Have you ever walked into a store and wondered, “Wow, I love this font. And how can they make it look so beautiful!?” If you have, there’s a good chance the business owner chose each variation of font for maximum impact!
We’ve done the research and found that different fonts elicit certain emotions from your customers, for better or worse! We hope you find this guide helpful as you’re figuring out what font to use on your signage. Keep in mind that this is a general overview and there are no right or wrong answers – it all depends on what you want to convey.
The term ‘serif’ refers to the little feet that sit at the end of a letter. A serif font is essentially a classic font – think of your basic Times New Roman or Garamond, for example. Because this kind of font has been around for centuries, it feels formal and traditional.
Sans serif fonts (no feet) are often used for modern font logos or designs. These alphabet fonts feel like they’ve come directly from the digital age – think of Arial or Helvetica. Sans serifs are usually cleaner and more accessible than their serif counterparts.
Serif fonts tend to have a more traditional, formal or ‘elegant’ feel. You can see this echoed in the main sign outside of your favorite restaurant, on the envelopes you get from a funeral home, and even on cereal boxes! Sans serif fonts are often more modern and sleek – think Pinterest font that you just can’t put your finger on.
You can use both kinds of fonts on your signage, but it’s important to consider the impact the font may have on your customers. Are you trying to convey a traditional or formal atmosphere? Then you might want to use serifs because they often feel more ‘high-end’. Are you trying to convey a modern or contemporary atmosphere? Then use sans serifs, which will feel more ‘hipper’ and contemporary.
In addition to the basic fonts listed above, there are a wide variety of decorative or unique fonts that you can try out on your signage. These will often feel more modern and playful than their traditional counterparts, but they aren’t necessarily better or worse. They simply give you an opportunity to experiment with something different!
Here are some of our favorite decorative fonts that might look great on your signage:
Script fonts are classic, elegant options for formal or romantic businesses. This font evokes feelings of tradition and luxury in your customers. It’s also relatively easy to read, which can help keep things feeling classy rather than messy! Here are some great examples in action:
Handwritten fonts are perfect for businesses that want to feel more personable and relatable. It’s also a great choice when you’re trying to convey your business as fun or laid-back! These types of fonts vary, so choose one that feels personal to you. We recommend using this style on signs where customers can read small amounts of text!
Block fonts are often used in logos, but you can also use them on signage. They’re very bold and modern – think about the Starbucks logo. These types of fonts feel ‘larger-than-life’ and will give your customers a sense that you’re confident about what you have to offer!
Modern fonts are best used in logos because they can seem too attention-grabbing on signage. They’re often difficult to read at small sizes and should only be recommended when you want your business name to stand out from the rest! The bright colors and emphasis of this font make it perfect for a modern restaurant or clothing store.
Fonts for signage can also be divided into four categories: formal, casual, whimsical, and clean. Each of these types of alphabet fonts is useful in certain situations, so it’s important to consider which type will work best for your sign!
Fonts that are formal or ‘elegant’ will often feel more expensive, high-end, and classy. They tend to be serious in nature and can help you achieve a higher-end atmosphere for your business. Here are some examples of businesses using formal fonts:
Casual fonts are fun, modern and playful. These fonts tend to be loud, bold, and attention-grabbing with bright colors! They tend to convey an upbeat attitude that can make your business seem safer or more reliable to customers. Here are some great examples of casual fonts at work:
Whimsical or ‘cute’ fonts are perfect for businesses that want to appear fun or laid-back. They’re best used on signage where you can convey small amounts of text because they aren’t always easy to read! Here are some great examples of whimsical fonts in use:
Clean or ‘modern’ fonts often feel clean, crisp, and simple. They’re often used in logos because they can feel too attention-grabbing on signage.
For all sorts of storefront fonts, check out CreativeMarket.
Fonts for signage can seem like a small detail, but they actually play a large role in how your customers view and interact with your brand. This is especially important when you’re trying to convey certain emotions or messages! The right font can help attract the right people, while also making sure that those people have a positive experience when they visit your business.