Choosing Fonts: 5 Mistakes to Avoid, Kettle Fire Creative blog fonts Choosing Fonts: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid bad fonts fi

No. This is not yet another design blog ranting about Comic Sans, Papyrus, and Helvetica. Choosing the right font can be one of the trickiest parts of branding because the font directly impacts how well your audience receives your message. More useful than a list of overused or poorly designed typefaces, this guide will help you avoid common pitfalls when choosing fonts.

1. Unreadable fonts

Choosing Fonts: 5 Mistakes to Avoid, Kettle Fire Creative blog, unreadable fonts, mistral font fonts Choosing Fonts: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid illegible

A message that can’t be read can’t be received. Legibility is arguably the most important factor in choosing a font. Think about how your message will be delivered – on a billboard or a business card – and make sure your font is readable in style and size.

Tough to read fonts:

Mistral
Brush Script
Vivaldi
Jokerman
Bauhaus 93

2. Childish fonts

Choosing Fonts: 5 Mistakes to Avoid, Kettle Fire Creative blog, childish fonts, bad fonts, Comic Sans fonts Choosing Fonts: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid childish

Even a daycare should appear professional. Silly, childish fonts don’t say fun and whimsical. They say immature, or worse, untrustworthy. There are better ways to bring your brand personality into your design than choosing a kiddie font.

Fonts for babies:

Comic Sans
Bradley Hand
Indie Flower
Kristen ITC
Chiller

3. Wrong font for you

Choosing Fonts: 5 Mistakes to Avoid, Kettle Fire Creative blog, wrong font for your brand, Lucida Blackletter font fonts Choosing Fonts: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid brandalignment

Your brand has a distinct personality that sets it apart from your competitors. You may be upscale and elite or down to earth and approachable. Your font choices should align with your brand personality. A traditional serif might not fit a funky downtown boutique. And a delicate script might not suit an IT company.

Fonts with a limited audience:

Lobster
Permanent Marker
Pacifico
Amatic
Caviar Dreams

4. Overpowering fonts

Choosing Fonts: 5 Mistakes to Avoid, Kettle Fire Creative blog, overpowering fonts, party let font, bad fonts fonts Choosing Fonts: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid overpowering

The art of typography is in the subtleties. Even if a font is in line with your brand, it may be too overt. You want your audience to receive your message, not just your typeface. Even brands with big personalities don’t have to go over the top or be cliché.

But my Etsy shop sells horror film memorabilia!

You still shouldn’t use the Goosebumps typeface in your collateral.

Obnoxious fonts:

Curlz
Herculanum
Desdemona
Kino
Party LET

5. Right font. Wrong place.

Choosing Fonts: 5 Mistakes to Avoid, headline font vs body font, copperplate gothic, Kettle Fire Creative fonts Choosing Fonts: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid wrongapplication 1

Most typefaces are perfectly acceptable when they’re used appropriately. One of the most common places fonts are misused is in body text. That edgy condensed sans serif might work in a three-word headline, but it’s going to be impossible to read in a whole paragraph. Likewise, the easy-to-digest body font you chose for your web copy could be too flat for your page titles.

Headline-only fonts:

Copperplate Gothic
Bebas Neue
Abril Fatface
Alfa Slab
Boogaloo

Typography is part science and part art. Keep these guiding principles in mind and don’t let choosing the right font impeded your message.

Have you seen some crazy font uses? Share your examples in the comments.

One Comment

  • Dragisa Gligorijevic says:

    Megan, I couldn’t agree more with you that people should start using fonts that will align with their brand personality. However, I still see many companies to use fonts that just don’t match their business model.

Leave a Reply