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How you can use type to create better ads

The importance of having your message well-received can not be overstated and reading large swathes of text shouldn’t be off-putting

Choosing the right type design plays a massive role in delivering a clear and understood message. Additionally, the right font and style can also set the tone of your text and brand.

In this post, we’ll aim to explore various ways to ensure your message is read loud and clear while helping it stand out from the crowd.

All by focusing on the type.

By recognizing some of the broad categories of differences within type, you can make informed decisions about which type to choose for your designs.

Type is a fundamental part of any design it appears in. It can be used as text to read, as a shape and as a visual element where the choice of typeface conveys an emotion or mood. Type, when used well doesn’t need a photograph or illustration to back it up (but images never hurt).

Type can be broken down into 3 broad categories: font, scale, positioning/spacing (Source Scannerlicker). Each are described in greater detail below.

The number of fonts available today can be overwhelming. So, it’s important to understand what makes a font the best choice for your design.

When selecting a font, or typeface, for headings, subtitles and body text, use easy to read fonts for simple and effective graphic design. It’s also important to realise that the eye finds it hard to scan and read content that mixes too many typefaces, so stick to a simple collection of fonts, around 2-3!

Good examples of fonts for headings:

Fonts for headings by Fluid Ads

Updated fonts with Fluid Ads cross-device advertising
Strong, engaging and impactful; these are the traits which make the above fonts work well as headings. Headings are often preferred as being bolder than the body copy font.

TOP TIP: Using serif fonts as caps can also help develop a better heading.

As well as this, script fonts can make for a good eye-catching heading as they can lend themselves more to the emotion and general ‘vibe’ of the ad. They tend to come off as a lot more ‘playful’ or ‘friendly’. Depending on the font, it’s best to keep these fonts lowercase as some cases of fonts can become unreadable!

Good examples of fonts for body copy:

Utilizing type fonts to create better ads by Fluid Ads

The common trait between all the above fonts is their readability. The styling of each font allows for a smoother more flow like read from letter to letter.

When it comes to fonts, restraint is a good thing. Always remember LESS IS MORE (this goes for content too). You can achieve interest by choosing two contrasting typefaces.

dog ad by Fluid Ads digital display advertising platform

The subtle mix of both serif and sans-serif fonts provide a clear contrast between the heading and body copy.

Notice the difference in sizing between different parts of the text.

Applying scale to type can provide that well needed proportionate emphasis.

Form ad by Fluid Ads digital display advertising platform

Large type as headlines has been a popular trend on the web in the past few years with some designers choosing massive headlines to contrast with small body text. This works due to the created contrast and visually engaging message your ad is carrying.

Using appropriate colours to enhance this technique while making sure suitable typefaces that look good when increased in size is also key to remember! Focusing back to an early post where we spoke about the importance of colour, we know that depending on the colour, a different emotion or messaged can be emitted.

Positioning and spacing
Using letter spacing to fill dead space, aligning text to set margin, or even condensing words that take up too much space is a key principle to always keep in mind.

Altering the texts physical appearance and shape can create a completely different effect than just using basic rules. For example, below is the same copy, but altered to create two totally different outcomes. Which do you prefer?

Un-edited Version
A basic block of text which makes it hard to distinguish a set word or message. The text, in this case, doesn’t aid the image in any way.

Un-edited fluid Ads version of a bike ad

Edited Version
The addition of the smarter spacing between the lines of the main message has allowed for the Heading to further stand out. The increased letter spacing with ‘discover’ adds an extra dimension to the text, again, helping it stand out again the rest of the text within the advert.

Edited fluid Ads version of a bike ad

Overly Edited Version
However, be careful not to reduce line height so much it can’t be read, or increase it so much the letters become detached from one another.

Overly edited fluid Ads version of a bike ad

To briefly sum up, some of the things to think about when using type as a design element are:

  • Is the typeface I’m using appropriate? Is it in keeping with the message I’m communicating?
  • If I’m using more than one typeface, are they contrasting or conflicting? How well do they work together?
  • Is the size right for the medium and the message?

Keeping these key principles in mind when designing an advert will allow your message to stand out above the rest.

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