Choosing the Right Font

FacebookUC_TypographyBlog_09_12_18
back to grid

You’ve decided to create a design for a project but aren’t sure which font will work best for you.

Before we begin, let’s clarify two important things: A font is an entire collection of letters, numbers, and symbols of a named collection, such as popular fonts like Gotham or Helvetica. A typeface is the various weights and layouts available for each font, like Gotham Bold or Helvetica Italic. Each font contains many different typefaces that resemble each other because they are part of the same family. Basic font styles include sans serif, serif, script, and handwritten.

Each font has its own perceived meaning--the much-reviled Comic Sans implies childishness, for example, and fonts like Trajan Pro seem more modern. It’s important to match your font with the meanings you intend to convey in your design. Here are some questions that will help you choose the right font.

Is it legible?

Not all fonts are made great. Some are so poorly-designed they are nearly unreadable. Take the following, for example:

Illegible Font for Signage

VS.

Legible Font for Signage

Legibility will help avoid confusion when people read your design. You should avoid using decorative or handwritten fonts for signs that must be read quickly.

What ideas do you want to convey?

If you are creating a design for a “traditional” organization such as a law firm or financial institution, you probably don’t want to give it a playful font like Chalkboard or Curlz. (In fact, we advise you to not use Curlz for anything, ever, if you would like to be taken seriously as a business.) Instead, you may consider using a professional serif font like Baskerville or Trajan Pro. Conversely, a daycare center would want to use a more playful font than a law firm would choose.

For example:

Curly Font for Signage

VS.

Professional Font for Signageand

Font for Daycare Signage

VS.

Playful font for signage

How will the FONT impact those who read it?

Certain words appearing in a certain font will have varying levels of impact. Take the following, for example:

Picture7VS.

Picture8

VS.

Picture9

It should go without saying which one of these will be taken more seriously! Thicker, well-structured fonts tend to get the point across better than script or handwritten fonts, and are easier viewed from a distance.

We hope these tips will help you the next time you decide to create a design of your own! If you’d rather hire a professional, read our blog on tips to hire a professional designer, and feel free to inquire about our design services today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.