A Guide to Choosing the Right Typeface for Your Print Materials

Woman designing on her laptopWhether you’re creating a design for print, the proper use of typefaces is vital in getting your message across. While choosing a font to use, you should consider not only the aesthetics of your project, but also the more practical side, such as printability. Woolston Printing, a printing company in Australia, advises designers to also consider factors like the paper being used and how the ink will be absorbed and spread—certain typefaces may appear different after printing.

Modern or classic?

Ideally, your company should already have its branding established when you begin designing and selecting typefaces. What image is your company trying to build? Serif fonts such as Garamond, Times New Roman, and Cambria evoke tradition, reliability, and stability. But if you want a modern feel for your materials, sans serif fonts such as Futura, Helvetica, and Verdana can get that across. You should also try to mix and match both serifs and sans serifs—a good balance of the two allows variety in your design.

How Can You Use Your Typeface?

Aside from the actual font, you can also use the entire font family in different parts of your design. Selecting a typeface that has a large family (with options for regular, condensed, expanded, light, italics, bold, extra bold, etc) gives you the option to assign different but related fonts to different parts of your design, tying all your text together visually.

Is it Legible?

Arguably the most important consideration for typeface choice is the legibility of the material. Apply the font to a block of text at your desired size and find out if it becomes difficult to read. Seeing a certain font size on a screen is different from seeing it in print. To make sure your fonts are readable, print out a proof, even if it’s just from your office printer.

These are just some of the things to keep in mind when choosing the right typeface for your print materials. You may need the help of your graphic designer, art director, or even your printer to come up with a truly great design that will communicate your brand effectively.