It All Matters in Law Firm Marketing: Choosing the Right Font

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Disney. Coca-Cola. Instagram. These iconic brands share one thing in common—their names are instantly recognizable by their brand’s font. Without the need for additional graphics or designs, these global brands have imprinted their mark on consumers through their typography.

By contrast, consider the proverbial “fine print” in contracts and policies, on consumer products and more. Attorneys and law firms understand better than most, that fine print is designed to avoid drawing attention to it. Indeed, the font and size used in various disclaimers, warranties, exclusions, and so forth is chosen precisely for its function of turning readers off.

The contrast between fine print and the iconic typography used by global brands demonstrates just how powerful a font can be to a company’s objectives. This is precisely why it’s so important that all marketing materials, beginning with a law firm’s logo, and continuing in perpetuity on all written materials, use a font that achieves both rational and emotional objectives.

Choosing the Right Font for Your Law Firm Marketing Materials

Consider that your font needs to achieve both a rational and an emotional objective. But what does it mean for a law firm’s font to be rational? In short, it needs to be functional. It needs to express your marketing message in a clear, easy-to-read and appealing way. To determine whether a specific font meets the rational objective, law firms should consider:

  • Is the font large enough?
  • Is the font legible?
  • Is the spacing between letters and words sufficient?
  • Does the font show up clearly in contrast to background colors/designs?
  • Does the font look attractive?

The emotional objective that law firms will want their font to adhere to is a bit less black and white. However, studies have shown that good typography is correlated to reader engagement and even mood enhancement, whereas poor choices in typography turn readers off.  So what do various fonts tend to convey? Here’s what some of the research shows:

  • Novelty fonts tend to frustrate consumers.
  • Fonts that mimic handwriting, and “gothic” styles are hard to read.
  • Extra spacing increases reading comprehension and reading speed.
  • Consumers don’t like small fonts, no matter how “sophisticated” they may seem.
  • Script fonts tend to convey elegance/sophistication.
  • Classic fonts are generally considered reliable, professional.
  • Serif fonts are viewed as slightly more traditional, whereas sans serif fonts are viewed as more casual/modern.

Keep these findings in mind when deciding which font to use. Law firms should consider the overall message they wish to convey through firm websites, emails, newsletters, infographics, advertisements and any other identifying marketing materials, such as event sponsorship banners, flyers, etc.

So what message about your firm’s brand do you want to convey?

  • Is your firm established, traditional and quintessentially professional (suits all day, every day)?
  • Is your firm progressive, an early adopter; does it employ a young staff?
  • Does your firm embrace formality, or do you want to be known as more casual?

Once you’ve determined the message you want to convey, selecting the right font should be made much easier and can prevent incongruity between your firm’s operations and your firm’s marketing efforts.

Final thought: If you’re unsure about what font to use, err on the side of traditional, rather than trying to make a bold statement with overly intricate fonts in an effort to “stand out.” Trying too hard to be unique can ultimately backfire.

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