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The importance of typography in Content Marketing

Zakhele | April 8 2016

Content Marketing has taken the world of marketing by storm. It’s now become one of the best ways to generate leads and make sales in business. But how does content hold such a strong influence over a reader? Firstly, it’s about the actual topic and the interest it will ignite in the reader. But secondly, and this is what we’re going to explore in this blog, it’s about typography… So, the way in which the words are presented to the reader.

Typography is the perception generated by the way in which the text is arranged or stylised on a page.  This arrangement involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, line-spacing (leading), letter-spacing (tracking) and adjusting the space between letter pairs (kerning).  Most designers refer to typography as a form of art, as it can be tremendously creative and innovative in the marketing industry.  Just the act of looking at a certain font face can trigger powerful emotions... Just like images can too.  And that’s why typography is regarded as a significantly great tool for enhancing emphasis on a certain message, to create interest and to add personality to the actual content.

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To test it, take a close look at a particular word or sentence that you’ve seen on a webpage, or in a brochure. If done well, they should be grabbing your attention too! Using typography strategically will grab the reader’s attention, control where their eye moves and spark an emotion within them. This all helps the reader to understand the content better (and enjoy it more).

These observations have further proved that humans visually perceive words and typography style as a whole, rather than individually. This is known as ‘Gestalt Psychology’.

Gestalt is a German word meaning shape and form and the psychology refers to our ability to acquire and maintain meaningful perceptions.

When there are so many Typography Styles out there, how do you know which one to choose?

There are some crucial principles to consider when you choose which typography style to use to flatter your content display:

  • Invariance
    This is the essential principle of gestalt. People prefer to see typography that is simple, clear and ordered.
  • Closure

While invariance seeks simplicity, closure is the opposite of this principle. Closure involves us combining multiple parts to form a simpler whole. Our eyes fill in the missing information to form a complete structure.

  • Continuation
    The human eye follows the paths, lines, and curves of a design layout, and prefers to see a continuous flow of typography rather than separated typography.
  • Reification
    This suggests that we don’t have to present the complete typography in order for viewers to see it. We can leave out parts of the typography as long as we provide enough of it to allow for a close enough pattern match.
  • Common Fate
    This is typography that moves in the same direction eg. Italics
  • Focal Points

This is typography with a point of interest, emphasis or difference that will capture and hold the viewer’s attention.

The best typography choice for your content all depends on the feeling, emotions and association you wish to convey. Just as you would spend time choosing the colours, pictures or layout, the same attention should be given to your choice of typography.

Let’s look at some examples of common display typefaces, Serif, Sans Serif, Script and Modern family, and how they perform to bring across a particular idea, feeling or emotion.

The Serif Family

The Serif Family is a traditional, respectable and reliable typeface. Favourable examples of serif fonts include Baskerville and Times New Roman. It uses small lines at the end of characters to add fluidity and motion to the words.

The San Serif Family

The Sans Serif is a category of typefaces that do not use serifs (the small lines at the ends of characters typeface). The Sans Serif fonts are known to be stable, clean and modern.

Examples of sans serif fonts include Helvetica Bold, Calibri, and Myriad Italic.

The Script Family

The script fonts are identified by their fluid and varying lines, similar to handwriting. They represent elegance, creativity and affection. Some of these examples are Brickham Script, Lavanderia and Edward Script.

The Modern Family

The Modern Family is recognised by their heavy downstrokes and regular shapes. These represent strength, swag, modernity and are very progressive. Popular examples include Futura, Didot Italic, and Century Gothic.

The Display Family

The Display Family fonts are usually larger than text fonts, and give distinctive character to mainly corporate or business content. They come across as friendly, unique and expressive. Examples include Valencia, Cooper, and Spaceage Round.

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