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WTF: What the Font

By: Machielle Thomas | 6 Dec 2016

Do you find yourself screaming, ‘WTF!’? We know, it happens to us too. When we look at a magazine, or receive an unsolicited email from one of our not-so-favorite brands, we often think ‘WTF’?

Wait…. are we on the same page?!

WTF, a.k.a. “What the font”, is a phrase we like to use to recognize the importance of a font choice since it is essential to a brand’s success.

Font is a set of type of a particular face and size. While font style refers to the size, weight, color and style of typed characters within a body of content. In other words, the font style alters the appearance of a set of characters that make up a typeface or font.

From logos and emails to billboards, the font that represents your brand is the first impression a potential customer will have with your business. Font can be the single most influential part of your marketing strategy. When deciding on size, type, and color, focus on what your font will communicate about your business.

If chosen properly, a font is what will attract your target audience. Is your brand playful? Does it appeal to millennials or middle-aged consumers? Knowing the answer to this, and other questions, will give you the information needed to determine the proper font for your business.

Want to know what fonts are currently trending?  Check out the web fonts that made Google’s A+ List.


Font type

Your brand’s personality is revealed by your formal or informal font choices. This personality combines the font choice, color palette, design, and layout. In order to maintain consistency, choose a more refined font for your content. If you are looking for a place to put your favorite quirky font, go for creative headings and banners.

A thorough understanding of serif and sans serif is the first step. Simply put, serif fonts have ‘feet’, while san serif does not.


Avoid choosing fancy fonts, as some users may not have the font available on their end, resulting in a lost user experience. Typically, standard fonts, such as Helvetica, Arial, Times, Courier, and Verdana, are optimal for most web content.

Having trouble finding trending fonts? Trending fonts that made Google’s A+ list can be a great place to start.

Font size

Do you find yourself distracted by abnormally small or large fonts? This can be especially true when small and large fonts appear next to each other in content. Ordinarily, larger fonts are used for headings and smaller fonts for subheadings. Some situations call for mixed font sizes as a way to visually differentiate sections of content.

Font color

While creating your website, examine different colors and identify one that corresponds with your brand tone and voice. Colors such as dark blue and black work perfectly for web pages as they are easy for the reader to process. Stray away from bright colors since they tend to strain the eyes when viewing on a web browser. 

Font color creates visual perception and these choices can create energy, emotion, and excitement around your brand’s presence. Your brand should utilize a color that matches the emotion you want to use to connect with your audience.


Can your font change over time?

Yes, while it is not always suggested to rebrand, it can be necessary at times. Perhaps you started out targeting 40-somethings and now you have added 20-somethings to your audience. Remember, the key to selecting the right fonts is comprehending your brand’s tone and voice.

Over time, you will build a collection of fonts that speak to your brand. This could be based on testing or from a top font list.

Need inspiration? Check out FontShop’s 100 Best Fonts List

Are there certain colors or fonts that you love or love to hate? Share your experience with us.