Your Text Tells a Story – But Your Font Evokes Emotion. What Does Your Font Say?

Written By Felix Chi - January 16, 2015

Did You Know…

… that a menu written in an elegant, scripted font can make soup taste richer, creamier, and more enjoyable?

… that writing your product information in a familiar typeface can encourage consumers to trust your company?

… that test questions written in a funky font can force you to pay more attention – and get more answers correct?

Behold, the power of the font. Everyone knows that words are powerful, but the font (or typeface) that you choose to convey those words can have an important emotional impact. Discover the five main types of fonts below, and learn how each style can affect a reader’s emotions:

SERIF

A serif is a small line attached to the end of a stroke in a letter or symbol. As the oldest variety of typefaces, serif fonts evoke a feeling of reliability, respectability, and tradition. Impressive and authoritative, they are often used by law firms and brands that want to emphasize their prestige.

Serif fonts include the ubiquitous Times New Roman, which frequently appears in mass-market paperback books and is used in Microsoft products – making it one of the most widely used typefaces in history. Serif fonts you may be familiar with include:

  • Times New Roman
  • Georgia
  • Garamond
  • American Typewriter
  • Baskerville

SANS SERIF

“Sans” is the French word for “without” – and sans serif fonts indeed are lacking any embellishments or lines on the end of the letters. Clean and modern, sans serif fonts project objectivity and stability. These business-like fonts are perhaps the easiest to read, offering an efficient experience for the user. Popular sans serif fonts include:

  • Arial
  • Helvetica
  • Verdana
  • Calibri

SCRIPT

Also called slab serif, these elegant fonts breeze across the page with a friendly, feminine feel. Script fonts offer an air of creativity, almost like a handwritten note from an artist. They soften your message with sophisticated affection, but use them sparingly – they can be hard to understand. Script fonts work best when the reader isn’t in a rush. You’ll find them fairly often on menus at fancy restaurants. Example of script fonts include:

  • Lucida Calligraphy
  • Edwardian Script
  • Bickham Script

MODERN

To convey a progressive message with strength and style, use a modern font. These chic, no-nonsense fonts are bold and edgy, and favored by tech companies. Fresh and intelligent, modern fonts evoke an exclusive, in-the-know vibe. Some of our favorite modern fonts include:

  • Eurostile
  • Futura
  • Century Gothic

DISPLAY

Unique, expressive, and a little bit funky, display fonts provide a touch of whimsy to your brand. Fun and amusing, display fonts are often used for products aimed at children – just think about the Disney logo. True to their name, these fonts are best for displays and work well in larger sizes. Display fonts include:

  • Cooper
  • Chalkduster
  • Giddyup
  • Curlz
  • Eccentric

The next time you see a popular text logo, consider the font that the company is using. Does it convey the right feeling for the brand? Notice your emotional reactions to different fonts, so that you can choose correctly for your next design.

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