The Font of All Information

October 16, 2013

You can often tell if an ad is well designed by the choice and management of the type faces/fonts.

You can tell an ad that is just a Word document from a professional ad in seconds and there is a big difference in effectiveness.

The credibility of the well designed ad enhances the communication, creates some personality and distinctiveness and improves the clarity of the message.

Font selection is key, but there are a number of other type management decisions that make the ad better… or worse.

Here are ten easy rules for managing the type in your advertising:

  1. Make sure to define the family of type that your ads will use: keep it to no more than two typefaces
  2. Go ahead and use these fonts in bold or italics, but sparingly
  3. If you want a distinctive look, select fonts that are less commonly used, but still easy to read – so don’t use Times Roman or Helvetica or their lookalikes.
    We selected Palatino as our corporate font more than 20 years ago and it has served us well.  It looks a little like Times Roman, but it is a little more elegant and decorative.
  4. Keep all of your ads in these same fonts
  5. Be very limited in your use of decorative fonts – while they might create tone and character, they can be difficult to read
  6. A good idea is to limit decorative fonts to headlines
  7. Keep clarity at the top of your goals
  8. Get rid of widows (single word lines) or odd line breaks
  9. Use colour text carefully.  Make sure it is readable over the background graphics or colours.
  10. Use subheads to emphasize your key points.  Many readers just skim over the subheads.  If they are clear and logical, they can tell your story without the details.

Careful use of fonts can improve communication and add tonality to sometimes boring blather.

Fonts are only the start of crafting your message, there is also the matter of type management.  Subject enough for another blog.

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