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Choosing the Right Font for the Job.

Fonts are our handwriting, in this digital world we inhabit. They convey our characteristics to our readers. You often hear the phrase, “Actions speak louder than words”. Nine times out of ten this statement is true. The bold exception is when it comes to the right font to use. Choosing the right font for a project or design can make you or break you.

Impression is Key

The key is perception, in the same way, to prepare for an interview you dress for the job you want not the job you already have. That being said, your final design is constantly being scrutinized by potential customers, and that first impression means everything. The most important factor when choosing the right font is legibility. If someone cannot read your design upon the first review, you have already missed out on an opportunity.

Secondly, in the same way, that a person is able to read you, you need your chosen typeface to speak for you and represent you. That being said it’s also very important that you know your audience, read the crowd and play to your strengths. For example, if you are in charge of a construction company you want your font to reflect the attractive attributes of your products. It needs to strong, bold, sturdy.

Likewise, if you are running a law firm, you would want your letterhead has to appear professional and project the straight and narrow. You need to convey to the potential clientage that you are as supportive and trustworthy as the pillars of justice that you represent.

Apples to Apples

Serif fonts are easily distinguished by tiny feet that accentuate the characters and give the letters more pronounced shapes. These features date back to Latin inscription. Capital letters are noticeably taller than their lower-case counterparts. Serif fonts such as Times New Roman are widely used in printed mediums because of their conservative nature and high readability.

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Sans-Serif fonts are a more modern family. They lack the Serif features and keep to the straight and narrow. There is a lesser height differential between the cases of these fonts. Sans-Serif fonts like Helvetica are easier to read on electronic devices.

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Monospaced fonts are commonly referred to as typewriter fonts. Fonts in this family such as Courier, can be recognized by the equal width of each character. This uniform nature makes these fonts ideal for coding.  However, because of characteristic, these fonts can be hard to read and take up the most real estate on a page.

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Dos and Don’ts

Using two fonts from the same family can come across as boring or dull. You can mix and match Serif and Sans-Serif fonts to yield great results. However,  as a general rule of design, you should avoid using too many fonts. Don’t overdo it. Stick to using a maximum of two fonts. It is important that they complement one another, and the differences aren’t radical enough to draw attention away from the message you are trying to convey. Avoid fonts that have a bad reputation and are considered memes, such as Comic Sans and Papyrus.

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