Font & Why It Matters: 3 Things You Should Know About Typography

When it comes to content marketing, typography is a crucial yet often overlooked factor. Typography essentially refers to the way text is arranged in a document. Basic elements of typography include font, line length, leading (the space between lines of text), and tracking and kerning (the space between letters in text). Each typographic element is important and can have a substantial impact on the way on people consume your content. Here is what every brand should know about the power of typography.

Font elicits an emotional response

Brands can make a consumer feel a particular way just by using a certain font. For example, research has shown that serif types are perceived to be more focused and organized, and therefore often inspire a feeling of calm in the reader. Furthermore, while rounder types elicit happiness, sharper types tend to provoke anger and aggression.

Font affects the way people consume text-based information

A study conducted by psychologists at Wichita State University examined the affect of font on perceived legibility of the text. Georgia and Times were consistently ranked the most legible fonts. Because not all fonts are read the same, different fonts have different affects on the way readers consume information. In part, this is because when we read, our eyes follow a kind of natural viewing pattern known as a scan path, breaking up sentences into units scientists term saccades (scans) and fixations (pauses). A reader will typically scan seven to nine letters before needing to pause to process the information that has been consumed, and it is during these pauses that information can be absorbed. It is easier for readers to engage in this process of scanning and pausing when reading some fonts than with others. The better a font facilitates this process, the more consumers will view it is as legible and easy to read. That’s good for your brand, as studies show that good typography that is easy to read will actually put people in a better mood.

Font choice affects trust in the information being presented

Research by Errol Morris and Cornell psychology professor David Dunning compellingly suggests that consumers view some fonts as more “believable” than others. In other words, by choosing the right font, a brand can actually boost consumer confidence and trust. Morris directed participants to a passage from “The Beginning of Infinity,” by physicist David Deutsch, claiming that earth is unlikely to be destroyed by an asteroid. Then, he asked readers whether or not they believed Deutsch’s claim to be true, and how confident they felt in their assertion. Participants thought they were being tested to see if they were optimistic or pessimistic, but in reality Morris was secretly gauging the perceived veracity of different fonts, as the passage was randomly generated in one of six fonts for each reader.

Morris discovered that individuals were more likely to believe a claim displayed in Baskerville as opposed to one displayed in Georgia, Computer Modern, Helvetica, Comic Sans or Trebuchet. For every 1,000 respondents, roughly 5 more people believed Deutsch’s claim when it was displayed in Baskerville. That might seem small (it’s a mere 2 percent increase) but the difference is statistically significant. Most brands would love a 2 percent advantage that leads to increased clickthrough rates, increased conversion rates, and more enquiries.

The bottom line? If you are trying to convince and engage your target audience, font choice should be an integral component of information presentation.

Need advice about your marketing material? For a free consultation contact Beyond the Hedge on info@bthcreative.com or on 1300 823 191.