Titling

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Assortment of typefacesAfter settling on a good title for your epistle, you need to look at “titling.” In film and movies, titles refers to the design and presentation of the words on the screen before the content is delivered. Is it raw and woodcut or stenciled? is it sleek and artistic? What you will never see is gentle or weak.

I've seen the same "too soft" choices made on store fronts for businesses. The typeface might be clever, given the nature of the business, but if you cannot read it from the street while driving 35 mph, it is completely and totally useless. In fact, it states clearly, "You don't ever have to look at me again because I have chosen to be inscrutable." Script is the worse! Italics, also bad, though seldom chosen. Strokes that are too thin are often selected and thus fall into the "Please don't pay attention to me" category.

Here are sample messages typefaces (fonts) typically communicate:

  • this is a joke; don't take me seriously.
  • this is for children
  • strength
  • authority
  • trustworthiness (think of banks)
  • friendliness
  • teamwork
  • news
  • facts
  • horror/fright
  • military

…and many, many more. I've spent hundreds of hours sorting through thousands of fonts—many similar but because of copyrights and trademarks so almost microscopically different. Often a slight change stimulates a different guttural reaction in your reader/market. Associations with that font elsewhere–especially in media such as TV, movies and comics. Strokes that suggest this but not that.

Different fonts for a summer camp for kids than for a university's keynote annual event for other educators and trainers.

People (amateurs) tend to choose what they like—or what they think will stand out from everyone else—without realizing they may be disengaging their very own target market.

Be brave and seek professional assistance—and not at a "print" shop unless you detect a high level of skill. A successful marketing person is even a better choice than a good graphic designer.

After all, you're looking for results over style, right?

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