As a pro Web designer, I see clients who need a new website because of many reasons. Often they have fallen for the “you can build your own website in 5 minutes with….” then they act surprised when they hit roadblocks or end up with a site that looks like Frankenstein’s Monster! Case two is the old website… ok, sometimes it’s a really old website, and sometimes its not that old but it employs outdated design techniques that make it look older than it is. Old or new, paid for or free, these situations all have one common problem…The Amateur!
More of the most pervasive compulsions that Amateurs propose, and why.
#2 ALL Fonts must Match
Language has meaning beyond the words themselves. The words we use have a connotation with them based on current trends and other societal influences. I blame most of this on Sesame Street to be honest. “Matching” is good! Hey, show me a time a kid was rewarded for a non-matching answer. Yes, we were taught from little on to match. So now you need a website or an Ad and some pro designer comes up with 3 different fonts in one ad.
Some say BOOOO! the fonts don’t match! Then they go on to add some stuff you heard about branding at a seminar. Often times they will drive the point home by declaring the font to be used…”Tahoma! everything should be in Tahoma!”
I won’t even go into colors now, but look…AT&T has mixed fonts, font faces, font colors.
Also a great example from Olive Garden is shown below.
So we can learn from these high dollar ads, that mixed fonts add style character and can even affect the message by evoking emotion. On a more basic level, when there are media trend setters doing things a certain way it creates an expectation in the viewers mind. we see some things and say, “wow that looks dated” or just “wow”.
We don’t always know why we come to those conclusions we just do. What is going on in our brains is that we have learned to associate certain styles and traits to high value brands and when we see that same thing in an unfamiliar brand, our brain makes an association and we get to borrow some of that value.
Conversely if we have the look of yesterdays leftovers and outdated styles and themes, we look as passe and irrelevant as the dancing baby.
So become eclectic with your fonts, and be current, relevant, fresh, and for gosh sake, borrow some value from the big guys….Hey its there for free!
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