Fonts matter. Don’t believe me? Imagine, for a moment, the word “graveyard” written in cartoony bubble letters. It’s perplexing (and a pretty inappropriate attempt at levity, you might say). Likewise, imagine the word “family” written in a bloody, dripping font – unless you’re Norman Bates and running a motel with your mother – it’s just not going to fly. The lesson: words speak, but fonts speak, too – sometimes even louder.

So, how do you know if you’re choosing the correct font for your show? Out of the – no joke – infinite number of fonts you have to pick from, which is the right one? More importantly, which is the wrong one? There’s a certain amount of personal taste to be considered, for sure, but, like all good design decisions, the font must work for your show on a few different levels. So, hop on board and let’s get this article on the way – to an exciting new fontier! (this is only the beginning of the puns, so please hold all cringes until the end).

Firstly, your font must reflect the spirit of your show. Take, for example, the font chosen for Flip or Flop, which uses bold text with a sharp outline; look closely and you’ll notice that the font has a subtle slant, reminiscent of the Fast & The Furious franchise. From this font alone, the audience can expect a fun, energetic show about the exciting (and sometimes risky) housing market. Contrast that to the House Hunters font and you’ll see that they used sleeker, more refined letters – showing a sense of authority, communicating that you might just learn a thing or two from this show.

You’ll also want to consider a font that will become recognizable with your show – something the audience will never fontget. Think of Game of Thrones; if you saw an ad for milk using the GOT font, you’d automatically assume that the welcoming glass of milk was actually an attempt to poison you in order to usurp the – well, we don’t want to give it away.

On top of all that, your font needs to work well for a variety of purposes: will your font be used for your title animation? How about infographics? Does it look good as a stand-alone logo or bug? How easily can it be animated?

When we designed the titles and graphics for Salvage Kings, we knew that the font would have to satisfy all these different elements. It needed to look like the kind of font that isn’t afraid to get its hands dirty, but also be legible when used for things like lower thirds.

It’s a fine balance to achieve, and if you pick the right one, it can really unify your graphics (no pressure, though).

A few basic font dos and don’ts:

  • nothing too fancy (remember, you may end up filling an infographic with this font)
  • nothing too thin (it will disappear against the background)
  • if the font has an outline, then the letters need to be filled, not left translucent (it will be too hard to read when it’s shrunken down)

In a universe where there are as many stars as there are fonts, it may seem like a daunting task to pick just one. But, pick one, you must. The fate of your show hangs in the balance.

Fear not, though, for you just finished reading a little article about fonts, so, you should be all good. Plus, we’re always around if you need us. And may the font be with you (you can cringe now).