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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… 

If you happen to 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. 

Possibly you will have visions of serifs dancing in your head…

Possibly you don’t (Ummmm, what’s a serif?), however you’d like some assist figuring out fonts which can be a match to your model. 

Both manner, 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 providing you with tips on the place and easy methods to use them. After studying, you’ll be capable of make extra educated and intentional font alternatives to your model. 

🎥 If you happen to want a video lesson on the topic from yours really 😉 … click on to observe. 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 inclined to immediate sure feelings, ideas, and responses, it’s vital to look at how people understand stuff. Over time, our brains collect knowledge and manage it. By means of our experiences, our consumption of media, our formal and casual training… and extra… we’re always 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 elemental perform of brains… is to encode and combine info acquired from the atmosphere by way of 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 up to now. (The power to do that was crucial to the survival of our Neanderthal ancestors. It helped them to establish what crops had been fit for human consumption, easy methods to hunt efficiently, easy 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 lesson right here? Associations are constructed over time in our minds – and you’ll faucet into a few of them to ship indicators to individuals about your model. 

Your clients and purchasers have been seeing fonts all their lives… on newspapers, on indicators, in books, on product packaging… actually in every single place. Based mostly on the context during which they see them, they’ve some preconceived concepts about them. 

If you happen to select your fonts primarily based on the psychological narrative that’s already current, the way you need individuals to really feel, and what you need them to grasp about your model, your alternatives 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 convey. 

(Notice that, in every class, I’m giving a nod to a few of the model archetypes which can be typically well-aligned with every font sort. These are very free correlations. You aren’t obliged to make use of those which can be typically related along with your sort! Actually, a few of the most attention-grabbing and compelling manufacturers are an suave mix of two archetypes – and incorporate intentional, but sudden, components!

If you’re all in favour of uncovering Y-O-U-R archetypes, you may take my free Model Character Quiz!)

Psssst… You’ll be able to pin 📌 this text for reference!

Serif Fonts 

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

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

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

You’ll discover serif fonts in most books. In addition 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 can be well-established and timeless have used them. For that cause, we are able to get a number of completely different associations from serif fonts. They really feel very basic, trendy, dependable, conventional and typically even formal. 

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

Listed here are a few of the associations individuals are more likely to make when you’re utilizing a serif font as your main 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 just 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 do not need the little additional 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 innovative 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. In addition they are inclined to really feel extra informal and youthful. 

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

Probably the greatest issues about these fonts are that they’re very versatile. You’ll be able to pair them with different fonts which have extra of an expressive persona to present them extra stability. 

Listed here are a few of the associations individuals are more likely to make when you’re utilizing a serif font as your main model font:  

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

Innocents, Mavericks, Heroes… Sans serif fonts may 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 characteristic script fonts.

These are typically 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 completely 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. 

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

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

They are often fairly loud, psychologically. They inform us so much as a result of they carry with them a whole lot of additional context.

They’re not often very readable, in order that they don’t lend themselves effectively to lengthy headlines, they usually positively can’t be used for physique paragraphs.

Generally, script fonts work effectively as an addition to your predominant 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 may 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 can be 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 can be simply… effectively…form of bizarre. (And we like bizarre round right here, so we wish to acknowledge them!)

These are those that look very ornamental. You recognize those… I’ve seen some that evoke the outdated 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 an enormous dose of persona to your model. 

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

It’s an vital lesson I educate purchasers and college students… We wish to base your model on reality, not developments. 

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

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

If you would like your predominant model property to serve you for a few years, stick with 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 to your predominant model fonts, needless to say you may add dimension and variation by way of kinds, too. And, these fashion decisions will convey various things as effectively. 

A really daring font – or a fundamental 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 can be 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 could have a extra luxurious really feel – a extra relaxed, assured really feel. 

If you happen to use the ALL CAPS model of your fonts in your predominant paragraphs, it might probably really feel such as you’re shouting at individuals. 🙉 However when used for headlines, capitalization feels sturdy and assertive. Plus, typically – relying on the font that you just’re utilizing – the all-caps can simply look extra clear – nearly mixing into the background. So, if in case you have a whole lot of different loud design components, selecting all caps may be a pleasant solution to look clear or a bit streamlined.

A pattern I’ve been seeing of late is to make use of all lowercase in textual content – particularly in headlines or logos. Whereas it’s a little bit fad-ish (and you understand how I really feel about THAT! 😐), it does add a playful, sudden really feel. Or, it might probably subtly convey that you just’re not following the principles. (Is perhaps 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 clients? 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 will have favourite fonts? Have you ever chosen them to your model? I’d like to see what you will have chosen – and listen to why you chose them.  



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