What is Typography?
In a nutshell, typography makes words beautiful, distinguishable and readable. It’s a visual voice that breathes life into your content – blossoming to evoke personality, tone and feeling. Understanding its potential as a luring tool can increase your conversion rates significantly.
What are the Principles?
Typography has a variety of key elements to be aware of. There are many different aspects but here are the most common to have a think about, before constructing an online ad. I’ll start at the basics and get more granular as we progress.
Typeface – is the family that holds all the variable weights
Font – is just one of the weights inside this family
Serif – a font that has a small line or stroke regularly attached to the end of a letter (like feet)
Sans-Serif – smooth typeface, minimal lines (no feet)
Hierarchy – Establishes an order of importance between the text i.e. headline subheadline and body copy. These can be broken into smaller divides like Size, Weight, Color, Contrast etc to establish the order.
Font weight – The thickness of the character outlines
Letter Spacing ( Tracking ) – used to adjust the space uniformly over a range of characters. Tracking can affect the character density of the passage. Leading (Line height) – The space between baselines (the lines upon which letters “sit”) and is expressed in points.
Why is Typography so important?
Let’s start this off with a little food for thought – Display ads have a mere 0.05% CTR across all ad formats and placements.*
People read and scan through information by using a series of eye movements called saccades married in with shorter fixation points. If your font choices are less legible the fixation points become compromised. This causes a ripple effect stemming from confusion and ending in frustration for your reader. Inevitably, these issues will cause a drop in engagement levels.
Saccades – When reading through information this is the jump between words as we’re scanning through.
Fixation – These are the words we can fully see and absorb.
How much do we actually read online?
Online reading hasn’t changed for over a century. Recent data suggests that users online rarely read word for word – they simply scan content, so even vast leaps in technology
have proven futile in shifting stubborn human behaviour. With this in mind, we have to encourage the use of legible fonts and introduce a standard ‘best practice’, so that all pages can be as coherent as possible. This not only includes font choices but ultimately your paragraph lengths as well. We need to work with human behaviours rather than fighting against long-winded content.
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein.
Simply put, stop waffling and get to the point.
Typographic formats to avoid
Our eyes tend to skim and jump back and forth establishing content and to re-read what we don’t understand. Here are a few potential obstacles to be aware of:
The best advice for online marketers
Take some time to understand your target demographic before you start any project, Use insights and analytics data to reveal the gender, age range, and affinities of your user.
This is the first step in preparation for choosing the right fonts for your online ads. Creating the right tone is the key to high conversion rates, as subjective as the nature of typography is, it all starts with a choice. Being more informed about typography and its principles will help make that choice easier, and ultimately add a positive impact to your conversion rates.