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3 Ways the Right Font Can Help (or hurt!) Your Message

Marci Whitman


Marci Whitman

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First impressions mean a lot! I was once told “never forget, you only have one chance to make a first impression”, and it has stuck with me ever since. When someone picks up your mailpiece, your brochure, your business card, or visits your website, it starts making an impression on them before they even begin to read any text. The shape and size of your text, the readability, and spacing, all will make a difference as to how your products are perceived. Are you trying to be professional, bold, or whimsical? Keep reading to find out how your font choice can impact your message.

  1. Overly ornate fonts are rarely a good idea. Often, you will find yourself trying to convey elegance, or nostalgia, and get that itch to maybe pull a swirly, fancy script font out of your back pocket. In just the right conditions, this can work – those conditions are very rare. Simpler fonts will look clean, no matter what the theme of your piece is. Not only that, but they will be easier to read, and easier to space correctly. If you use too ornate of a font, it can also be hard to scale for embroidery, or printing. So, never say never, but more often than not, you’ll benefit from using fonts that are more simple, easier to read, and able to be scaled easily.
  2. As an alternative, try going with something original. It is painfully obvious when someone has just used a stock script font to try to add some flair to their design. It’s equally obvious when some eye-catching typography has been laid out, and designed strictly for that original piece. With custom typography (like this!), you will be able to not only give it just the feel you are looking for, you can also space it and arrange it so it really speaks to your message, as well as flowing around it in a way that a preset font couldn’t.
  3. Lastly, try using fonts that are similar to commonly used ones, but slightly different. Fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, Myriad Pro, are all good options, but also very common. If you’re looking to stand out just a little bit more, choose a font that is similar to one you like, but different enough to not be confused with it. This may seem trivial, or less important, but it can make a world of difference. Not only can the slight changes in shape and weight of the fonts make a big difference visually, but there may be fonts that read better on your particular medium. There are a lot of free font websites out there, like, which all let you search through different types of fonts in very specific categories, that make it easy to find an impactful alternative.

Even though we often get caught up with the pictures, colors, and layout of our projects, and sometimes dismiss the font as a second thought. I’d urge you to move your font selection to the front of your to-do list, and make sure that it’s saying what you need it say.