Color schemes, graphics, and selecting the perfect words are important decisions when developing a marketing piece, but don't overlook the importance of the fonts you select. Just as the tone in your voice dictates a conversation, the font selection plays a crucial role in evoking emotions within your reader. The use of the right typeface will not only enhance the marketing material but will also help your readers to absorb the message you want to convey. There are a few guidelines to effectively mix and match fonts to create the visual appeal that your readers desire. Serif vs. Sans Serif Fonts: One easy way to create a successful marketing piece is to mix Serif and Sans Serif fonts. Serif fonts are embellished with little feet or a decorative line at the top and bottom of the letter. The use of these little feet are preferred for the body of the text since the serifs tend to distinguish each letter and help create a visual line for the reader to follow. Sans Serif fonts (the term comes from the French word sans, meaning "without") are used for the headlines and are plain block letters which do not have small decorative lines to embellish the font.
Font Personalities: Just like people, fonts have personalities too! Fonts have different qualities and represent a variety of feelings such as friendly, traditional, cluttered, official, powerful, warm, or even scary. The wrong font can detract from your intended meaning so be sure to choose wisely. To eliminate confusion, it is best to limit the number of fonts used. I personally find that only using two or three varying fonts per marketing piece keeps the interest high yet maintains a uniform, pulled together feel. Serif fonts such as Garamond, Times New Roman, and Georgia represent formal, traditional, and refined qualities. Sans Serif fonts such as Arial, Tahoma and Verdana represent modern, uncluttered, and casual qualities. Script fonts such as Mistral, Rage Italic, and Hurricane are more fanciful, graceful, and should be used for embellishing since they compromise legibility.
My Favorites: Sometimes the fonts installed on your computer aren't quite right for a particular advertising headline or maybe a special letter you are sending to a client. Fonts101, Dafont.com, or Abstract Fonts has thousands of fonts to choose from. Best of all they are free! On each of these websites, you are able to preview your specific text before downloading the font. I've included a few of my favorite fonts to help you get started: