Consumers often buy products that give a great first impression, ie. the packaging.
An impactful packaging contains just the right information in a legible font coupled with impressive colours and graphics. 72% of customers say packaging design influences their purchase decision.
Brands can wrap their product in a sachet or seal it in a container, but unless the packaging conveys the purpose of the product, it’s technically considered waste.
Brand managers need to ensure the fonts on an artwork adhere to the brand guidelines. The legal team verify if the fonts are legible and comply with regulatory guidelines. That’s why brands emphasize on selecting the best fonts and carefully choose their placement on the packaging.
This article covers how fonts affect packaging design and how to accurately validate them.
Fonts Matter. Here’s Why.
James Falici, in his book – A complete manual of typography says,
“The beauty of type lies in its utility; prettiness without readability serves neither the author nor the reader.”
Brands delve a lot into the psychology behind using fonts on the packaging. They create guidelines to use specific fonts and typefaces that are unique to their brand.
A typeface is a particular design or style, while a font is a typeface in different size and weight. In other words, typeface describes the overall design of the characters. Whereas, fonts indicate attributes like bold, italics and such.
Here’s how fonts affect consumers’ purchase decision.
Fonts Impact Customer Psychology
Almost all fonts fall in serif, non-serif, and decorative categories. The shape of the letter impacts people psychologically.
For example, serif fonts have feet (serifs) at the end of every character. Such fonts are associated with tradition, elegance, and formality. Brands use serif fonts when they target a ‘mature’ persona, such as the Rolex brand packaging below.
Non-serif (sans-serif) fonts don’t have feet and communicate with consumers more casually. Contemporary, minimal, and digital designs generally use non-serif fonts. Take the example of the brand Jockey below.
Apart from serif and non-serif fonts, there is another class of fonts known as decorative fonts. Such fonts aim at making the packaging stand out and display the creative intent of brands.
Also, brands need to stay updated according to their consumer preferences. For example, people’s favourite beverage- Pepsi has evolved its logo font to concur the generation.
Fonts Display the Hierarchy of Information
On a packaging, different fonts are used to display information in a hierarchical pattern.
For instance, the front of packaging usually showcases the product name and brand name. These fonts are usually distinct from the rest of the packaging. The back and sides of packaging contain product and manufacturer information, pricing, certificates, and more, in a different font style according to industry standards.
But, using too many fonts in a product packaging might confuse the consumer. Thus, apart from the brand and product logo fonts, it’s good to restrict the number of fonts to 2-3 to display information.
Keeping track of fonts used in packaging is important to maintain design consistency. Designers and brand managers can check the number of fonts used with the help of a font finder tool.
Fonts also Conform Regulatory Guidelines
Product packaging, irrespective of industry must convey mandatory information in legible fonts. Also, regulatory authorities have set standards for printing information on packaging.
For example, FSSAI’s Alcoholic Beverages Standards Regulations 2018 states- the warning “Consumption of alcohol is injurious to health. Be safe -Don’t drink and drive” should be printed on the labels of alcoholic beverages with the font size of not less than 3mm.
Not following the standards might lead to the withdrawal of the product from the market or hefty penalties. That’s why brands cannot ignore the importance of fonts in packaging. To proof the font in the artwork, a free online tool like Artwork Font Finder is available.
What is Artwork Font Finder and How It Benefits?
Rebranding the existing packaging or adapting existing packaging to various SKUs can be challenging.
For example, there are situations when brand managers want to reuse the packaging artwork. But, if the designer who created the master artwork is unavailable, it becomes difficult to communicate the font style to a new designer or agency
Artwork Font Finder is a free online tool to ensure the right font style and size in your packaging design. Determining correct fonts is a crucial part of the artwork approval process.
Here are 3 benefits of Artwork Font Finder.
1. Identify Fonts
When a brand decides to launch a different SKU of the same product, the packaging design can remain the same, but designers will need to create its adapt.
But, sometimes, the packaging design hasn’t been updated for years. Therefore, it is difficult to search for original design files in the archived folder. And without the original file, it becomes difficult to communicate design parameters like colours and fonts.
Thankfully, online tools like colour extractor and font finders are available, which can identify the design elements without the need for the original file. For instance, Artwork Font Finder allows uploading the PDF of packaging design and extracts the font information like size and style in seconds.
2. Verify Fonts
The artwork adapts look similar, yet they may differ when observed closely.
For example, Open Sans has light, normal, semi-bold, bold, and extra bold variants. Designers might use different Open Sans fonts to fit the information in packaging estate. But, this hampers the unanimity of design.
Artwork Font Finder enables detecting the font-characteristics by uploading the pdf of the packaging. By knowing the fonts used, brand managers can verify them for the brand standards.
3. Validate Fonts
Premedia agencies and even brands’ in-house design team simultaneously work on multiple projects. Thus, it’s common to miss the thorough check on fonts, but its consequences are harsh.
Font validation answers the following questions –
- Is the font readable?
- Does it match the target persona (culture, age, and location)?
- Does it comply with brand’s identity?
- Does it obey all regulatory guidelines?
- Is the font scalable for printing and reproduction?
Comparing design files and checking the fonts manually can be tiresome. But, knowing the font name and its family can simplify the validation process.
Typefaces and fonts impact how people perceive the content. That’s why it’s essential to identify, verify, and validate fonts before proceeding the packaging artwork for the final printing. Having the right fonts can ultimately help establish and extend the brand’s visual identity.2