Content is king. Be honest, you’ve heard the phrase before. You don’t have to be a marketing or communications professional (or a business owner receiving advice from a marketing or communications professional) to have heard it. The deeper we dive into the digital age, the more intuitive consumers are becoming about what they are, in fact, consuming. Traditional advertising techniques of simple exposure are no longer adequate as audiences continue to educate themselves on the brands they interact with. So, content – genuine information disseminated to audiences in a relatable way – is king. But what about the way in which it’s delivered?
As we continue to evolve and become smarter and more in tune with the world around us, no longer is content alone enough. Brands need to be smarter in every way possible – people aren’t going to place trust in your brand if you have excellent information on a website that is poorly designed and took little thought or effort to build. A brand must encompass its message literally and visually. While investing in graphic design is no groundbreaking advice (duh!), few people know exactly how important every single element of your brand is, including one of the most crucial: your font choice.
Yes, you read right. Think you can slap Arial or Times New Roman onto your webpage and you’re good to go? Think again. Typography has the ability to evoke emotion within the reader and provide them with a glimpse into the personality of your brand. Here are a few ways you can utilize your font choice to your advantage:
Highlight the Points that Matter Most
A major component of typography is hierarchy. When it comes to any sort of marketing material, whether it be a brochure or website, the order of information is integral to holding a reader’s attention. In general, more important information should be more prominent and eye-catching to ensure the message is received. Using a larger and bolder font that grabs the reader’s attention is a seamless way to achieve this. When it comes to sending a message, bigger really is better.
Create Brand Consistency and Recognition
Think of Disney for a second – we bet you can clearly picture its signature logo, and with good reason. A timeless classic brand deserves a timeless, classic (and whimsical) font. Selecting the typeface that represents what your business stands for and what you want to communicate to the world is going to become a representation of your brand. If you maintain a consistency in the visual way you communicate with your readers, your brand will become recognizable in a multitude of ways. Whether your business is more creative or industrial in nature, the font you choose to carry your message should reflect that.
It’s important to not only define what your business does, but what values you want it to represent. Being clear on what your ‘why’ is will allow you to gain deeper understanding into what you want to achieve. Once you have these pieces, you’ll know what your brand represents and how you want that to come across visually. It’s important to leave no detail untouched, and font choice is a critical detail.
Communicate with Your Audience in More Ways Than One
As briefly mentioned earlier, font has the incredible power to evoke emotion. In fact, there is a large area of study on the psychology of typography. Humans are inherently visual beings, and our ability to understand emotions from typeface isn’t unlike our ability to do the same by viewing different facial expressions. Just by looking at someone’s face, we know whether they are happy, sad, angry or afraid, and whether we know it or not, we can do the same simply by looking at text. Cursive font is elegant, serif is classic, sans serif is modern, and so on. If a brand were to use Comic Sans (although, please don’t), you’d know immediately that they are providing information that is light-hearted and funny. Ever read a text message in ALL CAPS and felt as though the person was ‘yelling’? It’s because their message was large and demanded attention.
It’s important to consider the tone of the message you want to communicate with your audience and select a font that appropriately reflects it.
Ensure Language and Font Align
Going in-hand with our previous point, typography alone has the power to communicate with your audience, but you better make sure the content reflects what you’re trying to say. Your language should influence your font selection and vice versa. You know what you want to say, now select how the message will be perceived. If content is king, then font is queen – they are strong on their own, but stronger together.
We could go on and on about the endless ways font and typography influence your marketing. A seemingly minor detail such as this has the power to captivate and leave a lasting impression on audiences. Chances are that your font selection – unless truly awful and illegible – won’t ruin your business, but it won’t do you any favours either. A truly excellent font, however, can make a world of difference. A simple way to test the theory is to do an A/B test (perhaps for an email newsletter) with different fonts and monitor which receives more interaction from readers. Which font do you choose? Well, that is the tough part. Luckily, we have an entire creative department at William Joseph full of designers who are experts in the field of graphic design and typography. If you have any questions about how to use typography to your advantage, feel free to give us a shout.