Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Fonts Can Speak Louder Than Words

I am borrowing much of the information in today’s topic from Chris Gayomali from, and I’m translating what he had to say about fonts for my own readers—rural entrepreneurs. 


So to start, ask yourself if it surprises you that the fonts you use in your marketing messages make a difference.  The evidence is pretty clear.  The font can literally speak louder than the words you write, primarily because words are processed by your intellect while the story the font tells is processed by emotions.  Brain stuff gets conscious attention.  Emotional stuff gets processed below awareness.

"Typography is one ingredient in a pretty complicated presentation," Cyrus Highsmith, a typeface designer and author of the book Inside Paragraphs, said. "Typography is the detail and the presentation of a story.  It represents the voice of an atmosphere, or historical setting of some kind. It can do a lot of things."

The fonts you use are very important to the way your reader processes information. Words hold power. But the artistic way those words are presented affects the way they are read, and the way they think about the information you’re presenting.

Let me give you some illustrations of the importance of using the right font for the job you want it to do.


Last summer, European Organization for Nuclear Research, (CERN)  was announcing their discovery of the Higgs Boson or sometimes called the God Particle.  In some of their materials they used a font called Comic Sans Ms. 


A sentence in Comic Sans Ms looks like this.  (if this translates, otherwise type it on your own computer in comic sans ms.)


As you can see, even from the name, this is not a serious font, and in fact it’s a light hearted—even frivolous font.  CERN got some unwelcome response for presenting science-shaking information in a font of whimsy and fun.  They were ridiculed.


What happens when you use a font that’s at odds with the tone of what you’re trying to say?


Readers end up feeling “funny” about what you have to say.  We call that feeling, cognitive dissonance.  It means there’s stuff going on that doesn’t match.  It’s like the feeling you get when someone you know is really disgusted with you but says, “I love you.”  You just know the feeling and the words don’t match.


That’s not a feeling you want in your potential customers.  The point of what you’re writing is to get them excited about your product or your animal or even your service.  If it’s a fun and light-hearted product, choose a font that has a light-hearted emotional tone.  You set the stage.  If you are marketing something serious, then a font with gravitas is what you need.  There is a section in Chapter Nine of my Book “Marketing Farm Products” that talks about fonts.  Color is important for the same reasons.  Colors, too have emotion. 


Put some effort into making your marketing materials hold together in subject and emotion so the message really gets through to your potential customers!


And if you think you might like a webinar on marketing in March, but haven’t let me know, do it today!


 before the end of the day January 15, and I’ll refund the postage!

No comments: