How to pick typeface

Have you ever heard these words- “First impression is the last impression”?

I am pretty sure you must have. Well in this competitive environment when every product you are endorsing, every service you are offering is also being offered by at least a dozen other people then for you my friend, wiser words have never been spoken. Because in this overly competitive environment there is no way if you mess up your first impression and still get a chance to make another and another. This first impression can be many things, but when you are interacting with your audience via the print media (digital or otherwise) it boils down to your outlook. The way your page looks, how easy it is for the eyes, how engrossing and captivating it feels, the whole shenanigan. This may sound like a bit too much to handle for any company but don’t worry, there exists a simple cheat code, a shortcut that is easy to handle and will effectively take care of all these problems to a large extent. I am talking of course about the typeface of your text. Use of text is almost compulsory to convey a message, I think there would be no web page conversing with different sets of audiences that never uses words. In fact, most of the web sites till date convey most of the information through text and understandably so. So, doesn’t it make sense that to make your user experience a jovial one you first make this largest proportion of your interaction suitable for user and presentable?

Thus, picking a suitable typeface becomes one of the most essential duties of the service providers. The job is not easy to begin with. With designs being developed every day, picking a particular one to best fit the general ambiance and mood transcends the mundane mind, it is actually a science, so let us now understand how exactly are we supposed to steer our way through these slippery slopes and pick the perfect typeface.

In the creative arena while you may find a number of typefaces at your disposal. With the occurrence of such liberty, the developers tend to ignore the more practical aspect of choosing the typeface- practicality. It is of utmost importance that while choosing things like font size, we do not run astray and only chose among those that are generally available on most systems and do not require any additional support. Using Google Font or Adobe Text is always a sure-fire method of ensuring all of this at the same time.

The more creative you are the more you have to explore and exploit. I have seen many designers using a mixture of typefaces in the same presentation and yielding plausible results, this can be a very promising option for those who wish to beat the monotony out of their text. It is however very important to predefine the purpose of the text before indulging in such eccentricities. You can have a variety of mix and match type situations at your disposal, and you can go for contrasting or complementing, depending whether you want an aggressive or soothing effect respectively. Then again by allowing in variations in the two you may regulate even these according to your requirements.

The primary thing to keep in mind while picking a typeface is the mood; more companionable form may use a more rounded and really legible font but a confident form can be more edgy or angular. That is why you may notice technology brands use geometric forms to get a clean, smooth outlook whereas fashion-oriented brands opt for an edgy, high contrasting, smooth curves like fonts.

Next you wonder about the visual and tonal appearance of the font, you must decide whether you want the text to draw attention to itself or does it want to remain in the background. The way the font looks and the words used need to have an inherent chemistry, one complementing the other. There are many ways to incorporate this, the colour of text, font size, font type all of these speak volumes about the goals of a company. A bright colour will necessarily announce a liberal, artistic atmosphere and darker tones will induce a more formal one. The size chosen has to be appropriate, the heading larger than the body, the body easy to read, same goes with font size- a sombre text should not be presented in say comic sans just as a formal letter should not be written in Segoe script. Similarly, serifs are considerably better for large bodies of text as they tie words and sentences together for a smoother reading experience. There is dire need for the writer to understand the implicit message each font conveys. Here is an example that will help you the complete scope of this:

Children’s fun school


If you see these two written side by side on two posters, which one do you think you will prefer, I am sure that 90% of you will go for the second one, just look at it. It conveys a free, fun loving atmosphere while the first one if personified would look like a dull old person sitting on his chair everyday and doing paperwork in his office. This how a typeface speak volumes about the product being offered and remains to be undisputedly the most basic and essential tool in any branding tool belt.

Thus, the opportunities are unlimited but whether this a blessing or a curse for you, is only for you to determine. You might just spend most of your time and energy staring at the various options at your disposal, not knowing what to choose, how to choose and then end up cursing the entire artform itself or if you are armed with the knowledge, have some sense of what you are doing and what to expect, along with a little flair for risk then I think exploiting this dimension is one of the easiest ways to enhance your user experience.



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