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HomeBrandingChoose Your Fonts with Psychology in Thoughts - Kaye Putnam

Choose Your Fonts with Psychology in Thoughts – Kaye Putnam

Ahh, the psychology of fonts… 

Should you hang around right here as a result of you’re a model nerd like me 🤓, then this phrase most likely will get you PRET-ty excited. 

Perhaps you may have visions of serifs dancing in your head…

Perhaps you don’t (Ummmm, what’s a serif?), however you’d like some assist figuring out fonts which are a match in your model. 

Both approach, settle in for some geeky enjoyable, as a result of on this article I’m diving deep into the psychology of your typography. 

I’m outlining the three differing kinds 😉 of fonts (See what I did there? 🤣) – and supplying you with recommendations on the place and methods to use them. After studying, you’ll be capable to make extra educated and intentional font choices in your model. 

🎥 Should you choose a video lesson on the topic from yours actually 😉 … click on to look at. If you wish to learn the article, keep it up! (Pssst… I’ve heard the most important branding nerds do each!) 

People are wired to search for patterns. 

To know why sure fonts are likely to immediate sure feelings, ideas, and responses, it’s necessary to look at how people understand stuff. Over time, our brains collect knowledge and arrange it. By means of our experiences, our consumption of media, our formal and casual schooling… and extra… we’re consistently processing and organizing info. 

Quite a few psychological research – throughout many disciplines – have proven that our brains are wired to search for patterns. ⬅️

In a single seminal 2014 paper on Superior Sample Processing (SPP), Mark T. Mattson writes:

“The basic perform of brains… is to encode and combine info acquired from the surroundings via sensory inputs, after which generate adaptive behavioral responses.”

In different phrases, we glance to make associations with what we’re seeing – and join it to what we’ve seen prior to now. (The power to do that was crucial to the survival of our Neanderthal ancestors. It helped them to determine what vegetation have been fit for human consumption, methods to hunt efficiently, methods to predict climate, and extra…) 

So it’s now it’s a part of our DNA to search for patterns, and this tendency is highly effective. 

The advertising and marketing lesson right here? Associations are constructed over time in our minds – and you may faucet into a few of them to ship indicators to folks about your model. 

Your prospects and shoppers have been seeing fonts all their lives… on newspapers, on indicators, in books, on product packaging… actually in all places. Primarily based on the context through which they see them, they’ve some preconceived concepts about them. 

Should you select your fonts primarily based on the psychological narrative that’s already current, the way you need folks to really feel, and what you need them to grasp about your model, your choices will set off the responses of your selecting.

Fairly highly effective, proper? (I do know you’ll use your new-found energy for good – not evil. 😉 ) 

So, let’s go into the three kinds of typography – and the associations they bring about. 

(Notice that, in every class, I’m giving a nod to among the model archetypes which are typically well-aligned with every font kind. These are very unfastened correlations. You aren’t obliged to make use of those which are typically related together with your kind! In reality, among the most fascinating and compelling manufacturers are an clever mix of two archetypes – and incorporate intentional, but surprising, parts!

If you’re keen on uncovering Y-O-U-R archetypes, you may take my free Model Character Quiz!)

Psssst… You possibly can pin 📌 this text for reference!

Serif Fonts 

Serif fonts have small further strokes (referred to as serifs!) on the finish of every primary vertical and horizontal stroke. 

In his guide The Origin of the Serif, Edward Catich defined that serifs have been first utilized by stonemasons who have been carving letters into stone. Outlines have been painted as a information for his or her work. The stonemasons would then comply with the painted marks, and the paint would flare into the ends of their letter strokes. 

(Sorry… I warned you we have been nerding out right here… 🤣)

You’ll discover serif fonts in most books. Additionally they grace the covers of a few of our tradition’s most venerable newspapers and magazines (like Vogue and The New York Instances). You’ll additionally see them on indicators and logos for a lot of nice establishments (like banks, museums, and universities). 

Historically ;), manufacturers which are well-established and timeless have used them. For that cause, we will get a couple of totally different associations from serif fonts. They really feel very traditional, fashionable, dependable, conventional and typically even formal. 

Extensively-available serif fonts embody Instances New Roman, Georgia, Palatino, Garamond, and Abril Show.

Listed below are among the associations persons are more likely to make in the event you’re utilizing a serif font as your major model font:  

  • Your model is established and has endurance. 
  • You worth custom. 
  • You’re credible and educated. 
  • Individuals can belief you – it doesn’t matter what. You’re dependable and a known-quantity. 
  • Your services or products is definitely worth the reassuringly-high costs that you simply cost! 

The model archetypes that serif fonts typically align with? Royals, Sages, Lovers… these may give you the results you want! 

Sans-Serif Fonts

The second main class is the sans serif. And… You guessed it! …Since “sans” means “with out,” these typefaces would not have the little further strokes or flares on the ends.

In on a regular basis life, you’ll see these fonts on freeway indicators (the place readability is vital!), in logos of extra leading edge manufacturers, and on the covers of extra up to date magazines.

You’ll additionally typically see sans serif fonts on-line and on web sites. For that cause alone, they really feel extra fashionable to us. Additionally they are likely to really feel extra informal and youthful. 

Widespread examples of sans serif fonts are Arial, Montserrat, Proxima Nova, and Open Sans. 

Among the finest issues about these fonts are that they’re very versatile. You possibly can pair them with different fonts which have extra of an expressive persona to present them extra stability. 

Listed below are among the associations persons are more likely to make in the event you’re utilizing a serif font as your major model font:  

  • Your model is contemporary, up to date. 
  • You’re no-nonsense. 
  • You’re on high of the most recent improvements – and perhaps even forward of the curve. 
  • You’re straight-forward, direct, and sensible. 

