Choosing the Perfect Font For Your Label Design
Fonts have personality. Don't believe it? Imagine TIME Magazine's logo in a handwritten, bubbly font instead of its thin, classic one. Fonts can be fun, formal, young, old, straightforward, or loud. And much like everything else, association is perception. Below, we offer a crash course in font choice and unearth the implications behind each option so you can make the right choice for your products and packaging.
Main Font Types
Fonts fall into one of two main font categories: serif or sans serif. This is an overarching association regarding the style of the font – if it has feet vs. if it doesn't have feet.
Serif fonts have "feet," i.e. the letters are capped off with perpendicular lines. They create a line for the eye to follow making them easier to read. Because of this, they are often used in long passages of text. Serif fonts are among the oldest generation of typefaces, you may recognize Times New Roman as one such font.
Much like the name implies, sans serif fonts are fonts sans serif, they don't have feet. This simplifies the letters, making them easier to recognize. Sans serif fonts are great for children and those with visual impairments, although they shouldn't be written off if that isn't your target audience. Their lack of feet also represents a more modern style. Arial is a popular, well-known sans serif font.
Fonts for Different Label Projects
While there's no one-size-fits-all font, we broke out a few popular font associations for specific industries and projects.
Best fonts for: Bath & Body/Beauty Labels
If you're selling a luxurious, high-end cosmetic product, consider something delicate. On the other hand, fun and affordable brands may want to go with something chunky and loud.
Best fonts for: Wedding Labels
Best fonts for: Signage
Sans serif fonts are ideal for this category since your content need to be easily readable from a distance. Double check that the letters aren't too close together and the font size on your warning signs is large enough before printing!
Best fonts for: Food & Drink Labels
Find a font that relates to your food or drink product category. Healthy and organic brands may want to opt for something clean and light. Indulgent foods, on the other hand, may be more visual and evoke emotion.
Best fonts for: Mailing & Address Labels
Letters and boxes often go through automatic mail sorters. To ensure your shipments move through the process swiftly and arrive at their intended destination, stay away from curly, fun fonts. The USPS website recommends "simple fonts" in at least 10 point type.
Examples of Fonts in Packaging
Click through the gallery below to see how fonts can change the look and feel of your product. Each photo showcases the same label design (all from our pre-designed templates section) with two contrasting fonts. You'll notice that while both look great, they evoke different emotions and provide unique insights into the brand and product.
Questions to Consider When Labeling Products
If you use a happy-go-lucky font with your sophisticated product, how will that affect customer perception? Run through the questions below to make sure your selected font does your packaging justice.
- What are you labeling? A font perfect for homemade jam may not be the best for business' annual report. Looking at popular trends in your industry is a great way to grasp what's in style and help you decide what defines your product.
- Who is your product for? Narrowing your target demographic should also help determine which font you should use. You want to relate to your audience and make your product more appealing.
- What are you trying to say? Are you wanting something iconic for your logo or to convey important instructions? A clean font will increase the chance that people will not only read it through, but also understand it.
- What does your brand stand for? What do you want your customers to know right off the bat? Pick something relaxing for your spa or safe and secure for your accounting firm.
- Where are you using your font? Knowing the limitations of a font can help rule it out or sanction it for your project. Many fonts aren't considered "web safe," so if you may want to transition your font into your website later, steer clear of specialty, un-safe fonts. (To be web-safe, a font must be common in most operating systems, thereby viewable by most people.)
- Do you plan on using the font in different ways? If you think you might want to keep it in the family, choose a typeface with multiple font options (bold, italic, etc.).
- Where's the type going? If you've already got a busy background in place, employ simplicity in the text. If everything else is muted, feel free to explore intricate, decorative ones.
Choosing From Fonts in Maestro Label Designer
If you need more help or inspiration, our online label maker (Maestro Label Designer) includes dozens of different fonts for you to choose from and hundreds of label templates created by professional designers. Both offer a beginner-friendly design experience made for labelers!
Here's a quick description of some of our most popular fonts:
- Alef. An Arial look-alike. Great for business and longform use.
- Amatic SC. A handwriting font. Great for headlines and crafty + beauty branding.
- Audiowide. A slanted techno font. Great for headings and futuristic product labeling.
- Calligraffitti. A calligraphic font. Great for weddings and added elegance.
- Englebert. A whimsical font. Great for handmade businesses and products.
- Josefin Sansa. A geometric font. Great for evoking a vintage feel.
- Montserrat. An urbant font. Great for paragraphs, signage, and more.
- Poiret One. A light, thin font. Great for logos and labeling delicate products.
- Rock Salt. A chunky, handwritten font. Great for adding handwritten messages.
- Voltaire. A tall font. Great for large canvases and signage.
Launch Maestro Label Designer
With a creative mind and an understanding of fonts and typefaces, anyone can make professional-quality labels. Check out more articles in our Label Learning Center or visit our Customer Ideas gallery to get inspired by others. Don't forget to stock up on blank labels before it comes time to print! Shop printable labels.