Choosing the right font is an important aspect of your business sign. When considering which font to use for any marketing collateral, focus on who your audience is, and how you want them to perceive the message you’re striving to convey. Since typefaces can project a wide range of emotions by their style and shape, the one that you choose can heavily influence what your audience feels and understands when reading the sign.
In the same way that handwriting conveys emotions, so can a specific font. For instance, when you write heavily or use a dark typeface, it can convey boldness or possibly anger to the reader, and when you write elegantly or use a heavily scripted font, it can impart a sense of luxury or sophistication to the reader.
Scientists have discovered that humans equate the ease of reading a particular typeface with the ease of any task which might be associated with it. For example, one research program discovered that students at the University of Michigan assumed that a particular exercise program would be very easy to assimilate into their daily lives when shown the instructions for that exercise program in a very clear, and legible typeface.
In another example, high school students at a school in Ohio scored better on a reading test when the text of the reading assignment was portrayed using a font they were all unfamiliar with. Because they all had to read slowly to digest the unfamiliar text, their reading comprehension rose dramatically and test scores reflected that.
The theory which scientists are coming to is that as the human eye moves along the shape and style of letters depicted by a given font, it creates a physical experience in the mind which is similar to someone using body language to express something. The way that people experience a body of text can thus be heavily impacted by the manner in which it is expressed, and the typeface can be a big part of that.
If your business is trying to create a feeling of trust with your audience, i.e. customers, consider trying to use a familiar and readable font. Familiarity builds trust, and if your signage and your text are all expressed in typefaces which are familiar to readers, it will build trust with your audience. On the other hand, if you’re simply trying to get some extraordinary attention with a one-time announcement, a more spectacular font might be used.
The typefaces you use are very much like first impressions, and the first impression that you create in the minds of your reading audience will largely be a function of the font you’ve chosen. Whatever emotion it is that you’re trying to evoke from your audience, match that emotion with the right typeface.