Elaine Fogel

serif-sansArial, Verdana, Georgia, Times New Roman… does it matter which typography you use in your marketing collateral? According to many studies, yes! A recent post by KISSmetrics got me thinking about this topic again. Which styles work better than others? Before I divulge the answers, here’s the definition of typography the post provides:

Typography is where art meets text. It refers to the arrangement of type…Typography is a tool through which you can add personality and style to your text.”

And, according to BusinessDictionary.com

Study of the design of typefaces, and the way in which the type is laid out on a page to best achieve the desired visual effect and to best convey the meaning of the reading matter.”

Typography used to refer to printed matter, but today, it refers to any writing - print or electronic.

Why is typography important in your marketing efforts?

For one, the whole point of marketing collateral is to get target audiences to read your content. How else can they determine whether your products, services, or nonprofit cause are relevant to them?

If the typography is too squished together, too small to read, unattractive, negatively affects mood and cognitive performance, or is unprofessional (think Comic Sans), you’re losing prospects from the get go. You want to make it super easy for them to read and process your content, right?

Well, without the “right” typography, it can be too difficult to comprehend. And, no one wants to struggle to read your content.

There are countless studies on typography, many that are contradictory. Some show that there’s no readability difference between using serif or sans serif typography, while others specify which typefaces work better than others in print versus web channels. 

I tend to follow a general guideline on this issue. Online, I use sans serifs for the content body and either serifs or sans serifs for titles and subtitles. For print collateral, I use serifs for body content and sans serifs for titles.

Of course, there’s no one “right” answer for everyone. The best thing to do is to test your typography choices to see which get the better response rates.

In the meantime, check this excellent infographic from urbanfonts.com entitled: “Serif vs Sans: The Final Battle.” Which typography do you use in your marketing collateral? Please share!

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