We live in an increasingly design-driven world, with new colors, textures and typography developed by the most talented creatives in the design industry. One area of design that is often overlooked is fonts — how text characters are displayed with varying detail, widths and heights. While fonts are assumed to be an arbitrary part of design, there is actually a significant amount of thought that goes into selecting fonts for specific purposes. The power and impact of fonts is surprising to most, until they understand the psychology behind them.
The Psychology of Fonts
Designers use the power of fonts to evoke certain moods and shape an individual’s response to a brand, logo or campaign. Fonts can incite a psychological reaction that can make a brand feel trustworthy, inspiring, chic or humorous. Depending on the needs of the consumer and what fits with their own personality, they unknowingly gravitate towards brands using fonts that speak to them personally.
Humans engage subconsciously with visual content more than written content — a phenomenon that psychologists call Picture Superiority Effect. Because of this, the appearance of text becomes critical in branding and advertising in order for it to be remembered by consumers. Fonts have been elevated to become just as important as graphic elements for this reason. This is why recent years have seen a significant rise in typography, the artistic process of applying font to a design. Typography is the arrangement of letters in a visually interesting way, with different letters of varying weight and positioned in a way that carries the readers’ eyes through the entire message.
The Unexpected Use of Fonts
We see fonts in our everyday lives and barely notice their existence, yet they’re having a subconscious impact on our choices. Following are some places where fonts are strategically used, which you’ll notice more now that they’ve been brought to your attention.
It’s safe to say that regardless of where you are at any particular moment – whether at your desk reading a marketing sales email, driving past a billboard, or sitting at a park noticing people in personalized clothing — fonts are everywhere and they each have a vibe all their own. The next time you sit down to creative activity, keep the power and impact of fonts at the forefront of your design choices.