Don't overthink it.

Something weird happened last week while talking with a group of side-hustlers. Someone had suggested to “promote it and forget it” on Instagram when it came to running ads. I know, I was in as much disbelief as you are right now.

If I told you that you could influence your customer’s decisions with font, would you believe me? You might think I am nuts because normally we think about influence through content and stuff like buttons, call-to-actions, colors, and powerful headlines. So, why does font matter when you have so many other variables to control? What if I told you that it’s been proven to influence readers with a font like Baskerville? The New York Times did it.

Now I have your attention. Errol Morris ran an experiment in The New York Times giving readers a passage that was shown in 3 different fonts. Comic Sans, Helvetica, and Baskerville. What happened? Of the 40,000 participants, those who read the passage in Comic Sans or Helvetic disagreed and those who read it in Baskerville agreed.

Michael Bernard of Usability News compared online typefaces varying at 10, 12, and 14 point sizes. The results might blow your mind. Times and Arial typefaces produced the quickest read times, Arial and Courier were stated as the most legible, and Verdana, Arial, and Comic Sans (odd) were the most preferred. The most legible font size? 12 and 14.


Of course, as always, none of this is end-all-be-all. You have to do your own A/B testing online to determine what works best for you. However, if you do some additional research you will create a solid starting point to determine what is working out best. Once you know what you are wanting to compare, run ads against the same segments to make the most of your data collection. Don’t forget to carry this over into your emails as well!

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