Visual Communication — Part 9

Choose Typefaces with Care!

John CounselBy John Counsel — The Marketing Doctor

No matter how attractive you think a typeface is, always remember that, when it comes to choosing typefaces, it’s rarely a case of “more is better”.

In this table you can see different typefaces or renderings of typefaces (such as all capitals) and their comprehension test scores. These test results were obtained in a series of benchmark studies now used worldwide. They are reprinted here with the kind permission of the Newspaper Advertising Bureau of Australia.

Note how setting your type ALL IN CAPITALS lowers comprehension results – and how script facess, ornate type or highly stylised faces can almost destroy comprehension.

(A few words or a heading all in capitals is unlikely to create a serious problem. We’re really talking about passages of text set all in capitals — unless, of course, it’s a script or ornate face, when even a single word can be incomprehensible to visitors.)

© Newspaper Advertising Bureau of Australia

Next… Talk WITH your visitors… not AT them  


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