What We Know


What is Font Psychology and how should you use it to your advantage?

 – By

When it comes to designing anything for your business whether it be flyers, banners, email campaigns, business cards, or your logo, there are many important aspects to consider. Most of us have heard of color psychology which is essentially the emotional effect certain hues and colors have on people. Or, the emotion certain colors invoke.

In addition to color psychology, another important aspect to consider is your typeface. While fonts may seem like a dry subject, the font you use may be saying much more about you than you anticipated.

In fact, in addition to color psychology, designers around the globe have coined the term font psychology to show the importance of typography in branding.

In this blog, RSA will break down the meaning of font psychology and examine what different types of fonts say about your organization.

What is Font Psychology?

Font Psychology is the study of how different fonts impact thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. While you may not notice it, the typography used in branding material has a profound impact on the way you perceive it.

For example, remember how much crap everyone gave comic sans? Comic Sans was originally invented in 1944 by Vincent Connare. The typeface was originally created to be used for the speech bubbles of an animated cartoon dog. Connare’s goal was to create a playful, friendly font inspired by comic book type. However, when Comic Sans began to spread to formal documents, advertisements, and more, the typeface became somewhat of a joke.

The fact that something as simple as a typeface led to a worldwide “Ban Comic Sans” movement shows us just how impactful typeface can be.

Why is Font Psychology important?

When you create a design you are looking to garner a specific reaction from your audience. Just as certain colors invoke certain emotions, specific fonts also play a role in how designs are perceived. With a basic understanding of font psychology, you are in control of the emotional reaction you inspire. More importantly, you can know which fonts to avoid that may provoke a negative reaction. In addition to provoking emotions, font psychology also drives results.

For example, let’s say you want to design a social media post to generate buzz about a product giveaway your company is doing. Choosing a bold, fun font will not only help you stand out in the feed but will also inspire people to take action. Think of the fonts used in Superhero movies and comics. They are bright, bold, and eye-catching. If a comic book used Times New Roman for their title, we don’t think they’d be flying off the shelves.

Which Typography should you pick?

To make things simple, the typography you choose should all depend on the brand identity you’re trying to create. For example, serif fonts invoke a sense of tradition and professionalism, while sans serif fonts feel more relaxed and friendly. Script fonts are whimsical and romantic, while modern fonts appear strong and cutting-edge. There are six different font styles that each can communicate different things. Below we will break down each font class so you can determine which aligns with the emotion your company is trying to invoke.

  • Serif Font

Serif fonts are considered the most traditional font option. These fonts promote feelings of traditionalism, trust, and respectability. These fonts are ideal for companies who want to appear established and timeless. Serif fonts are typically used in more formal situations. For example, a financial company, academic institution, or newspaper publication may benefit from a serif font to help establish trust.

  • Slab Serif Font

Slab serif fonts started emerging in the 1800s and have been popular ever since.
This font style looks like serifs but has specific slabs in them. This font style is often associated with confidence, innovation, and a bold brand image. Slab serifs are a great way to stay traditional but add an extra kick to your logo design. This typeface appears professional and timeless, while also offering you a chance to stand out. Slab serif fonts are popular with car companies, technology companies, and any other business that wants to instill confidence in their brand while still being unique.

  • Sans Serif Font

Sans serif fonts are categorized as clean and modern. Sans serif fonts indicate sensibility and a straightforward attitude. Without any decorative elements, this font style is great for companies who want to appear clean, crisp, and to the point. Sans serif fonts are also great when you are creating a design with a large amount of text. Its simple nature makes it easier to read and digest. Sans serif fonts are the most common and versatile fonts and with the world moving towards digital more and more, sans serif fonts are especially popular due to their legibility. Popular brands like Google, LinkedIn, Spotify, and Jeep all use a sans serif font in their logos.

  • Script Font

Script fonts are much more elaborate and detailed than other font types. Because script fonts resemble handwriting, they are a great option for brands who want to convey a personal touch. Script fonts are typically associated with elegance and creativity and are the most likely to inspire emotion. Script fonts are also the most versatile. Depending on the specific font used, some script fonts may feel fun and whimsical while others come across as vintage or old-fashioned. However, picking the right script font can be tricky. Due to their intricate nature, they can be difficult to read in certain situations. If you decide to use a script font for your business, make sure it is legible and not so busy that it distracts from your message.

  • Modern Fonts

Despite their name, modern fonts have actually been around since the eighteenth century. Modern fonts are designed to be simple and easy to read. Many modern fonts have thin and thick strokes and some even feature thin serifs. Modern fonts convey style, innovation, and, individuality. Since modern fonts are so easy to read they are perfect for brands looking to showcase their name. Modern fonts are also associated with many popular brands like Facebook and Hulu, so they are a great way to capture people’s attention since this font style is widely recognized.

  • Decorative Fonts

Decorative fonts are one of the most versatile fonts as they can be customized to suit the exact needs and emotions your company wants to focus on. Decorative fonts are a great way to convey your uniqueness and showcase your originality. Decorative fonts are typically used to create a casual, fun, whimsical feel. Due to their flexibility, decorative fonts are typically customized to fit an organization’s exact brand image. Oftentimes decorative or display fonts don’t fit into a specific category because they may contain a variety of different elements. Decorative fonts are often used for fun companies or independent organization that wants to showcase their individuality and creativity.

Once you have chosen the primary font you intend to use for your logo, find 2-3 complimentary fonts. These fonts should all be outlined in a style guide as well as how they are intended to be used. For example, you may have a specific font for print materials and a designated web font. Or, you may have one font for headings and another for body text. Outlining this information in a style guide helps maintain consistency throughout all your marketing materials. To learn more about the importance of style/brand guides check out this blog article.

After examining each type of font, we hope you realized just how much you are actually saying with the font you choose. The age-old adage “it’s not what you say, but how you say it” is an incredibly accurate description of how font psychology plays into how your brand is perceived.

Once you have figured out the exact message and image you want to convey, finding a font to align with that image is much easier. If you are struggling to find a font you think speaks to your business, give Robert Sharp & Associates a call at (605)342-5226.

Our team of graphic designers has over 20 years of experience in the industry and can help you settle on a design that not only looks amazing but is the perfect representation of your brand.

Last Modified:



Stay in Touch

Sign up to receive free marketing updates!

Privacy by SafeSubscribe