We regularly discuss the importance of strategic marketing. If you want to see results, every facet of your marketing plan must have a purpose and be backed by research. While you might be thinking we’re just talking about content, logos, web design, and other big picture marketing topics, the little things are just as important — including your font choices.
We discussed choosing a font in “Font Boot Camp: How to Choose the Most Effective Fonts for Your Brand,” a previous blog post. In this post, we’re going to dig a little deeper and address how to use fonts strategically.
While Times New Roman and Arial are go-to fonts, more than a million fonts exist between Microsoft, Adobe, Google, and various other softwares. As a result, it can be very difficult to choose fonts that work for you.
In an effort to keep things simple and consistent, you need to create a font palette for your brand. Our previous blog post will give you a more detailed breakdown, but you only need two or three fonts: one for headings, one for body copy, and one optional accent font.
How do you choose these fonts though? Think about and research what your audience will appreciate and how you want your business to be perceived. Typically, san serif fonts are ideal for body text, but if you want your business to be perceived as elegant and delicate, you might choose a serif font for your headings and a script-like font for your accent font. If you want to be perceived as bold and powerful, you might choose a sleek, bold font in all caps for your headings and a sleek matching font for your accent font. Whatever you choose, there should be a strategic purpose.
While creating your font palette, don’t forget to think about legibility. You might have great content, but if your font choices make it difficult to read your blog post, brochure, or some other marketing piece, your audience probably will not read more than a line or two. This means readers will not be contacting you for your products or services and you’ve wasted time and money simply creating a beautiful piece.
To ensure your fonts are easy to read, focus on font size, spacing, line heights, and font use. If a font is too small, it will be difficult to read; if a font is too big, studies show readers are likely to stop reading because large fonts tire eyes. The same comparison can be made for fonts with too little or too much spacing. If fonts aren’t used appropriately, legibility may be damaged. For example, a script font might work well for a pull quote but will be very difficult to read if used for body copy.
For example, if we were to use this thick, script font with little spacing between words and letters on our website, would you continue reading about our services? Probably not, and we wouldn’t blame you.
Remember, we all perceive things differently. While you might think your marketing piece is wonderful and easy to read, others may not agree. Do your research and ask for second, third, and even fourth opinions. If your content is difficult to read, whatever you’ve created is worthless to your intended audience.
Whether your audience is glancing at the homepage of your website or checking out your brochure, their eyes should easily be drawn to what’s important. Headings play a big role in this, but font size, colors, effects, and placement are also very influential.
Check out this screenshot of a section of our homepage. What do you notice?
Because of colors and font sizes, your eyes probably naturally go straights to “OUR SERVICES” and “OUR PORTFOLIO.” From there, your eyes probably go to the headings and then to the larger or bold fonts. By strictly reading the headings and large or bold fonts, you can take away exactly what we’d like you to know and may feel compelled to keep reading. By creating a strategic visual hierarchy, you can encourage your audience to do the same.
Responsive web design has drastically changed the marketing world since the early 2000’s. As a result, you have to think about how your website is seen on multiple devices, including (but not limited to) computers, smartphones, and tablets.
Responsive design makes font choices especially important. With print projects, you know that every copy will be printed on the same size, color, and type of paper. Whether someone holds your flyer or sees it on a bulletin board, the fonts will appear exactly the same. However, the font you use for a heading on your website might look great on a computer but may not be as effective on a smartphone. As a result, it’s important to choose fonts that are legible and work on multiple platforms.
We saved our most important piece of advice for last. Strategic marketing includes creating a consistent brand that your audience will recognize. While many people assume your logo is your brand, your brand is so much more than that. Branding is how your company is perceived by others, and believe it or not, your font choices are part of your brand because they influence how your company is perceived by others.
Your font choices tell consumers what kind of business you are: bold, fun, vintage, feminine, masculine, sweet, etc. By utilizing a distinct, consistent font palette in all of your marketing avenues (your website, print materials, graphics, logo, etc.), you can improve your brand’s recognition. Brand recognition builds trust between businesses and consumers, and customers who trust your business are more likely to invest in your products or services.
Your font palette is probably more important to your marketing strategy than you realized. If you have a font question that we didn’t address in either of our “Font Boot Camp” blog posts, please don’t hesitate to contact the Treefroggers!
Treefrog Marketing is an advertising agency focused on small business and located in Lafayette, Indiana. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram.