Salt Lake Mailing & Printing Blog

Picking the Right Font: Serif vs. Sans Serif

According to Colin Wheildon, author of Type & Layout: Are You Communicating or Just Making Pretty Shapes?, you can lose up to 75% of your potential readers (and for advertisers, that means potential buyers) simply by choosing the wrong font. When readers find information hard to read or comprehend, they are quick to turn the page, skip to another part, or simply ignore the words that are in front of them.

In the world of direct mail, it is extremely important to choose the right font for the job. The right font can transform your advertisement from good to great, helping you attract more people to your good or service.

In the print world there are two families of fonts: serif and sans serif. Serif fonts have small embellishments or “feet” on both the base and the tip of each letter. These feet help distinguish each individual letter, making them more recognizable to the reader. These feet actually make the letters flow together and therefore easier to read in print form.

Because of this, serif fonts are the most commonly used fonts in the print world, including books, magazines, and newspapers. Some of the most popular serif fonts include Garamond, Times New Roman, Georgia, Courier, Palatino, and Bookman.

Sans serif fonts are, as the name implies, fonts “sans” or without serifs. Sans serif fonts are harder to read in print and used mostly for headlines. However, they are easier to read on a screen so are widely used for websites and other materials that are generally viewed on a screen. Some of the most popular sans serif fonts include Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, Century Gothic, and Verdana.

When choosing to use direct mail as a part of your marketing strategy, it is important to make sure that you make it an extremely effective tool. The simple decision of which font you use can greatly increase the comprehension of your target audience, helping them to better understand your products or service.

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