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
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:
2. Childish fonts
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:
3. Wrong font for you
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:
4. Overpowering fonts
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.
5. Right font. Wrong place.
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.
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.