The Psychology Of Font

So you’ve designed your artwork, chosen your colours and decided on your text… now you need to pick your font. It’s well-known that colours hold various connotations – red can denote danger or passion, orange often represents anger, blue can mean depression, nature or calmness, pink often symbolises fun and vitality and purple is synonymous with luxury (check out our blog on colour use here). However, did you know that font also holds various symbolic meaning, and can evoke its own connotations in readers? Read on to find out more!

Serif fonts

sample text of garamond font

You may well have heard the term serif fonts, but what does it actually mean? Serifs are small strokes attached the larger strokes in a letter, so instead of a single straight stroke, it would be topped with some additional, small details. Examples of common serif fonts include Times New Roman, Courier, ITC Clearface, PT Serif and Garamond.

Why use it? These fonts are best used to convey established, specialist brands – as the font evokes a sense of formality and confidence. This is a great font if you’re trying to convey information with authority and a sense of a recognised and reputable brand. Readers tend to feel safe, secure and like they can trust this font.

Sans serif fonts

Sans serif fonts are exactly as they sound- fonts without the serifs! As such, they have a much simpler, cleaner appearance, and are often associated with newer businesses and products. Popular Sans serif fonts include Open Sans, Comic Sans and Arial.

Why use it? These fonts generally come across as modern and forward thinking. They are simple and elegant and as such often used for progressive or effortlessly luxurious products’ branding – some good examples being the Chanel and Microsoft logos. Readers often get a sense of reliability, modernity and straightforwardness with these types of fonts.

Comic sans was specifically designed to emulate comic book lettering, and was created to be simple so it could be easily read by children, and ask such is excellent for marketing products designed for little ones.

Decorative, unique or display fonts

Decorative or display fonts are unusual, highly stylised fonts that are generally unique to a particular brand. Take the Disney logo, for example. No other font has the same stylised tittle (dot on the ‘i’), rendering it totally unique.

Why use it? These type of fonts really make your brand pop- and give you something instantly unique and recognisable. They demonstrate creativity and fun, and are great for products aimed at children – but be careful to ensure they are still fully legible. Readers will generally feel that the product is entertaining, dynamic and interesting with these types of fonts.

Modern fonts


Modern fonts are generally spaced out, san serif fonts that are simple, depicting progression and exclusivity. Some notable logos that adopt modern fonts are Hulu and Facebook, and as such these types of fonts are especially appealing to young people. Examples of modern font include Helvetica, Matchbook and Politica.

Why use it? Recognisable associations like Facebook give this type of font a real appeal to under 40’s, so that’s a handy headstart if they are your target audience. Modern fonts also demonstrate that your product is up to date, contemporary and progressive, and most modern fonts are very clear and legible. As such, readers are more likely to feel like a product is on-trend and technologically savvy with this type of font.

Script fonts

Script fonts are elegant flowing fonts that are often cursive (joined up). They also include any ‘Handwriting’ fonts, so are arguably the closest to regular untyped writing. Common examples include Lucida and Lobster.

Why use it? Script fonts evoke luxury with a side of playfulness- imagine Cadburys, CocaCola or Instagram. The fonts encourage readers by seeming friendly, elegant and relaxed, as well as aesthetically pleasing. The Instagram font is a great example of a script font – playful, yet sophisticated and stylish. Be careful to ensure your script fonts are large enough- as sometimes legibility can be impaired if the size is too small. Readers experience a sense of luxury, fun and sophistication with this type of font.

Should you need any help with your designing for print, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our friendly team today!

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