Most of us know good typography when we see it because it just feels right; everything on the page or screen looks to be in harmony, and nothing looks out of place. With that in mind, how do you utilize great typography in your next marketing material, landing page, website, ad, or newsletter?
It All Starts With Legibility
When your text is legible (easy to read), the reader will focus on the message, and only on the message – the poor choice of spacing, typeface, color, and so on can make your customer’s mind wander. This point is especially important in advertising. If you are trying to sell your product or service, you do not want your potential customer thinking about a poor typography choice, and straying away from the desired outcome (e.g., purchase).
Typography Reinforces The Desired Mood
Your desired mood should drive typeface choice. For example, the typeface for anti-smoking campaigns will be very different to a typeface promoting a Sesame Street Playhouse. On one hand we are trying to warn the audience about a possible danger, and on another we are trying to be playful and relate to children; therefore we may want to use a playful typeface like Crayon En Folie (Pencil font) when marketing to kids, and Slab serif (thick, block-like serif) when communicating an important message to adults.
Your marketing material must have a mood (professional, modern, serious, playful, angry, etc.) and your typography has to reflect that mood.
Tip: Limit typefaces to two per page, document, or Ad.
Typography Helps Group Related Elements
Good typography helps to group related elements and makes it clear which elements are similar and which are not. Why is this important? For example, if you are creating a landing page, you will have a lot of different elements – heading, subheading, description, CTAs, key benefits, offer details, price, small print, and so on. To help create order, you can use different typeface, size, spacing, and colors to group elements in a logical order. Making it easier to distinguish between various elements on the page.
Typography Communicates Hierarchy
If we use the landing page example above, how do we communicate the 2-3 most important elements on the page? Typographic hierarchy establishes an order of importance within your page, document, website, or any other marketing material. More importantly, it allows the reader to find the most important elements quickly. For example, if the discount is the most compelling element of your promotion, then it will likely have the biggest and boldest typeface; hence it will be more prominent then the price itself, or product/service benefits.
A clear hierarchy is essential to achieving a high conversion rate; therefore, think carefully about the 2-3 most critical elements of your marketing material, and then use typography to communicate the desired hierarchy.
Whitespace (space left untouched) has many benefits – it gives readers a visual break, it adds professionalism and a certain elegance. Also, whitespace makes your material more approachable. On the other hand, marketing material which doesn’t utilize whitespace feels cluttered and difficult to read.
Most marketers understand the importance of white space, but they often underutilize it because they are trying to over-communicate their message. For example, trying to list every single feature or benefit.
Whitespace plays a crucial part in great typography and legibility, and is one of the main reasons why a specific marketing material just feels right; therefore, be conscious about white space and how you apply it to your typography and marketing material in general.
Typography is a vital tool in communicating a marketing message to your audience because it has the power to set the mood, tone, and urgency of the message. Your customers are oversaturated with information, so standing out is becoming more and more difficult. Excellent typography can be your competitive advantage if your competition is neglecting this crucial part of marketing.