Fonts are an integral part of a design, not just for their aesthetic virtues, but also because they can help set the mood or tone you’re trying to convey.
When deciding on what typeface to use, you need to form an impression on how you want your audience to react to the text. The goal is to match the personality of the typeface to the intended emotional response.
For instance, which of the following type truly emotes horror?
Fonts are usually broken into four categories: Serif (short lines on the top and bottom of letters are called “serifs”), Sans Serif (no lines on top or bottom), Script (cursive), and Decorative. While titles and subtopics can be decorative, the body type should be easy on the eyes. Extremely ornate letters will be hard to read, and the message will become lost. Try to choose conventional Serif or Sans Serif type, such as New York Times or Helvetica, for better readability.
Another thing to consider when choosing a font is knowing your audience and considering what’s appropriate for them. Using “Comic Sans” is fine for a child’s birthday invitation but would be too childish and lighthearted for a financial firm’s ad journal.
It’s good to do research and familiarize yourself with as many fonts as possible. The more fonts you download and have available, the more creative and expressive you can be for your client. There are thousands of free fonts available online on sites such as 1001freefonts or fontfreak. The fonts are usually grouped in categories such as “gothic,” “western,” “handwriting,” etc., making it easier to find the kind of type you’re looking for. But just because there are thousands of fonts doesn’t mean you should use more than five in your design for headings, subheadings, and callouts. Too many fonts in one design can look messy and non-cohesive.
If you’re still not sure on how to pick a font or how many to use, then look at designs other professionals have done. Also, most print services, such as Accent Printing Solutions, have designers on staff who can help make suggestions.