The Emotional Font
It should come as no surprise to anybody that there is actual emotion tied to font selection. Now that we all agree that is the case, why do we so often choose our fonts for our product, message and even branding in such an abusive manner? As we select five different fonts for one “take-a-quick-look” graphic or create a paragraph style advertisement written completely in Cabin Sketch (a decorative font…see later). JUST STOP IT!
One explanation for why some fonts make you feel a certain way is because of the links to something already established in our culture. For instance, Courier Fonts were designed to resemble old memos written on typewriters giving us that nostalgic feeling for when people were refined and the written word was art. Conversely, there are many people that connect the font Helvetica to the US Government because of its use in tax forms. Can you imagine trying to sell cotton candy with Helvetica? You might make somebody’s head explode. The general rule of thumb is to choose your font based on the message your product is represents.
Different Print and Packaging Font Styles
Here are the four categories of fonts and their attributions, to choose from when attaching your message to an emotion.
Serif Fonts – These have letters with short lines coming off the edges called “serifs”. Viewed as more formal, traditional, stable and reliable. Best suited for print. Serif Fonts have a general calming effect on us.
Sans-serif Fonts – Letters without serifs. Viewed as Simple, straightforward, sensible and best suited for digital print and teaching kids to read. Sans-serif Font is clean and business-like (think LinkedIn) and will help you complete your business objectives quickly without obstacle.
Script Fonts – Resembles handwriting and often-used in formal invitations. Not ideal for body copy. It is steeped in elegance and sophistication with personal, feminine and fancy attributes.
Decorative Fonts –Informal fonts viewed as original. Best suited for headlines but not body copy. They are bold, decorative, fun unique, casual and demand attention on a “stick-and-move” basis. “Display” Decorative Fonts are friendly, quirky (like our friends) and unconventional.
A rule to generally follow is to create your content in a font that can be appreciated for it’s beauty, like a headline, at a glance or picture caption, or one that promotes the intended meaning of the words to sink in without the hindrance of stopping to decipher letters.
Right when your head is about to explode, take a step back, and contact us. This is the stuff that we understand and this is how we design.
If nothing else, we really hope to change the way you look at fonts. We are bombarded with it everyday and whether we know it or not, they are creating an emotional reaction. Pay attention to how they make you feel and discard or use them in your own life accordingly.