The Psychology of Fonts

When designing a business card, we know that a lot of focus can go into the colour schemes, the images and what the card represents – but fonts are just as important, and can actually shape the entire design. Fonts act as a conductor for the message you're trying to get across – whether they're serif or sans-serif, italicised or bold, they all send a certain message. We've put together a guide that can help you choose the right fonts for your business card, and all of your printed business materials.  

Serif fonts for business cards

Studies have shown that serif fonts are easier to read than sans-serif alternatives, so if you're planning on packing more information onto your card, you might consider choosing a serif font to improve reading times. Serif fonts are associated with tradition and convention – if you need your business to exude reliability and authority, you should always go the serif route. There's often a reason why court documents, legal letters, official certificates and similar documents are presented with serif fonts; they create a sense of officiousness that is hard to recreate with sans-serif alternatives. Top serif fonts: Times New Roman, Georgia, Garamond, Baskerville  

Sans-serif fonts for business cards

These kinds of fonts are seen as clean and modern without being too showy or ostentatious. They create the sense of a businesses that has traditional values but is also forward-thinking and ready to innovate. These fonts are also fairly universal – they appeal to all without alienating one single group. Young and old alike respond to sans-serif fonts. These fonts are excellent for use on every element of a business card, whether it's the title or the contact details; they keep it fresh and easy-to-read while still exuding an element of stability. Top sans-serif fonts: Arial, Calibri, Verdana, Helvetica  

Script fonts for business cards

Script fonts can be used in one of two ways – firstly, they can be used to represent femininity. The curling letters which are often softly italicised look eminently 'ladylike' and are often used on business cards for hairdressers, beauty parlours and ladies fashion boutiques. The second use for script fonts is to represent luxury. Script text is decadent and lavish, with plenty of loops and embellishment, so if you are trying to create a sense of luxury around a high-end product or service, a mixture of script and serif fonts will do the trick. Top script fonts: Brush Script, French Script MT, Kunstler Script  

Display fonts for business cards

These are the novelty fonts, the show-stoppers that are only appropriate for the creatives of the world. Would you trust a bank manager who handed over a business card filled with bubble writing and quirky fonts? Most likely not – but switch the scenario to a web designer, a playwright or an artist and suddenly you have an expression of their imagination, their creativity. Display fonts are more about creating a sense of personality than officiousness or authority. They help to make a business card memorable in fiercely competitive creative industries. These fonts are friendly, expressive and unique – so if that sounds like the type of business you're a part of, these fonts are the right choice for you. Top display fonts: Cooper, Valencia, Giddyup