There are literally thousands upon thousands of fonts to choose from, it’s no wonder couples can get lost into a deep abyss of choices. If you’ve ever seen the documentary “Helvetica” you’re aware of “Font Politics”. Some people (Designers, Hipsters and Librarians) feel very strongly about certain fonts. Using the wrong font can almost be insulting to some designers, while others can see the same font as “adorable” or “fancy”. Recently I was reading Emily Post, the foremost leader of wedding etiquette, and she suggested for more casual invitations to use the font “Comic Sans”. As a designer, I almost had a heart attack after reading this. How does Emily Post not know of the secret (or not-so-secret) war against the font “Comic Sans”?!! Then it hit me, only designers know or even care about font choices. Comic Sans has long been the font that is over used and often misused. Designers all recognize fonts have personalities. Some are more causal, others are more formal.
When choosing a font for your wedding invitations you may want to consider if you want to play “Font Politics” and stay away from “controversial” fonts, like Comic Sans and Helvetica. However, if you really like a “controversial” font and you’re not marrying a graphic designer, go for it. It’s important to really love your wedding invitations.
For those non-designers here is a cheat sheet to help you choose a font.
To really simplify things there are 4 different kinds of fonts:
1) Serif Fonts:
A serif is the little bar as the end of the stroke of each letter. For example: If you are using “Times Roman” you’ll see a little bar and the bottom and tops of the letter “T”. These are the serifs. These fonts are more traditional and formal.
2) San Serif Fonts
These fonts are without serifs. So if you were using the font “Arial” you’ll see there is no little bar at the end of the letter “l”. These fonts are more modern looking and easier to read.
3) Script Fonts
These fonts look like cursive. The most common script for wedding invitations is “Edwardian Script”. One things to look out for is to make sure your script font is still legible. Some fonts are more traditional looking, while others are much more modern. I would say, if the font looks like something your grandmother would have had on her wedding invitations it’s more of a traditional script font. If the script font looks like it would only appear after 1960 it’s more of a modern font.
4) Novelty/Decorative Fonts
Well, Wingdings is a novelty font, but I doubt you’re considering for your wedding invitations. Other great novelty fonts to look at are ones that look like old typewriters or handwriting.
If you are making your own wedding invitations and are looking for some new fonts take a look at www.dafont.com
This website is full of great fonts. Some are free and other s you have to pay for.
Just like how polka dots and stripes don’t go in fashion, certain fonts don’t go together. A good rule of thumb is not to combine a serif font with a modern script or a novelty font. San Serif fonts go well with more modern scripts and novelty fonts. Serif fonts go well with traditional script fonts. A way to tell if your script font is more modern or traditional, ask yourself, would this font be used 1950 or earlier? If the answer is “yes”, it’s likely a traditional font. Of course, rules were meant to be broken. Try different combinations and ask a few of your friends who have an “eye” for design for their opinions.