Two of the most important decisions in any print marketing campaign are color and typography. When combined in an appealing way, color and typography interact to create a lasting visual impact, reinforcing recognition and strengthening brand identity.
Typography should be simple but not simplistic. With so many options, the key is to select fonts that are easy to read and consistent with your brand image. For headings, consider a “sans serif” font to lead the eye vertically down the page; Helvetica and Arial are the most commonly used sans serifs and work across platforms. For regular text, consider a “serif” font like Times New Roman; the hooks and feet in these fonts connect the letters as you read horizontally, reducing eye fatigue. Your designer may encourage you to select overly stylized, artistic fonts, but readability -- not innovation -- is the goal.
Once your fonts are selected, attention turns to consistent size and spacing. A small increase in font size and height can significantly increase readership and retention. Add a little extra space between lines to make blocks of text easier to read. Connect a heading to the text that follows by leaving a little less space after the heading than before it.
The next decision point is color. Again, it’s not about the latest trend recommended by your designer. It’s about selecting colors with high contrast to make your printed materials easier to read, thus improving comprehension and reading speed. Black and white are at the opposite ends of the spectrum, so black type printed on a non-glossy, white background is the quintessential combination to evoke strength and clarity for your main copy. A completely black-and-white piece, however, would have low readership; statistics show that materials printed in color are read 80% more often than black-and-white. So, introduce your corporate color palette, those colors associated with and complementary to your logo, in headings, subheadings, graphics and pull-quotes. As you move to secondary and tertiary colors, choose carefully. There are extensive studies on the psychology of color, much of which is subjective, culture-specific, and at times even contradictory. Two readers can perceive the same color in different ways.
Stick with the tried-and-true when making color and typography choices to produce clean, easy to read collateral that creates the visual reaction you want.