How Fonts Improve Product Evaluation

Marketers increasingly struggle with how to build a meaningful, human connection with their customers in a world where everything from creative design to targeting is becoming increasingly automated and mechanical. In this lesson, we'll discuss how the individual action of font selection can have a lasting effect on brand relationships.

On-Going Efforts
Best for Hedonic Products

Font choice can have a powerful effect on marketing success. One study found that consumers chose products more often when the brand name appeared in an appropriate font. Bold, simple and easy-to-read fonts are associated with economy and strength, while scripted, italicized fonts convey dignity and luxury.

The focus of this email is on a 2018 study that found handwritten fonts have unique attributes, which should be considered when developing new campaigns.

What did the research find?

Across multiple experiments, researchers found that using handwritten fonts increased the perception of human presence. This led to more favorable product evaluations, while enhancing consumers’ emotional connection to the product or brand.

In one experiment, retail customers sampled chocolate products labeled with either a handwritten font or a more traditional, machine-generated one. When presented with an offer to buy the chocolate, 17% of customers made a purchase in the handwritten condition, while only 3% of the other group did.

Were there any limits to the research?

The observed effect was strongest for customers with no previous attachment to the brand and where the product was hedonic in nature. (chocolate, candles). Not surprisingly, the effects reversed when the products were functional (lightbulbs) or, at least, positioned in that way to the consumer.

Roland Schroll, Benedikt Schnurr, Dhruv Grewal, Humanizing Products with Handwritten Typefaces, Journal of Consumer Research, Volume 45, Issue 3, October 2018, Pages 648–672