Even when you’re speaking strictly about written content, there is still a powerful way to use the properties of visual communication to your advantage.
Unfortunately for many, there’s also a way to screw it up, too.
Font selection is more than just an afterthought. It’s actually a critical piece of the content creation process that you need to think carefully about moving forward.
Your Font Choice Allows You to Dive Beneath the Words
Maybe the most important reason why font selection is so important in your marketing has to do not with the words themselves, but with the mood those words ultimately convey. Even before someone has had a chance to digest your message in a literal way, that font choice is already working its magic. Certain fonts are instantly fun and playful, while others convey a sense of sleek sophistication.
Because of that, you need to make sure that your font choice actually matches up not only with your brand, but the ultimate key takeaway of the piece of collateral that you’re creating. If you went to the website of someone who claimed to be an esteemed doctor, but the homepage was littered with paragraph after paragraph written in Comic Sans, would you be able to take them seriously?
Of course you wouldn’t.
That may be an extreme example, but it’s not too far off from the way things work in practice. If the content that you’re writing is supposed to be serious, your fonts need to be as simple as possible. Think “plain” and “professional” to really help underline the point you’re trying to make.
If you were trying to drum up excitement ahead of an upcoming product launch, on the other hand, you should look at fonts that are more fun and playful.
Striking that balance is important, especially because font choice is ultimately one of those elements that really helps make sure that your content is understood to the fullest effect.
Fonts Are a Critical Piece of the Overall Puzzle
No matter what type of font you select in accordance with those recommendations above, it’s important to make sure it is as clean and as easy-to-read as possible. Fonts that are too small immediately cause someone to start skimming – which can be disastrous if you’re already asking them for a lot of their time by way of a thousand word blog post or a longer document like a white paper.
But even beyond the typography itself, everything from the color to the size of that font also impacts the perception of information in the exact same way. You could choose a stylish and professional font and still totally undercut your message if you select a color that is too bright like green or yellow.
Font choices – and color selections – can also be a great way to compare and contrast multiple ideas, too. In that way, it’s not too dissimilar to the choices you make when you sit down with a line graph maker like Visme (which I founded). Naturally, each line on the graph represents something different – and would be in a different color as a result to visually contrast the two.
Even though the document you’re now creating is largely in text, you can still contrast things visually by switching up colors when talking about different ideas or even by picking different fonts for different paragraphs.
Just try not to overdo it, as you don’t want to visually overwhelm or confuse your reader. Too many fonts and too many colors are once again a great way to be seen as unprofessional, which you absolutely do not want.
Beyond all this, you should still leverage all the principles of content creation to your advantage. Always use a service like Respona to do research into the topics your audience cares about. If you’re not writing about the right ideas in the first place, the most perfect font selection in the world isn’t going to be able to help you.
But that happens to be a two-way street. If you DO come up with the perfect topic and pour your heart and soul into a high value piece of content, you could kill your efforts right before you get to the finish line by picking the wrong font to seal the deal.
Never forget that all of these elements need to come together to form the finished product. Provided that you keep that in mind, you’ll be able to make the connection with your target audience that you need at just the right moment.
About the Author
Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.