Best Fonts for Print Ads
Words on ads are only as good as the fonts they are printed in. While this may seem like a silly statement, the font you choose will determine how readable your text is, how clear it is from a distance, how cluttered your custom banner or custom poster looks, and much more.
There are two main categories, when selecting fonts, and often a combination of one of each works well on print-heavy ads.
- Serif fonts: These are the fonts like Times New Roman, Baskerville, Adobe and Lucida that have small caps on the tops and bottoms of the straight lines on letters. Serif fonts are a good choice for a larger body of text, like the fine print or the paragraph on your poster.
- Sans-serif fonts: These fonts, like Calibri, Arial, Cambria and Copperplate Gothic, don’t have serifs on them and tend to look clean. They work particularly well for the headlines or other smaller bits of text on vinyl signs and other print ads.
If you need to have more text on your ad, and you have enough that you want to vary, make sure you don’t use more than two fonts, and remember that the best situations where you do use two fonts usually select one from each category. We often recommend keeping the text as minimal as possible. The poster isn’t meant to seal the deal and make the sale for you, but rather to draw a customer in and inspire them to take the next step, whether that be visiting your store, calling your number or visiting a website to find out more information.
In our last blog, we gave you two examples of custom posters that had been particularly successful advertisements. In order to create a poster that is truly effective, it’s important to make sure it is cleanly and thoughtfully designed, and is ordered from a poster printer that can recreate your image successfully on paper. Here are a few more examples of custom posters to aspire to, and an explanation of why they were so effective:
- Whirlpool released a series of posters with a clean gray background and a slice of natural land in the shape of an object that would normally be cleaned by their machines in the center. The slogan was “Whirlpool 6th sense. It takes care of the environment.” The graphic created was simple but effective, since it wasn’t overly cluttered and it combined two things that are not typically associated with each other. This sort of uncommon juxtaposition of objects can help elevate a poster or custom banner from routine ad, to memorable marketing element, and the reason for its success is that this kind of juxtaposition makes people stop and think, but it also raises an environmental question that is rarely considered, when people are purchasing a dishwasher or a washing machine. Juxtaposition must be done in a manner that is thoughtful and meaningful.
- Perrier released a series of high-resolution posters that featured images from different situations, including a woman in a club, a woman on the beach, and a man playing tennis, where everything was melting. The objects and the clothes on the central subjects were melting, and they were reaching for a bottle of Perrier, which was the only thing in the room immune to the heat. The most effective thing about these posters is the skill with which the graphics were executed. An ad that is meaningful, but also visually fascinating, will run just as well as one that raises an interesting challenge.
In 15 years of poster printing, we’ve seen every kind of design you can imagine, from standard and informative to groundbreaking-ly creative. Because of this, we truly believe in posters as an effective marketing element. If you pair the perfect colors and have great design elements, there’s no reason your poster won’t be successful in drawing attention to the great products and services that you offer.
In addition to putting posters up in public places where people are likely to see them, they can also be useful as a give-away tool. Many people collect posters either as a hobby or to use as decoration at their office or home. By designing a poster that centers on your company or one of your products and making it particularly artistic and creative, you are creating an item that many people would be happy to purchase or win.
You can sell them at your business to generate extra profit or give them away to generate extra goodwill. Either way, we know they will be a hit.
By: Jason Przybysz, Apple Visual Graphics staff
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