Understanding Fonts and Typefaces for Your Design
Your choice of fonts and typefaces, and how they are manipulated can affect not just the visual value of your postcard design but it can also increase the readership and comprehension of mail recipients.
Fonts and typefaces are actually not the same thing. Typefaces are the distinct strokes or styles of characters including letters, numerals and punctuation marks like Arial and Courier. Typeface is sometimes referred to as fonts but the latter actually pertains to versions of the different typefaces. In the case of the typeface Verdana, the font is Verdana Bold.
Two of the most common categories for typefaces are serif and sans serif. Serif typefaces are letters with small strokes protruding at the ends of the main strokes. Examples of these are Times New Roman and Courier New.
On the other hand, Sans Serif is a typeface that does not have these tiny stroke protrusions. This is why the French word sans, which means without, is added to the beginning of the name.
Typeface and comprehension
According to a study, readers, with a high percentage discrepancy, are more likely to understand the text when serif typeface is used, in contrast to sans serif. It is said that serif typeface facilitates the recognition of characters.
Given this research finding, it may be useful to use serif, especially if your postcards contain relatively more information or if you have a rather busy image in the background.
However, you must not limit yourself to typeface options just because of this study. If your postcard design requires a more classic or traditional look, then Serifs are more than appropriate. But if you need a more modern look, sans serifs would provide sleek characters.
Typeface and readership
The appeal of your postcards is also important to get more audience to pay attention to it and to recall it, even before you can establish comprehension.
There are several factors that can affect reader attention by simple modifications.
1. Font type
Bold fonts are usually used to highlight important information such as headlines. It is also sometimes used when certain typefaces need thicker strokes to increase their readability. Italics, although sometimes used to emphasize certain information too, are used more as a sort of means to demarcate between text sections. Since the postcards copies contain minimal texts (and you should keep it that way), it is better to use bold fonts for stressing purposes.
In most documents, a font size of 12 points is used. For ad and marketing materials, you need to use bigger letters since a few seconds of scanning should be enough to make your audience read then entire copy. For headlines, 36-point fonts are a good size.
People are more accustomed to reading black. You may use other colors but stick to those that are more eye-friendly. If your background image is dark, use light colors and vice versa for good contrast.
Since people read from left to right, it would be best to keep your text in this alignment unless your design requires it. By keeping it this way, you lessen the effort in reading and also help increase comprehension.
Test several combinations to find out the most suitable typeface and font for your postcard design.