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More Than Words: How Typography Taps into Your Feelings

illustration of a person responding to various typography

Have you ever wondered how typography can make you feel? It may come as a surprise, but the choice of typefaces, fonts, styles, layout and hierarchy communicates a wealth of information to viewers — whether they are aware of it or not.

Typefaces have their own “personalities” and can help convey a tone or attitude, while things like layout can create visual texture and hierarchy. These elements inform a reader’s journey, giving them information about where to look first and how to feel. Let’s take a look into how each of these elements works in practice.

Personality

Pop quiz: Which of these two fonts most likely represents a bank?

Option A:

Harmony font

Option B:Another Typewriter font

We’re guessing you picked Option A. But why? While both are serif fonts, meaning they have “feet” at the end of their letters, Option A communicates a more formal feeling through its clean lines and sharp contrast. On the other hand, Option B is more irregular and softer, making it feel quirkier and more casual.

Visual Texture and Density

Type can also be used to add dynamic areas to a composition and create a visual representation of the copy. For example, repetition and patterns can add visual “texture” to a design, while reinforcing the overall message. The book cover of “The Crowd” by designer Wang Zhi-Hong uses repetition of the letter “c” in this way. Headers, blocks of body copy, call outs and other typographic elements can also be used to create visual symmetry or imbalance — both of which help create different responses in viewers.

The Crowd book cover

Hierarchy

Hierarchy is another important element for communicating through typography. By calling attention to certain content first through contrast — such as using bold font weights or larger point sizes next to smaller, lighter type — communicates the order of importance to viewers. It helps direct their attention to the information that you want them to read and process first.

It’s important to be aware of the impact typography can make on your marketing materials. Each of the elements mentioned above can work together to strengthen — or detract from — your overall brand messaging. This is especially important as branding is most effective when it connects with your audience on an emotional level. Plus, you want to create a seamless experience for your audience, one where the message and the emotion they get from your marketing materials are in sync.

Curious about how typography can help elevate your brand? Let’s talk. As a full-service creative agency, our team is skilled in combining masterfully crafted copy with intentional, dynamic design. Learn more about how we can help you grow your business.