Innocents, Mavericks, Heroes… Sans serif fonts is likely to be nice decisions for you. 

Script Fonts

The third main class of font is the script font – or the handwritten fonts. 

A few of our favourite manufacturers use scripts fonts – and are fairly recognizable due to that selection! Kellogg’s cereal, Instagram, Coca-Cola, Virgin Airways… their logos all function script fonts.

These are usually extra informal and really feel welcoming. Generally they’re extra pleasant and much more female – however that’s not at all times the case. (For instance, a graffiti-style script font will elicit totally different feelings than a script that appears prefer it was written on a love letter – or by a toddler.) 

Some script fonts you might know embody: Playfair Script, Allura, Pacifico, and Mr. Defoe.*** 

⚠️ ***WARNING: As a result of script and hand-written fonts are so distinctive and recognizable, the same old suspects (like these above) can begin to look fairly over-used and pedestrian. 

Should you actually need to choose a script font, you may have to go trying to find one thing that’s contemporary (and legible). Tread rigorously, lest you find yourself a cliche! ⚠️… (Simply ask Ryan Gosling and the forged of Saturday Evening Reside… 🤣🤣🤣 … I can’t cease laughing.)

If our sans-serifs are the versatile ones, then our scripts are kind of the other! They’re just like the ability gamers. They’re explosive and impactful – however they have to be used extraordinarily sparingly, for a few key causes:

They are often fairly loud, psychologically. They inform us rather a lot as a result of they carry with them a variety of further context.

They’re not often very readable, in order that they don’t lend themselves nicely to lengthy headlines, and so they undoubtedly can’t be used for physique paragraphs.

Normally, script fonts work nicely as an addition to your primary fonts. They’re nice for including flare or emphasis – and to present your model a really distinctive taste and a few curiosity.  

Hand-written and script fonts can work as accents for most of the archetypes… however Lovers, Caregivers, Mavericks, and Creators? These is likely to be particularly aligned for you. 

Okay, in order that’s it. That’s my font article. Three kinds of fonts…

BUT, WAIT! Psyche! 

I’m throwing in a BONUS class – only for Y-O-U. 🙂 Right here you go… 

Ornamental or “Show” Fonts

It’s true – most branding students will say there are three kinds of typography… 

However there are some fonts which are simply so distinct or distinctive that they don’t reeeeeaaaallly fall into one of many three buckets we’ve outlined above. 

These are those which are simply… nicely…type of bizarre. (And we like bizarre round right here, so we need to acknowledge them!)

These are those that look very ornamental. You realize those… I’ve seen some that evoke the previous west – or incorporate flowers proper into the letters. Equally to script fonts, they need to be used very sparingly – however they are often an efficient solution to infuse a giant dose of persona to your model. 

⚠️ Show fonts come together with just a little extra baggage although, so I need to give you one other caveat right here. ⚠️ They are usually fairly fashionable – which implies they will exit of favor comparatively rapidly.

It’s an necessary lesson I train shoppers and college students… We need to base your model on reality, not developments. 

By defining and leaning into the reality about who you might be and the way you present up on the earth, you may construct a model that may stand the take a look at of time. (And also you gained’t need to re-brand each six months!) 

As a result of we worth timelessness, we don’t need to do something that’s too fashionable within the major expression of your model. Should you use show or ornamental fonts in any respect, my suggestion is to incorporate them for a marketing campaign or a selected product that you simply’re releasing now – for a finite interval. 

If you would like your primary model property to serve you for a few years, follow the serif fonts, the sans serif fonts, and the script fonts for something that’s going to be central to your model. 

Including Dimension 

When you’ve chosen candidates in your primary model fonts, understand that you may add dimension and variation via types, too. And, these model decisions will convey various things as nicely. 

A really daring font – or a primary font in daring – will really feel very sturdy and durable. In the meantime, a very skinny, dainty font will really feel extra ethereal, fashionable, and lightweight. 

Fonts which are very squished collectively and condensed (Nerd alert: 🤓 The time period for the house in between letters or characters is known as kerning!) can really feel very frantic and high-energy. Whereas typography that’s very unfold out can have a extra luxurious really feel – a extra relaxed, assured really feel. 

Should you use the ALL CAPS model of your fonts in your primary paragraphs, it may well really feel such as you’re shouting at folks. 🙉 However when used for headlines, capitalization feels sturdy and assertive. Plus, typically – relying on the font that you simply’re utilizing – the all-caps can simply look extra clear – nearly mixing into the background. So, if in case you have a variety of different loud design parts, selecting all caps is likely to be a pleasant solution to look clear or a bit streamlined.

A development I’ve been seeing of late is to make use of all lowercase in textual content – particularly in headlines or logos. Whereas it’s just a little fad-ish (and you know the way I really feel about THAT! 😐), it does add a playful, surprising really feel. Or, it may well subtly convey that you simply’re not following the principles. (Could be excellent for an Harmless-Maverick archetype mix!) 

Fonts are enjoyable. (Weeeeee!) And, there’s much more to them than simply 26 letters and a few symbols! Keying into the emotions they convey – and the concepts they stand for within the minds of your prospects? Fairly genius. 🤓

Whether or not you’re completely geeking out alongside me – otherwise you’re new to the language and persona of typography – I hope this text gave you some new insights into the psychology behind how we use fonts in our manufacturers. 

Remark beneath… Do you may have favourite fonts? Have you ever chosen them in your model? I might like to see what you may have chosen – and listen to why you chose them.  

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