Fonts play an essential role in design projects, so you should know which fonts to use and which to avoid in your creative projects. Otherwise, your design may turn out to be a disaster and ruin the reputation of your client or the organization you're working for.
But with so many fonts, how do you choose the right font for your design?
We answer this question with a list of the most readable fonts and bad typography in this article.
Let’s start with examples of font styles that you shouldn’t use in your packaging design.
5 bad fonts you should avoid at all costs
We've chosen this list based on how cliched the font is and its readability. The idea is not to discriminate between these fonts. Instead, we want to ensure that you use the right font for the right occasion.
1. Comic Sans MS
Comic Sans MS is one of the basic Windows fonts installed on your computer when you boot it up. This font was first introduced by Microsoft in 1994 by Vincent Connare as they needed a child-friendly font.
Comic books primarily inspired it in Connare's office, and the designer himself claims that he originally designed the font to be used with speech bubbles rather than for general use. However, many people have started liking this font for its simplicity, and it has become a cliché since then.
However, one main reason you should stop using this font is that it looks childish and tells your audience that they shouldn't take your organization seriously. Plus, it's not as legible as the other fonts, so limit the usage of this font to party invites for children.
2. Curlz MT
Curlz was created in 1995 by Carl Corssgrove and Steve Matteson. They were included in the standard Windows fonts and were originally designed for party invitations. This font replicated what happened with the Comic Sans Font; it became so popular that people became sick of it.
But brands continue using the font to date as they're of the impression that the font appears feminine and attracts the female target audience.
However, this is far from the truth, as the font actually impedes readability and signifies a lack of formality and authority.
Arial was created in 1982 by Robin Nicholas and Patricia Saunders. It was widely used as the default typeface for everyday computer use and gained popularity following the release of Windows 3.1, where it was included for free.
Since then, it has been easily available for designers, and although that’s a great trait for a font, it also means that it won’t stand out and grab the attention of the user, which can translate to losses for your company.
However, the good news is that the Arial font has substitutes like Verdana, Tahoma, and Trebuchet, which are all easy to read fonts.
4. Bradley Hand ITC
Richard Bradley created the seemingly overused Bradley Hand ITC font. This font is an informal script-based font, according to Microsoft. It has a relaxed rhythm typical of real handwriting and is described as warm and familiar in nature.
Because it is a widely available font, it has been used to convey a personal touch in the sans-serif font, which fonts such as Arial and Helvetica cannot do. However, using Bradley Hand is a bad idea because it is particularly difficult to read in print and its readability decreases with size.
Vivaldi is a calligraphic font that resembles Copperplate. Because it is a script font, it's most commonly used in wedding invitations and other formal events.
The font reflects formality and is good for the general use cases mentioned above. But the biggest caveat is that it has spacing problems.
Vivaldi characters tend to get crowded, meaning their characters are not woven into a single stroke which gives it a very constricted and condensed appearance.
You can fix this problem by adjusting the spacing, but this will result in inconsistencies in font design.
Now that we’ve looked at typeface examples you shouldn’t use in your design, let’s look at the factors that make up a good font before looking at examples of fonts you can use.
What makes a good font?
The best typefaces have the following things in common.
- Kerning: This is the space that exists between two characters. If there isn't enough space, the font is unreadable due to the letters being smushed together. And if there's too much space, it's difficult to make out words from letters. A good font has decent kerning, so it's easy on the eyes and readable.
- Consistency: Consistency means that all of the letters, numbers and other characters used have the same appearance. If a font's letter "A" has serifs, we expect its letter "B" to have serifs as well, and so on.
Similarly, if a font has thick letters with soft, rounded corners but no numbers or punctuation, the font feels inconsistent and even incomplete.
- Legibility: A good font should be readable in various word combinations, even if it's scaled up and down. Next, let's look at some of the best typefaces that meet these criteria.
5 best fonts you should consider using in your packaging design
Here are some of the best fonts that graphic designers repeatedly use in their projects.
Didot is a classic-looking font with thick and thin strokes. It's one of the easiest font to read and is more distinct than New Baskerville or Times New Roman, but it has a similar look and is best suited for gourmet packaging.
2. Milk and Honey
This thick, curved font gives your content a fun, retro, and stylish vibe. The curves at the end add visual interest and help to create a powerful display that commands attention. It also includes a variety of glyphs and swashes and is best suited for food items with a playful and stylish vibe, such as chocolate.
Bondie is a compact, vintage font with solid and compact lines. Its eye-catching design easily draws attention to your brand. Since it has a retro aesthetic, it would be a great choice for craft beer brands.
Slab serif fonts are typically blocky and thick, but Slabien takes a different approach with a rounded and angled variation. These features allow for greater adaptability and versatility without sacrificing style or imagination, so it's great to go on creatives that have a chic feel to them.
Stigma is a sophisticated, bold, and contemporary font with 366 glyphs. It can be used for logo design, creative branding, and packaging.
Typography plays an important role in packaging design. So, you should choose fonts that convey the brand image and message clearly to consumers.
However, picking the right font becomes difficult due to the number of choices available on the internet. Therefore, it’s important to understand what differentiates a good font from a bad one. You can try a Free Font Finder tool by Artworkflow to identify different packaging fonts. We’ve listed the best and the worst fonts above to help make your decisions easier.
About Artwork Flow:
Artwork Flow is a creative collaboration software that helps you collaborate seamlessly and accelerate the web-to-shelf workflow of design projects.