There’s a science to everything – even fonts! We came across few interesting and fun facts about fonts that are backed up by science and definitely worth a read!
1. Baskerville is the most trustworthy font, says documentary filmmaker Errol Morris who has conducted an experiment on 45.000 readers of nytimes.com. Morris discovered that subjects were more likely to believe information written in Baskerville, versus text in Computer Modern, Georgia, Helvetica, Trebuchet or Comic Sans. Why Baskerville? No one knows for sure. Morris presumes that this font touches something fundamental within us, which reacts to its authority and formality.
2. There is one situation where fancy and complicated fonts actually work better than simple ones. Hyunjin Song and Norbert Schwarz from University of Michigan discovered that if you are selling a costly product you should be describing it with a hard to read font, as that will suggest to the viewer that more effort went into creating that product. Perfect example of that are restaurant menus. According to their findings, restaurants that want to justify higher prices should use hard-to-read fonts and long descriptions in their menus in order to slow down the reader and imply that more skills and effort are required for the preparation of a certain meal. You may be tempted to try this logic to other types of business but we advise you use this approach sparingly. It’s one thing to expect from people to read lengthy menu descriptions, as they have no other choice if they want to order food, but if you overdo it in your brochures or social media posts, you may end up loosing the attention of your audience.
3. A study that has tried to determine if certain personalities are associated with various fonts discovered that stable personalities are attributed to Serif and Sans Serif font, such as Courier, Arial, Verdana, Calibri or Century Gothic. Creative personalities, perceived as youthful, casual and attractive, are associated with Script fonts such as Monotype Corsiva, Kristen, Gigi, while assertiveness and boldness are related to Modern or Display fonts such as Impact of Rockwell Xbold. This study makes you ask yourself what kind of personality is your font portraying? Is it different from the one you would like to have? If the answer is yes, then take time to look at fonts available in Content Creator and discover which one best matches the personality of your target audience.
4. There is no difference in reading speed for most adults when viewing common font styles such as Arial, Verdana, Georgia or Times New Roman, but there is difference when it comes to the size of such fonts. Researches conducted during 20th century suggested that font size of 10pt is the most efficient to read, but a lot has changed with our shift to digital. Designers like to say that 16pt font is the new 12pt font, with recent studies confirming that larger font sizes create stronger emotional connection, but…
5. People recall what they’ve read better when it’s printed in smaller, less legible type. In a study conducted by Daniel Oppenheimer and two colleagues, Connor Diemand-Yauman and Erikka Vaughan, when students were shown two paragraphs in different fonts, they remembered 14% more of the facts printed in the hard-to-read font. Professor Oppenheimer believes that such findings are intuitive because we often skim through text, go to the end and realize we didn’t process the information very well. Making text harder to skim prevents that from happening because it forces people to slow down and read more carefully, which in the end can improve their recall of information.
So what do you aspire to be: trustworthy, creative or knowledgeable? Do you want to create emotional connection or have people read your text more carefully? Fonts have the power to express exactly what you want and the potential to do just the opposite, so use them wisely, take cues from studies and experiment on your own!