How to Use Fonts in Images to Spotlight Your Irresistible Messages

Using fonts
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Maelisa told us:

My biggest challenge using fonts is figuring out how to use them to draw attention to specific pieces of content, for example for an ad I'm creating. Do I use 2 different fonts to highlight one main section, or is it better to use multiple fonts to highlight different things?


This is a great question and it crops up time and again.

I mean it’s easy to see where the confusion arises.

On one hand, you want to draw the eye to a particular offer or message.

and on the other hand you don’t want the image to hurt the readers eyes by looking like Piccadilly Circus 🙂

There are several things you can do and all of them done in the best possible taste.

Here’s an example of a Before & After shot on a previous post – How to create more professional images – which illustrates some of the things to avoid and what to do instead (It’s the last image on the page).

 

1. Use different weights of the same font

A font will very often have several different weights – bold, regular, thin, italic

Using the same font but in a different weight is an excellent way to make a word or message stand out.

Take a look at this to see what I mean.

 

Different font weights

Different font weights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side Note:

We all love free fonts. Right?

Well yes, but sometimes a free font will only come in one weight (because it’s free 😉 ) so when you’re checking out fonts, try and select those that do have multiple weights as they will give you more flexibility.

Paid fonts tend to have several weights and sometimes maybe 10 – 12.

 

2. Use colour to get your message across

A contrasting colour is a great option here.

For example black on white, white on black, yellow on black.  But it’s not sufficient for the contrast to be ‘slightly contrasting’!

That’s like being a ‘little bit’ pregnant.

So don’t be a wimp – go for the contrast and make sure your message STANDS OUT.

But try and keep it to just one extra colour – as in the above example, otherwise you’re back to Piccadilly Circus agogo again.

If you think the info is useful so far in this post, I’d love it if you shared it on Twitter. Thanks 🙂

I’d like to thank Ana Hoffman for this excellent Tweeting tip (even though it doesn’t work quite right at the moment!).

3. Using a different size of font

Limit the number of font colours

In the  example to the right, you can see that the orange headlines are fairly large.

The message – from Jane – is in the same font as those headings (the font is Shadows into Light by the way) and both standout in their own way.

The key here really is to pick out THE IMPORTANT words – the ones you want the reader to focus on and make them larger.

To give you some context, in this example for the word ‘Lean’ I used  the font at
40 pt and for the phrase ‘from jane’, the font size was 17pt.

And of course you can use colour to emphasise those words too.

We have a great article in the new issue of our digital graphics magazine that takes you through this visual hierarchy, as its known. You can get a 30 day free trial to the magazine by clicking here.

 

4. Use a complementary font

This is where it gets a little trickier because you have to know what fonts go well together.

Try to keep it simple and you won’t go far wrong. Such as:

Heavy fonts and light fonts ( as in the example here)

Sans Serif and handwritten fonts

Heavy and light fonts

The differences between heavy and light fonts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side Note:
Just make sure that you do choose a handwritten font that people can read.
No point in making a fantabulous offer to your readers but they have to squint and peer to be able to read it.

Because if the reader has to squint or peer to read your post, they won’t.

They’ll be off to the next Blog. (I know, because that’s what I do).

 

Where to get great free fonts

Our favourite resources to get free fonts are:

Free fonts

Font Squirrel 

FontSquirrel is a great place for free fonts, but they have a variety of
licenses: some are for personal use only, and many have no restrictions at all.

Use the font filters to select fonts that meet your needs.

Google Fonts

These are a great resources for web-ready fonts.

Hosted by Google, they have a growing collection of fonts: good, bad and ugly. Choose with care.

For inspiring examples of Google fonts in action, visit HelloHappy.

If you click on the examples you will be taken to the correct page on Google Web fonts directory

You can also use these fonts on your website – we show you how to do this in the new issue of our DIY Marketing Graphics Magazine.

How did you do?

I hope that this has helped you, as well as Maelisa.

There are plenty of additional techniques that can be used once you’ve got some confidence under your belt.

But even if you just used these 4, your messages will be dazzling and irresistible!

If there’s anything that isn’t clear, let me know in the comments below.

 

Caroline signature

 

 

 

 

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Wow. I can't wait it get my camera out this weekend and go find some pictures to play with. What a great inspirational article. I just couldn't put this issue down. I kept thinking each article was the last, but then there would be another one. The resources section alone was worth the price. Thank you ladies!

Inspirational ★★★★★
Disney Dad - Florida

PS. Our thanks to Sean Williams for allowing us to use his fabulous graphic 'Audrey' on our Magazine front cover.

 

 

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About The Author

Caroline Jones

I'm Caroline and I look to help small business owners create their own graphics by writing tutorials and tips on graphics editing software. I live in Wales , love Tartan and Coffee Ice Cream. You can read more about me here

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  • Wow, awesome tips, and very timely for me as I’ve been experimenting with new fonts lately. Now I’ve got more to do with them. Thanks! 😉

    • Hey Carla – experiment away! That’s the only way to find out what works and what you like.

  • Thank you – never knew there was so much to say about fonts! I use fonts a lot on graphics so good to get some guidelines here.

    • Hi Laura – There’s *lots* to say about lovely fonts. Hope this is helpful.

  • I’ve used the first 3 tips. I like the 4th one best, though. I’ll have to try that (and probably play around with different fonts until I find ones that work well together). I’ve used different fonts in an image before, but not specifically to highlight a certain section. I have seen other people use a script font for one certain word while other words are in a non-script font. I do like that.