When designing a vinyl banner, a readable font is as important as attention-grabbing images and clear messaging. However, not everyone went to design school, so you may be wondering what is the best font for a vinyl banner. Well, you’ve come to the right place: in today’s post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about fonts for vinyl banners using some easy-to-understand examples.
Start With Good Contrast
Good contrast is the foundation of effective visual communication. But what is contrast, exactly? For the purposes of your vinyl banner, contrast is the difference in light levels between the color of the text and the color of the background.
Strong contrast helps ensure that your banner is easy to read, even from a distance. Here are some simple rules and a graphic to use as guidelines:
- Black characters on a white background offer the most effective type of contrast.
- If you want to mix things up, you can use dark characters on a light background or the opposite: light characters on a dark background.
- Dark characters on a dark background or light characters on a light background are a big no-no, as those combinations will ensure that your banner is almost impossible to read.
Be Careful When Using Fonts With Serifs
While this rule is pretty straightforward, not everyone knows what a serif is, so let’s brush up on our design basics.
The word “serif” refers to the tiny lines that stick out from the endpoints of some classic fonts. This is the type of concept that it’s easier to understand when you see it, so here’s a little graphic:
There’s nothing specifically wrong with serifs. Fonts with serifs are elegant and can be used to add an air of classic sophistication in certain cases. However, since serifs are unnecessary elements, they can make the text on your banner difficult to read if you don’t take some visual precautions.
Having a variety of fonts adds visual interest to your banner, so you’ll probably end up using fonts with serifs for some parts of your message. When you do, make sure that the text is easy to read, even from a distance.
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Consider Font Weight
Yes, fonts have weight too — visual weight.
When talking about the weight of a font, we’re referring to its thickness. Thick fonts are heavy or bold, while thin fonts are light. Fonts that sit somewhere in between are known as regular fonts.
When creating a vinyl banner, prefer regular fonts and use bold fonts sparingly to emphasize certain portions of the text. As for light fonts, it’s preferable to avoid them, as they can be difficult to read and may become practically invisible from afar.
Steer Clear of Excessive Ornamentation
Serifs are just the most common form of ornamentation you can come across when choosing a font.
Some fonts make it a point to be curly and add all types of effects in an effort to convey a sense of elegance or luxury. In general, it’s better to avoid this type of font for your banner.
Think of the font you choose for your banner as your voice: you want it to be as clear as possible, without any affectations that interfere with your message.
The Best Font for a Vinyl Banner: Wrapping It Up
Using the right font for your vinyl banner goes a long way toward ensuring that your message gets across.
The best font for a vinyl banner is clear and easy to read. In order to achieve this, follow these basic guidelines: use strong contrast, be careful when using fonts with serifs, avoid fonts with excessive ornamentation, and prefer a combination of light and bold fonts.
To wrap it up, here’s an example from an actual project. As you can see, the contrast is strong (white letters on a black background and black letters on a yellow background), and the fonts are regular sans serif, ensuring optimal visibility under any conditions.
Keep in mind that while these principles apply to the vast majority of banners, there are always exceptions and there may be other factors to consider depending on your specific project. So seek the assistance of a professional designer when creating your banner.
Need help? Our team of large format printing experts stands ready to assist you. Get in touch today!
To learn more about banners, check out our previous posts, “Posters vs Vinyl Banners: What Is the Difference?” and “What Are Retractable Banners?”
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