The importance of font choices

With every document / poster / email we write electronically, there will always be font choices available. Even as I am writing this blog, I have the option to choose from a variety of font choices given by WordPress. Everyday, a new typeface is created and uploaded to the web. It is impossible to quantify all the font options available for us to use.

Spoilt with choices, how do we know what fonts to choose? Here is my few tips on choosing fonts:

  1. Knowing when to stop. Sometimes, we can’t help but to splurge ourselves on the amount of fonts available and tries to include as much as the documents allows it. But, when a wide variety of font is included, the text may look cluttered. The readers might be distracted by the style of words and are unable to focus on the content we are trying to convey. Furthermore, if the text does not have a good amount of font styles, wither overdone or underdone, the whole impression of the text might look unpolished.
    Image result for cluttered fonts
  2. Compatibility. When choosing fonts, the style of the typeface must be compatible to the tone of text we are trying to convey. For example, robotic-sharp-edged fonts should not be used when designing a poster for the medieval fair. Also, another terrible example of font choices, using fun-looking fonts on a tombstone that is meant to be somber. The appropriate font choices allows us to capture the attention of the readers and let them to be more intrigued by the content displayed.
    Related image
  3. Be aware of readability. Sometimes, we come across a font and we love the look of all the characters individually. But, when a word is formed and put together, it might not seem like the best choice. Another aspect to note is the font size: too little can be straining to the readers’ eyes and too big can make the text difficult to read as a whole. In the example, the tagline is suppose to read “cover your home in a click”. Even though the font looks simple enough and individual characters have great readability, the word “click” being put together with that font does not seem like a good choice at all!
    Image result for poor font choices
  4. Do not over-style the fonts. When we decide on a font, we think, great, now the next step is consider if we need to underline, bold, or strike it out. These features are great at emphasizing points, but overdoing it means the readers could not decide where to focus on. When designing, drop shadows and reflections are common styles used. If used badly, the word can meant entirely something else.
    Image result for poor font choices
  5. Contrasting matters. Font decisions must accompany with color, stroke, weight and space decisions. If the font does not contrast with the background, readers might have a hard time reading the text in a clear and easily digestible manner. The font chosen must be spaced out appropriately so that readers do not feel that they are bombarded with information. Easy reading flow can be achieved by letting fonts have enough space between each other.
    Image result for cluttered fonts

All in all, the examples provided are proofs why font choices matter. We as writers / designers have the responsibility to portray our messaging in the appropriate manner so that readers are able to be interested in our content in a positive way. The look of fonts can be as effective as the content to persuade readers when the right decisions on font choices are made.

I hope you enjoyed my tips on choosing the right fonts. Stay tune to next time!

*All example credits goes to its respective owners.

Cheers,

Jan

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