In some cases, what your sign says may be less important that how it relays your information. Font choice is an important part of proper sign design. The right font can make a great impression, and give your business a professional appearance. The wrong font can give a customer the impression that you are not serious about your business. How can you avoid making a font choice mistake when you design your sign?
- Stay away from novelty fonts. A simple Times or Arial font may seem boring, but in many cases, it will give a better impression than a font has a novelty design. Some examples of novelty fonts include seasonally themed fonts for Christmas that include snow-caps or decorations or scary fonts for Halloween.
Overly curly or decorative fonts may not give your customers the right impression of your business. If you need to put a professional face forward for your business, a standard font that is easy to read is a much better choice.
However, if your business is creative in nature, such as a craft store, or a specialty shop, a plain font may not be appropriate. While it is a good idea to stay away from novelty fonts with signs, you can still have a little fun if you want to give the impression of creativity. There are many fonts available that are easy to read, yet have a few decorative touches.
A good rule of thumb to follow when selecting a font is that less is more. Strive more for readability than creativity. A sign may look very nice, but if it cannot be read, it is a waste of your time and money.
- To serif or not to serif. A serif is a small portion of a letter that extends beyond the actual letter. This serif is used to draw the reader’s eye to the next letter, to facilitate reading ease. If you have a sign that has a great deal of text, you may want to consider using a serif font. However, if you only need to use your sign for a brief promotional or directional message, a simple non-serif font will suffice.
- Making your letters bold. If you need to draw attention to your message, bolding your text is a great way to accomplish this. A bold letter will command attention more quickly than a plain letter. This is a great way to promote a sale or an event and quickly catch a potential customer’s eye. Bolding can also be useful when mixed with regular fonts, to make specific areas of a sign stand out
For example, if your sign has your business name and address, you can use a bold font for the business name and a regular font for the rest of the address. In many cases, name recognition may be more important than actual address recognition. If a customer remembers your business’ name, they can always look up the address in the phone book.
When selecting a font, always make sure that the font is royalty free. Most fonts that are included with design or word processing programs fall into this category. However, if you have purchased a specialty font, you may need to check for any licensing requirements.