The creative process of crafting a sign can involve many decisions on size, colour, graphics, and so on. But one of the most important elements of signage is the font that gets utilized. The clarity of how your message is written will have a big impact on how it is understood by the reader, but the font you write that message in will have an impact on how the reader feels about the message. If you know what can be expected when readers confront certain fonts, you can use those fonts to your advantage to elicit specific feelings from your signage.
Stirring up Emotion
The purpose of a font, at least in part, is to make an impression on the reader at an emotional level. Certain fonts can stir up feelings at both the conscious and unconscious levels.
Fonts vary in their thickness, width, letter height, space between characters, direction, and so on. They can be rounded, flourished, or rigid. When placed together, the characters in a particular font will convey a rhythm that will in turn create a feeling in the viewer. A flowing rhythm can create a relaxed feeling, while an erratic rhythm can elicit feelings of unease and confusion. Determine the sort of feeling you’re hoping to evoke in the reader to help guide your choice of font.
Examples of Fonts Creating Feeling
The font Candlescript has a classic and elegant look to it, which can evoke feelings of grandiosity. It would work well on the signage for a bridal boutique.
The font Blazed is full of energy and edginess. This font on a sign may conjure up images of race cars and hot rods, and as such, would work well for the signage of an auto shop.
The Olde English font looks just as you might imagine, and recalls thoughts of history and days or yore. This font might have a home in an antique store.
Serif versus Sans-serif Fonts
Serif fonts are generally best for use in subdued, formal, or serious messaging, while sans-serif fonts convey a bolder yet more informal tone. However, if your sign has a considerable amount of text, serif fonts are the better choice because they are easier to read. Serifs – the small lines attached to the end of a stroke in a letter or symbol – help connect the letters visually, making it easier for readers to scan across and down a body of text.
Possible Advantages of Using Hard-To-Read Fonts
A study published in Princeton’s Cognition magazine explored the idea that the harder it is for someone to read an item, the better that person will be able to recall the item at a later date. In the study, participants were asked to learn about the characteristics of fictional aliens. The participants were presented with lists of features and were asked to recall those features 15 minutes later.
The group that was presented with the lists in hard to read fonts were able to recall information 14% better than the group who took in the same information in straightforward, easy-to-read fonts.
It may not be wise to create a sign that’s nearly illegible, but the results of this study indicate that unusual fonts may help forge a more lasting imprint on the mind of readers.
With over twenty years’ experience, About Signs in Oakville can help you decide what font works best with your storefront and branding.