Funky Fonts: Just Because You Can, Should You?

Most word processors, web page editors and templates come loaded with fonts. In addition, fonts can be downloaded all over the net for little to no cost. It’s tempting to use them all, but should you?

Choosing the right font for your project is a varied as the projects themselves. The font choice sets the tone of the design, conveys an image and determines how readable the project is.

If you’re designing something like a Halloween invitation, then go ahead and pick a creepy or funky font but if you’re working on a webpage that you want to reflect your professionalism then stick to the basics. Remember that funky fonts can be hard to read, so use them in moderation. In the case of the Halloween invitation, pick just one creepy font and use it as needed. Don’t be tempted to mix and match several different styles of eerie fonts, find the one that conveys the atmosphere you want and stick to it.

Headlines and headings are good places to use decorative fonts. For example, if you’re working on a schedule of activities for a day camp geared towards pre-teen girls, you might use a font such as ‘Gigi’ for each activity. Then use a more standard, and readable, font for the descriptions of the activities. Be consistent with the usage of the font. Don’t use ‘Gigi’ for one activity and ‘Curlz’ for the next.

Experiment with attributes such as shadows, outlines and colors if you must but be careful not to over do it. By using a decorative or funky font you are already pushing the limits of what the eye can handle. Again be consistent with how you use each of these.

While fonts can set the tone of a piece and showcase your personality, there are times when deviating from the norm is not a good idea. Let your resume and work experience speak for itself, not some wild font that you found on the internet. Stick to a 12 point Times New Roman for submitting manuscripts to publishers and agents. By all means, use upper and lower case lettering, not all caps, when corresponding.

Have fun with fonts when the project has room for it but use them sparingly. When it’s a matter of business, stick with the basics.