Very few industries rely more on fonts than advertising. Think about it: an image is worth a thousand words, but consumers have to know your brand. And that can not always be achieved through a logo. So whether we’re talking about digital or print, your brand name and call to action has to be on point in any advertising material. That’s why today we’re focusing on the best fonts for advertising.
Let’s all agree, for the sake of our own sanity, that most clients have come to terms with the fact that advertising doesn’t just mean having the loudest voice or flashy-est ad. So that leaves us with smart, efficient advertising materials, the best message and the most recognizable image. Great, that’s half a job right there.
But more often than we’d like, the design and copyright parts of the process become opposing forces. Some swear they hold the absolute truth and can calculate down to a decimal point which of the two is more important.
Best fonts for ads: design vs. copyright
We, on the other hand, have found over the years that balance is key. And not just because we would rather not work in a war zone between the creative industries, but because we’ve seen our fair share or advertising materials that were simply destroyed when the design wasn’t in sync with the copyright.
So, today, we’re contributing our two cents on the matter. We’re focusing on the best fonts for advertising, because sooner or later it will basically come down to this. No matter how much you love a certain font, if it is not a good match for your ad you will simply have to cut it. No one will support – financially, that is – your personal favourite advertising font, if it simply doesn’t do its job.
So, we began this article by stating the obvious: few domains rely so heavily on fonts like advertising. It is an essential part of any campaign, no matter how well established or up and coming a brand is. But we have to state the other obvious truth in this equation: few to none industries are as whimsical as advertising.
Combine these two facts and finding a good advertising fonts becomes one heck of a task. We’re not trying to compile a top here, something like ‘Top best fonts for advertising’. That’s because we are so tired of seeing the same 10-15 typefaces repeating themselves all over each ad. Instead, we’ve decided to give you some of the best font options for both print and digital advertising materials that you can make your own or that can inspire you to go a step closer in finding the perfect fit for your brand.
Best advertising fonts: general rules
Before we do that, we would like to take a minute to remind you of two short and simple rules that should always be applied when choosing fonts for advertising. The first is the universal print vs digital rule – it usually looks better to use a serif font for print materials and sans serif for digital ads. The second rule is another one that can easily be applied to fields other that advertising fonts: make sure legibility is never compromised by your artistic vision. That’s just wasting money most of the times.
Other that these guidelines, we recommend you trust your designer, but always ask for multiple options when it comes to the fonts you use in your ads. One particular font can be changed dramatically just by adding to its weight or height.
So, keeping these rules in mind, let’s dive into our expert graphicians top picks for advertising fonts. They are not arranged as a top, but rather a collection of great fonts that we highly recommend for ads.
Avenir is a classic and that’s why it looks so great as an advertising font. People have likely seen it before, but that’s a matter of preferences between a client and the designer. In some cases, the fact that Avenir is such a common font means people will focus better on the message itself. So, Avenir might just be the trick if your concept is a bit edgy or your ad is based on a gimmick or wordplay.
Helvetica is the font that came up most among our designers when we asked them for advertising fonts. It is clean, clear and so versatile that it can be used on almost any support. It is a great option when you are planning a campaign with multiple platforms because you don’t have to change the font for different sizes of the same ad. Helvetica has so many options that it’s basically impossible not to find a solid one no matter the specifics of your advertising materials.
Mission Script might seem an unusual option for advertising fonts, but our experts have assured us that a script font looks amazing as a header for a ad poster if a few basic conditions are met – enough height and thickness, spacing and proportion as opposed to the image.
Gotham is another rebel font of this compilation of advertising fonts. Its modern, elegant letters are somewhat restrictive, but the truth is that if your concept can carry it, this font will truly make your ad pop. The fonts was created as a bespoke typeface for GQ magazine and its designer explained the main inspiration source for it was the lettering found on buildings in New York.
Bodoni is one of the best serif fonts found in the advertising industry. Well, honestly, it’s pretty much been used in every industry. Bodoni is one of the oldest fonts out there, having been created in the XVIIth century. But we bet it will stick around a couple hundreds more years to come. The perfect balance between thick and thin lines have places it in the fonts hall of fame, so we highly recommend it for your ads.
Univers is a great option for advertising because of its vintage look. Close your eyes and imagine a newspaper headline as it would appear in a comic book. Yeah, what you will see is some form of Univers font. It is one of the most popular fonts of the second half of the XXth century and you’ve probably seen it on TV, in magazines, billboards and brochures.
Optimal Std is another go-to font when designing ads. The round, wide letters with soft angles makes it easy on the eyes, but when used in a bold version is pops out and catches your attention.
Passionate about fonts or just looking for a quick solution for your lettering woes? WhatFontIs.com provides a catalogue of over 550.000 fonts that you can browse until you find the one that fits you just right.
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