Do fonts really matter?

Recently we completed a website for a client. Although we had followed the client’s specifications to the letter in terms of usage of corporate identity, things like colours, logo and fonts, the end product somehow lacked a nice polished look and feel.

I started analyzing the site piece by piece to see if I could put my finger on the elusive piece of “zing” needed to get it looking just right.

We outsource most of our graphic design, so I didn’t have an art type person to consult with to see what their feelings were but after some analysis and experimentation I realized that the missing piece was the font. We had used the font provided by the company’s marketing department to stay in line with their corporate identity but somehow the site still felt “incomplete.”

Consider the following graphic:



Who wouldn’t like to receive a message like that on Valentine’s Day or their anniversary? The sentiments are clear, the graphic compliments the message and the font has a nice round-edged, soft feel to it. Exactly the feelings a love-struck person would have. It gets the message across clearly.

Now consider the following graphic:


The message is the same but now the intention seems to take on a dark, ominous feel. In fact, this would be a downright creepy note to get.

The only difference here is that the graphic on the note is different and the font has a jagged, edgy feel to it. Changing just those two elements has conveyed an entirely different feel to the reader and in fact it has also completely changed the unspoken implication of the note.

So - my takeaway from this is that it is vitally important to pay attention to the fonts on your site. You may unintentionally be sending a very different message to the one you are trying to convey simply because you are using the incorrect font.

Evaluate the content displayed next to graphics as well as captions and headings. Sometimes you may need to adjust only one of these elements to change your site from drab to sparking.

As always, we would love to hear your views. Please leave a comment below. Happy coding.


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