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In a world steadily moving online, a slip of paper still has an incredible impact on an audience. When you give your clients a business card or brochure, you give them something that may stay with them for a long time, whether it lingers in their wallet, on their desk, or in their briefcase.

 

As you design your print materials, you will make decisions about paper type, text color, and imagery. But consider one element that says much more about your company than you might think: your font type.

 

The font you choose sets your document’s tone and, by extension, your business’s tone. Make your documents as powerful as possible by coupling meaningful content with the right font. Read our tips below to find the font best suited for your project.

 

Serif Typeface
Serif fonts use serifs, or small lines on characters’ tops and bottoms. These embellishments close off the character’s main stroke. A few classic serif fonts include Baskerville, Georgia, Times New Roman, and Courier.

 

Serif fonts are one of the oldest typeface styles. In printed materials, they deliver an authoritative, respectable tone. Readers connect these fonts with professionalism, formality, and expertise. If you want a classic, conservative font choice, serif is a safe all-business bet.

 

When to Use Serif Typeface
Serifs expedite reading. The little “feet” on characters’ ends actually help guide your reader’s eye quickly through your document. As you design your printed material, consider using serif typeface for body copy, especially for larger text blocks. Serif also works well on letterhead and business cards.

 

Sans Serif Typeface
Sans serif fonts do not use serifs to close off letter strokes. Some examples include Trebuchet, Helvetica, Geneva, and Arial.

 

Sans serif fonts make a document look clean and modern. Some come across as casual, while other just seem humbly professional.

 

When to Use Sans Serif Typeface
Anytime you aim to present yourself as professional and approachable, try sans serif. You can use these fonts to lighten the document’s mood. For posters and catalogs, sans serif works especially well for headings and subheadings.

 

Script Typeface
Script fonts resemble cursive writing. Formal script fonts look like calligraphy, while casual scripts may look more like a person’s handwriting. They often have elegant flourishes and ligatures (or connections) between characters. Script font examples include Brush Script, Snell Roundhand, and Kuenstler Script.

 

You can create grace, timelessness, and warmth with script typeface. A casual script can create a personal, thoughtful feeling. A more formal script creates an amiable but professional tone.

 

When to Use Script Typeface
Script fonts work best in small doses. While the flourishes add a graceful element, they can slow down smooth reading. Therefore, avoid using these fonts for long text blocks. If you use a script font in brochures, catalogs, and flyers, use it only for very short text pieces, like headings. Using it for much more than that will slow the reader down, and then they might disengage from your content.
Another word of warning: script fonts can come off too flowery if not used carefully. While flowery might work well for a greeting card or banner, it may not suit more professional documents. Choose a font that does not overstate the elegance you hope to add to your printed material.

 

The Power of a Well-Chosen Font
No matter how well-written your printed document’s content, readers won’t engage with it if it is not appealing to look at. Help your readers engage with your content through carefully chosen fonts. A well-chosen font will get your audience to connect not only to your printed materials, but to the company behind them as well.