In our August 4th blog, we introduced the basics of font selection and pairing with serif and sans serif fonts. While we didn’t write the rulebook when it comes to font design, here at Autumn we are quite familiar with what works and what doesn’t. And, true to our nature, we’re going to take it a step further and share how to integrate fonts intelligently into your design for maximum impact.
Stick to a minimal number typefaces and styles
A good rule of thumb is to have body text at one size/style and headings at another. Depending on the project – a large ad, a small ad, sales material, website etc – you may need more but in this piece we are still sticking to some of the basics. If you have more advanced questions, feel free to reach out to us.The various font types compete with each other, creating confusion.
In this example to the right, there is too much happening in a small space.
• 4 typefaces (sans serifs & serifs)
• Non-uniform width (spacing between letters)
• Non-uniform leading (spacing between lines)
• Different weights (boldness)
The sheer number of styles, sizes, spacing, and colors creates a lot of confusion when a reader first looks at your content. This, ultimately, increases the likelihood that they will ignore it. The large heading is fine but would be much better paired with one typeface for body copy and all lines with equal width and leading. We understand that certain things feel like they should have more emphasis but an easier to read text will significantly increase your readership.
Use a grid system
The less sporadic movement the eye has to endure, the better. When using a grid system, different parts of text line up and have a spacial relation to the rest. This increases familiarity and skim-ability so that the reader can easily locate what matters to them. Centering should only be used very deliberately and in certain cases.
Organize message hierarchy with typeface weight
Typeface weight is the thickness of the letters, or, how bold it looks. No matter what kind of font you choose, Serif or Sans Serif, you don’t have to use multiple fonts in order to make differentiations and get certain parts to stand out.
In these example below, by altering the weight of certain lines, different parts of the message are given different levels of importance. Maintaining minimal typefaces but playing with weights is a great way to uphold a uniform style while still strategically guiding your reader’s eye to read messages in a certain order.
To wrap things up
When deciding how to pair and use fonts for your marketing outputs you need to take into consideration:
• your audience
• your brand personality
• the medium through which people will be interacting with the output (web, print, phone)
This will dictate the tone, style, size, and readability requirements. Choosing a font that has good width strokes and is nicely spaced out will improve its legibility and readability. Minimize the number of differences and emphasize certain parts strategically.
If you would like assistance from Autumn’s design team in determining appropriate fonts for your brand or to give you feedback on what you have put together, we’d love to hear from you.