Choosing the Right Font for Any Occasion

Designing Your Business Communication

Every day we look at fonts of all types whether we realize it or not. A font is defined as “a complete assortment of type of one style and size”. In other words, a font is the letters you see that makes up the words you read. Whether you’re reading a newspaper or book, looking at emails or even the crawl running along the bottom of the screen on ESPN, you’re looking at a font. Choosing the right font for every occasion is important.

Not only is the font delivering information in words, but also delivering a “feeling” with its style. There are literally tens of thousands of fonts available and choosing the right one can be a real challenge. But depending on the purpose of the document or paper, there are a few font styles that work quite well on a consistent basis.

If you want an easy to read document, then you’re looking for what’s called a “Sans Serif” font. That means there are no little “tails” off of any of the letters. While they usually aren’t very fancy, they are easy to read and less expensive to print. Samples of this type of font are Calibri, Arial and Berlin Sans. Any font that has “Sans Serif” in its title will be of this style.

For a somewhat more business-like flair, you’ll want to use a font with serifs. These fonts are a tad harder to read, but give off a more professional look than the “draft” sans serif styles. Perhaps the best known font of this style is Times New Roman which is the most common closely followed by Courier, unless you’re in banking where Copperplate was also very common.

For formal occasions like weddings and formal party invitations you can expect to see a script or calligraphic style font. These are very flowing, cursive style fonts which add a layer of beauty and grace to the documents. These often get used in logos and letterheads to portray a level of elegance to the business. Fonts like this are MT Script, Monotype Corsiva and Lucinda Calligraphy.

Choosing the right font for the occasion can be just as impactful as the words being used. You don’t want something too formal for casual documents, nor do you want a casual font for a formal or business document. And there are “play” fonts like Comic Sans Serif which you can use to make fun signs and even symbolic  fonts like Widgets that you can use for math symbols and even shapes.  To have the successful document, whether it’s a business letter or a wedding invitation, using the right font for the job will get it done.