Typography is one of the most important elements of your packaging design. At the same time, many brands tend to prioritize packaging materials and colors instead. Start prioritizing your typography to grab customers’ attention:

Why Does Typography Matter in Packaging?

While typography in packaging may seem like a minor detail, it matters more than you’d think. Here are some of the reasons why you should take notice of the typography in your packaging:

1. Typography Grabs Customer Attention

The right typography will grab a customer’s attention and drive them to read more about your product. In theory, the more a customer reads about your product, the more they learn, and the more they learn, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

For example, your eyes tend to go to bigger and bolder typography over small and boring typography — and this seemingly small factor could be the difference between choosing one product over another.

2. Typography Shows Your Brand Personality

The right typography will show off your brand personality and show customers what you’re all about. For example, you can show that you’re a fun and casual brand by using a thick and rounded sans serif font. Alternatively, you can show that you’re a professional and serious brand by using a classic and minimal sans serif font.

3. Typography Sets You Apart From the Competition

The right typography will set your products apart from the competition. With so many competing products on the shelves, you need every advantage you can get, which is why typography is so valuable.

Let’s say that every product on a shelf is identical, but the packaging is different. Customers would be more likely to choose the product with the most aesthetically-pleasing packaging in terms of material, color, imagery, and typography.

4. Typography Defines Your Product

The right typography doesn’t just communicate information about your brand, but it also communicates information about your product.

For example, if you’re selling a fun party game, you wouldn’t want to use a small and boring font like Times New Roman on your packaging. Instead, you would want to use a fun script. Alternatively, if you’re selling business software, you want to communicate professionalism through typography by using a clean, crisp, and bold font.

5. Typography Indicates Value

Furthermore, the right typography can also say a lot about the value of your product. If you were selling a high-end electronic product, you definitely wouldn’t want to use a basic font like Comic Sans. Instead, you would want to use a modern and classy font that accurately portrays the value of your product.

What Are the Main Basic Typefaces?

Four basic typefaces are used in typography: serif, sans serif, script, and decorative. Here’s what you need to know about each of these different typefaces so that you can choose the right one for your packaging:

  • Serif: Serif fonts are the oldest fonts and therefore are usually considered a traditional choice. There are four subcategories within the serif category, including old-style, transitional, didone, and slab. Popular examples of serif fonts include Times New Roman, Garamond, and Georgia.
  • Sans serif: Sans serif fonts tend to be more modern than the more traditional serif fonts. There are also four subcategories within the sans serif category, including grotesque, neo-grotesque, geometric, and humanist. Popular examples of sans serif fonts include Arial, Futura, and Helvetica.
  • Script: Script fonts tend to resemble handwriting for a more elegant and sophisticated feel more closely. Some popular examples of script fonts include Lucina Calligraphy, Vivaldi, and Vladimir Script.
  • Decorative: Decorative fonts don’t fit in any other category and are only used for titles rather than body copy. Also known as display fonts, this category is extremely diverse with something for everyone.

How Can I Choose Typography for Packaging?

Now that you have a better understanding of the different fonts available for packaging, it’s time to choose some that are appropriate for your packaging. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through this process and make the right selections:

Step 1: Consider Your Brand

First, you need to consider your brand — specifically, your brand personality. If you haven’t yet established your brand personality, this is something that you should take care of before moving forward.

To create your brand personality, you will need to develop three to five adjectives to describe your brand. The goal here is to have your brand appeal to people with similar personalities.

Step 2: Consider Your Product

Next, you need to consider your product. Is it a fun product or a professional product? Is it a cheap product or an expensive product? The answers to these questions will help you choose the right font.

Step 3: Consider Your Customer

After that, you need to consider your customer. Again, if you’re a new brand that’s just starting out, you may not know very much about your customers yet. If this is the case, you can start targeting the right people by developing a buyer persona.

A buyer persona is an in-depth description of your ideal customer that goes beyond simple demographic factors like gender and age. Instead, a buyer persona includes more detailed information, including but not limited to interests, hobbies, fears, and motivations, so that it reads like an actual person with a real personality.

Once you have a better idea of your target customer, you can design your typography based on what would appeal to them.

Step 4: Consider Your Packaging

Now you need to consider your packaging material, shape, and size. Packaging material can limit the intricacy of the fonts you choose. For example, on corrugated cardboard boxes, it would be difficult to print intricate or otherwise small fonts without the ink bleeding or expanding.

Packaging shape can also limit what you do with your typography. For example, the right typography for a round container may not be the right typography for a flat and square container.

Finally, packaging size plays a large role in typography. You can include more information when you have more room to work with. And when you don’t have a lot of room to work with, you need to be smart about the information you include, where you put it, and what it looks like.

Step 5: Consider Your Labels

Last but not least, you need to consider your labels if you plan on using them. Different fonts and colors show up differently on a label than they otherwise would directly on cardboard, plastic, glass, etc.

5 Best Practices for Typography in Packaging

Now to wrap things up, let’s discuss the five best practices for typography in packaging so that you can get it right and start benefiting from it:

1. Choose the Right Size

Size definitely matters when it comes to typography in packaging. You want the most important information about your product to be clearly visible in a large font so that customers don’t have to squint in order to figure out what they’re looking at.

At the same time, not all your typography should be big. Instead, you need to prioritize the most important information and put supporting information in a smaller font to not overwhelm the eye.

2. Choose the Right Color

Color is another important factor when choosing the typography for your packaging. For starters, you want to make sure that the color you choose coordinates with the other colors present on your packaging. Additionally, you want to make sure that the color you choose communicates the right information about your brand based on the psychology of color.

3. Choose the Right Placement

You also need to choose the right placement when developing the typography for your packaging design. The placement of your typography should naturally flow from one line to the next. The customer shouldn’t have to look very hard for the information they need on the packaging.

4. Make It Legible

The right font size, color, and placement doesn’t matter if it’s not legible. It’s always good to do a test run of your typography on the proper material before placing a large order to ensure legibility.

5. Keep It Simple

To promote legibility and aesthetics, you should keep your typography as simple as possible. Don’t incorporate too many different fonts. Don’t include too much unnecessary information. Instead, select a few different fonts for your header and body and only include the most important information that the consumer needs to know.

Final Thoughts on Typography in Packaging

Typography is a key component in custom packaging, along with material and color. Box Genie can help you effectively combine these three factors when designing your custom packaging.

With online design tools, design showcases, and packaging experts that are ready and willing to answer your questions and guide you through the process, you can reach your target consumer effectively.

Sources:

Serif vs. Sans Serif Fonts | Canva

Brand Personality Definition | Investopedia

Buyer Personas: What They Are, Why They Matter and How to Best Build One | Entrepreneur

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