Good Fonts for Marketing
By Nancy Wagner
Selecting the proper font in your marketing materials can make a big difference in grabbing consumers' attention. If the fonts are too small and hard to read, many potential customers won't bother to take a look. If you make them too large, your marketing efforts might look amateurish and awkward. Use a unified set of fonts in all of your marketing messages and you’ll grab your prospects' attention and encourage them to buy.
Size and Types
Most websites, email messages and print marketing materials use a mix of serif and non-serif fonts. Examples of serif fonts include Baskerville, Century, Times, and Times New Roman. These fonts are typically used in the body of your marketing message. Sans-serif fonts include Arial, Helvetica, Calibri and Verdana and are most often used in headlines. Size matters, too, when it comes to fonts. Limit your font sizes to only two or three throughout the entire piece or website. For older audiences, consider using headlines in type size 16 to 24 points and the rest of the message in type size 12 to 16 point. Use smaller font sizes with younger audiences. Headlines set at 12 to 18 point fonts and body type fonts between 10 to 12 points work well.
The variety of Web browsers and email clients using different types of computers makes it difficult to ensure your messages display properly if you use unusual fonts. Most Web browsers and email programs offer four common fonts you should stick to: Times, Arial, Helvetica and Verdana. When you send out an email marketing campaign or build a website, using these fonts means the reader sees the information the way you intended it to be seen. If you vary from these fonts, the emails and website pages might look vastly different from what you intended, and may cause visitors to leave before they finish reading the page.
The key to font selection for printed marketing materials is to use just two or three different fonts for the entire piece. If you use more than that, the material becomes difficult to read and looks unprofessional. For example, marketing information about technology products requires a more straightforward font combination such as Arial for the headlines and Times for the body copy. But a gift basket company might use a cursive serif font such as Lucida Calligraphy for the headlines and an Arial font for the descriptions.
Be consistent when selecting font size and type for all of your marketing material. This helps create a unified look that builds basic trust with your prospective buyer. Ideally, your website type should match your print materials so the reader feels the message is unified across all of your marketing efforts. Test your websites in various browsers and on different types of computers to make sure the fonts display the way you want them to.
Nancy Wagner is a marketing strategist and speaker who started writing in 1998. She writes business plans for startups and established companies and teaches marketing and promotional tactics at local workshops. Wagner's business and marketing articles have appeared in "Home Business Journal," "Nation’s Business," "Emerging Business" and "The Mortgage Press," among others. She holds a B.S. from Eastern Illinois University.