What’s In A Font?

How to choose the best font for your blog

OK, this may seem like an odd post for blog owners to think about, but the font that you use for your updates and site really does have an effect upon the response of your customers. As with most things, psychologists have spent time and effort looking in to the reaction of people to various font styles online, to work out how reading in certain styles can affect our customers’ perception of us and our blog in either a positive or negative way.

It may sound quirky, but graphology (the study of handwriting) has now moved on in our digital age, to the study of font styles and what they represent, in an effort to establish how people respond to certain styles, and what the favorite choice of font for individuals may say about their characteristics and personality.

Getting to the science bit

According to new study by a group of Graphologists, the choice of font used in e-mails, online and type-written letters could say more about an individual’s personality than their creative writing skills. Graphology – the art of studying handwriting – has been used for centuries to try to analyze people’s characters, and experts have moved on to online media as handwriting declines in favor of keyboards.

The Psychology of Fonts study was commissioned by Lexmark Printers, and headed up by eminent psychologist Dr Aric Sigman. It explains how a typeface will influence what the reader thinks about you on your blog. According to the study, Courier is seen as the choice of sensible people, whereas more curvaceous styles such as Georgia or Shelley suggest a more outgoing, flippant personality.

The study looked at the preferred fonts of celebrities and famous icons, and matches fonts to certain personalities. Kylie Minogue favors Shelley, Richard Branson likes Verdana, and newsreader Anna Ford is fond of Times New Roman.

The psychologist comments: “Using the wrong font may give people the wrong impression about you and could affect decisions that will shape your future.” This means that the choice of font on our blog can leave people with an unwitting impression of us that we may need to reconsider, in order to gain customer trust when we write.

According to the study, we should be using Times for CVs and job applications, Courier New for resigning from a position (as it is seen as cold and unpleasant!) and Verdana for more creative purposes. If you are a serious blogger, consider Times for your site as it is seen as being trustworthy, whereas if you blog for creativity, try opting for a more curvaceous style such as Calibri.

The study also showed that the size of font we pick on our blog is important, as people prefer to read smaller fonts when it comes to generating an impression of power and authority. Men prefer rectilinear fonts, while women tend to respond best to curves and prominent tails on letters.

When it comes to setting your personal brand, and working out the impression which you want to portray on your site, it seems that font choice is as important as color schemes and images for getting your customers onside, enhancing relationships and generating trust!

What font do I use? I use Arial, I like it and plus using Headway as my theme framework I can change it instantly if I get bored. What font do you use, and why?

16 thoughts on “What’s In A Font?”

  1. I personally like Verdana…it’s a perfect balance of small yet bold letters that conveys your message effectively. I have come across a lot of blogs that use small font and trust me they couldnt hold my interest for longer than 10 seconds

  2. I personally like Verdana…it’s a perfect balance of small yet bold letters that conveys your message effectively. I have come across a lot of blogs that use small font and trust me they couldnt hold my interest for longer than 10 seconds

    1. I do like Verdana too actually, but as you say it has to be used at the right size. I think some people just design it to be read on their own computer! Thanks for the comment

  3. G’Day Joel,
    The critical thing about a font isn’t who uses it. It’s how easy it is to read. “Readability” is what matters most. All the empirical evidence that I’ve seen shows that serif fonts “outread” sans serif fonts. The work of Colin Wheildon in Australia in the 80s and 90s is particularly relevant.

    Making a blog easy to read is paramount. A serif font may not be fashionable. I guess it depends on whether you want to look good or be easily read.

    Thanks for raising this vital issue Make sure you have fun.
    Regards
    Leon

    1. Interesting, thanks Leon. I think a lot of people either read one or the other better, and I actually find sans serif font better – but it also depends at what size they’re displayed. There’s a lot more to it than a lot of people think!

  4. Great post! I read the book “Stop Counting Sheep & Find Out How Type Works” a number of years ago. It talked about the sociological significance of fonts, as well as what makes up fonts. I now have wonderful words like ligatures and kerning to add to my lexicon. I think that fonts are very relevant and too often taken for granted.

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