Starry Eyes Media

How To Drive Customers Away With Bad Font Design

Written By: Lindsey Adkins

You’ve built your business on a firm foundation; you’re an expert in your field; you can provide your customers with the best service in your area… but none of that matters when your customers see your terrible brochure. You may drive them away before they ever step in the door.

When designed thoughtfully, brochures and other marketing collaterals can be important tools to grow your business and your brand—but if you’re not careful, with just a few minor changes to an otherwise great design, they can also destroy what you’ve built. Let’s take a few moments to consider how bad font design may be driving your customers away—and then what you can do to attract customers instead.


  1. Make Poor Font Choices


    There’s a lot involved with getting good branding for your brochures, business cards, signage, and other branding materials that will improve your bottom line. But among the major culprits of bad design are poor font choices. Even when you have stellar products and services—even if you have the best writing in the world—your fonts could be damaging your brand.

    For example, using comic sans on your brochure—along with seven other fonts your five-year-old helps you pick out—may be distracting for your customers and ruin what you’re trying to convey about your brand. You may want people to see your branding and think “trustworthy, good value, long-lasting products” and so on. Using bad judgment in something as simple as fonts can send the message that you don’t know what you’re doing, and can reduce consumer confidence in your business.

    Two business cards for the fictional Harvey Law Office; one with appropriate typography and one with inappropriate fonts.

    In the example image above, the words say the same thing—but the design says something completely different. The card on the left is a professional, well-laid-out business card. The card on the right screams, “Your attorney may show up to court in PJs, and you’re definitely losing your case.”

    But this can extend beyond just your logo and business name. Fonts used in the text describing your process of producing, say, organic beauty products can have a huge impact. For instance, studies show that people perceive instructions to be far more complex with certain font choices. So, if you’re describing a beauty product that you want consumers to perceive as simple and natural, using a hard-to-read, cursive typeface could give them the impression that your product is highly processed. Instead, using an appropriate, easy-to-read font will increase trust. Making the customer’s decision to buy your product feel simple for them can increase their likelihood to buy by 86%. While there are many factors in your marketing plan that play into creating that decision simplicity, easily the most ignored one for small, start-up businesses is investing in professional branding.


  2. Use Too Many Fonts!


    Using an excessive amount of fonts can be overwhelming to the eyes. In addition, you wouldn’t want to use too many fonts or font styles because they can be contradicting and overcomplicate the design. Not to mention it also makes it more difficult for the reader to understand.

    A paragraph with way too many fonts.

    Research shows that inappropriate font usage can almost double the user’s reading time, which means that they’ll probably get frustrated and give up on reading your content halfway through. 

  3. Don’t Engage Professional Designers


    If you don’t want your marketing content to be polished, well-designed, and balanced, then avoid designers at all costs. This will ensure your business tanks and drives potential customers away. For example, a professional designer wouldn’t stand for poor font choices like the examples below when designing materials. 

    An attorney webpage with inappropriate, informal font choices.

    Curly letters may look great on your third grader’s art project, but may not be the best choice of font for your business.


  4. Don’t Consider Font Style and How You’ll Use It


    The right font can bring in the clientele you are trying to attract. You can do this by picking an appropriate font for your business. Fonts have their own particular style and vibe that they give off. For example, you may want to choose a script or handwritten font for a wedding invitation. However, that font might not look good if used for an auto parts store logo. Therefore, it’s essential to be mindful of the fonts you choose and their implied uses.

    Be aware of your font choice, and make sure you choose a versatile font. Some fonts may look great in small doses but wouldn’t make sense for body copy. For instance, certain fonts are meant for titles or small phrases and would look nuts if you tried to use them for the body copy of a business letter, making it substantially more difficult to read. This causes readers to take more time to read and could cause them to give up on the passage entirely.
     
    When considering font choices, it’s usually better to go with the simpler option. The importance of simplicity is especially true when designing a more extended print project such as a brochure. You wouldn’t want to use a plethora of different style fonts. Save the fun, dramatic fonts for titles or logos if it fits your business. 
     
    In closing, if you want to kill your business then don’t be mindful of the fonts you choose to represent your business. Are you scared of choosing the wrong fonts for your business? Contact us to design your next project, and we’ll take care of all the worries for you.



How To Drive Customers Away With Bad Font Design

by | Oct 15, 2021 | Branding

Lindsey graduated from Concord University in December 2020. She is currently working for us as a multimedia designer.

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