Typography in Email Marketing
There is a plethora of typefaces available to choose for email marketing. It is not so long ago that a small printing firm could make to with a dozen or so. Nowadays even free word processors boast a choice of over 400. It is a remarkable development.
Even more remarkable is that so many designers of emails stick with Arial and Times New Roman. The latter was designed for printing on coarse paper and so might not be suitable for digital display.
There are few rules in email marketing but one that is as firm as any is to use sans serifed typefaces for text, a serif being that little finisher on the end of a stroke of the character. Times is a serifed face.
The serifs can become ‘lost’ at the low resolution of VDUs and especially mobile devices, and at times can actually cause distortions. So avoid them for text.
Typefaces can, and perhaps should, become part of your overall design, reinforcing your corporate image. A strong, safe pair of hands in finance would use a strong safe typeface. This can be carried too far but is a pretty good default position.
Headings and sub-headings can use serifed faces if it is a large enough font, but test it out first. The classic old faces, such as Baskerville, have a certain air about them. Or perhaps a slab-serifed face, one with big, bold serifs, can be distinctive without distracting from the message.
Typefaces can be used as a form of direction and control. If you used Times on the marketing email for headings, then to suddenly change it to, say Verdana on the landing page might then confuse the reader. We want a smooth transition.
Do not be afraid to indulge a whim. If you need to create an Art Deco atmosphere there there is nothing like a heading in Broadway, as in the title to this article, to say this without using up too much precious space.
Typefaces are an artform, although one sadly unsung. However, Audi have used a unique form of Univers in their current adverts, so they must feel the investment is worthwhile. So give it some thought.