to throw on bright colors and loud patterns. Alternatively, the Monday morning blues are often met with…..blue vibes….and, at the very best, dark and plain colors.

Let your typeface ultimately serve as the outfit for your brand, tone, and marketing campaign at large.

*Let the Mood Set the Tone for your Typeface

The first thing you should consider when choosing a typeface is the general mood of the brand, design, or whatever it is you’re publishing. Again, think of the typeface as the signature piece represented in your outfit for the day.

If you’re marketing a promotional campaign for your local candy and ice cream shop, you’d generally want to choose an upbeat, friendly, and perhaps bubbly typeface to match the mood of the product. Think colors and pastels that represent the mood and flavors associated with candy and having fun.

*Learn the Typeface Families and how to Group them

Typeface is an intricate and highly sophisticated subject matter in the design world. While you needn’t become a typeface master, you should certainly educate yourself on the typeface families and the ways in which you might group them. The 5 major groups are as follows:

Geometric Sans

Humanist Sans

Old Style

Transitional & Modern

Slab Serifs

These typefaces are the “parents,” so to speak, for all of the MANY children typeface offspring that one can choose. They are determined based on a number of factors, typically having to do with serifs (or the “feet” at the base of letterforms).

Learn the basics of these categories and you will begin to see yourself figuring out how certain fonts with serifs match the tone of an ad campaign more readily than ones without. The more you understand the basics and the little nuances of typeface, the more effectively you will be able to manage and choose them.

*Mix & Match…or Don’t!

After you grasp a handle on the typeface families, you will be more confident in your ability to mix and match…or not to mix and match at all. In general, one appropriate typeface will usually suffice for a marketing campaign; however, there are certainly instances where two will be effective in captivating attention and enticing the individual to make a call to action.

Correspondence and contrast are two principles that designers will utilize in order to decide if two aesthetics work well together. With correspondence, designers will weigh the relative ‘likeness’ of a pair. Think of two, crisp, white V-neck T-shirts, delightfully folded and laying in your drawer. They look pretty good next to one another, based on their matching ability. However, with contrast, a vast difference can also produce aesthetic compatibility when executed properly. Let’s imagine a pair of dark denim jeans with a red and blue plaid button down. Looks pretty good! The sufficient difference here provides a pleasing aesthetic that allows the match to work.

At the end of the day, mixing typeface should elicit visual harmony.

*Don’t be too FLASHY

Refer to the ‘less is more’ principle for this rule. In the fashion world, we see ‘RAZZLE DAZZLE OVERKILL’ quite frequently. And, while we might not always know where to begin criticizing it, we know what doesn’t work when we see it.

Don’t be a victim of boring typeface. Sometimes, a little personality is warranted in a marketing strategy in order to compel viewership and call to action. Typeface is a really unique and understated way of compelling that attention, without bombarding the reader with flashy colors and graphics that don’t work.

*There are no Rules- Use your Instincts

When choosing your awesome outfit day to day, you’re given the freedom to make a choice. In the world of type, you are granted this same luxury to take chances, keep it safe, or whatever your heart desires. There are most definitely conventions, however, that are helpful to follow. And those are listed above! They should serve as the basis for your best typeface decision making. In general, it’s probably best to listen to your instincts, but never be afraid to take chances.

So, choose the typeface that best suits your marketing needs, yet reinforces the general tone and aesthetic of the brand.

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