Evoking Emotion Through Your Typography

by on August 8, 2016 · 0 comments

sad dog cage featured image

We use emotive language everyday to breathe human experience into the words and phrases we use to evoke an emotional response in another. Emotive website design is meant to evoke an emotional response in an individual’s experience when visiting a website.

Typography plays a CRUCIAL role in emotive site design.

When people are emotionally involved in your work they tend to create a relationship with the site and will visit and re-visit. Most importantly, they will share the experience with others.

Why is Emotion an Important Design Consideration?

Emotion Dictates Decision Making

As humans we experience emotion in almost every part of our lives. Through emotion we include the world around us when making our decisions. This connection to shared experience, when used correctly, can hold great sway over how individual decisions are made.

Emotion Amplifies Action

By helping us focus through shared experiences, emotion makes information memorable. Emotion helps ensure your message resonates with your intended audience. Armed with memorable emotive content, and a strong message, your audience is much more likely to take action.

Trigger the correct emotion and people become motivated – motivated people are much more likely to perform a desired action or task.

Emotion Directly Affects Memories and Creates Personalities

We remember things through associations. Emotion is what we use to create negative and positive associations. It is possible, through emotive design, to give a personality to a service or product. Once this association is made people will connect that personality to the product or service in question.

The ability to associate a personality to a client’s product or service is a powerful skill in your freelancer’s toolbox.

Sounds Great – Does It Really Work?

sad dog cage

Yes, it most definetly does.

In the above example I had a photograph that I knew would deliver a powerful emotional response. For my text I chose a sans-serif typeface called Franklin Gothic. I chose the Franklin Gothic font-family as it promotes a feeling of straight-forward objectivity. I chose the font color for the fact white conveys a sense of sadness or misfortune.

My thinking was the message would be most powerful by letting the image take the emotive forefront while the supporting typography helped add an honesty that also conveyed the sadness of the dog’s current situation. These things combined, I hoped, would encourage people to contact Expand2Rescue and give this darling little fellow a forever home.

I’ll let you be the judge of the effectiveness.

How Can I Choose an Emotive Typeface?

To give your typography choices the emotive edge, consider the psychology behind your choices.

Here is a short guide that offers some excellent initial considerations as you begin your emotive typography journey. Find the emotion you are looking to convey in your design on the list and find a nice cross-reference of potential font-families.

Serif – Times New Roman, Baskerville, Georgia Italic

  • Tradition
  • Respectability
  • Reliability
  • Comfort

Sans Serif – Helvetica, Franklin Gothic, Calibri, Myriad

  • Stability
  • Objectivity
  • Clean
  • Modern

Script – Bickham Script, Edwardian Script, Lavanderia

  • Elegance
  • Affection
  • Creativity

Modern – Futura, ITC Avant Garde Gothic, Didot

  • Strong
  • Progressive
  • Stylish
  • Chic

Display – Futura, ITC Avant Garde Gothic, Didot

  • Friendly
  • Unique
  • Expressive
  • Amusing

Interested in Learning More?

Join us this Thursday, August 11th at 5PM PDT/8PM EDT, for our Typography 101 discussion and learn how to move your typography skills to the next level. A level your clients are guaranteed to take notice of!

If you are interested in learning more about the Expand2Web summer class schedule, please visit:  www.expand2web.com/blog/expand2web-summer-class-schedule/

Chiara Aliotta – Evoke Emotion Through Typography
Ted Hunt – A Pro Designer Shares the Psychology of Font Choices [Infographic]

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Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 313 articles on Expand2Web

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