Video Fonts For Explainer Videos…What’s Best?

When you do this, it makes the moment feel either comfortable or tense. There’s not a lot of in-between. We’re going to look at text, since text is the most often used element of what?

“Oh, I know, I know! Motion graphics.”

Well yes, that’s right Stevie, motion graphics. I’ll even give you the video fonts that produce the best response. Welcome back. I’m Steve Washer, author of The Video Brain and creator of Audience Builders Blueprint. So, while last time we looked at text on video in general this time we’re going to look at fonts in particular– which ones do you use and why.

First of all, I need to tell you this is a somewhat subjective topic. What I find attractive you may not like, or you may like it a lot and your audience may not respond as much as you hoped. With that in mind, I can show you the two font families I’ve been using for the last year that have helped make my short explainer videos easy to watch and somewhat engaging.

The first thing to know about these two families is just their last names. There’s the Serifs family and their neighbors across the street from down south, the Sans Serifs. Now the Serifs are introverts. When I go visit them and ask them to make an appearance, they kinda hide behind the curtains and pretend they’re not home.

When you do finally convince them to go on, they just sort of sit there and tremble like a dog in a thunderstorm, and kind of smear and freak out and try to hide. Unless you wrap them in a big heavy winter coat. Then, all of a sudden, they get courageous and attractive and and full of mojo. So here’s the thing about the Serifs. The reason most of them don’t work on video is the ends of the letters, that’s really where the font gets its name–the Serif ends. They tend to disappear on a whiteboard video screen and make the words harder to read.  You can see that kind of font here at wizmotions whiteboard videos.

Now there are two Serif fonts that do work well from a video marketing perspective. The most commonly used is Adobe Caslon Pro. Seems to work well enough, but to me, it’s kind of dull and doesn’t look as good in winter clothes. The Serif font I really like is Georgia. Georgia looks as good in video as it does on the page, which means you can have more unity between your marketing materials. And I think that for experts and professionals in particular this is the one to use. It has an elegance and a confidence and a sense of style that the other Serif fonts don’t. Remember these must be in their bold versions for scribe video or none of this works. Well that’s it for the Serifs. Okay, you can run off now, go on home, that’s alright. Now, for the main dish: the Non-Serif fonts. Non-Serif just means you don’t have any little curly cues thingies at the ends of the letters, and this makes them ideal for video because they’re so easy to read, compared to Serifs.


Primarily, I’ve used Helvetica, especially when teaching. It’s a sturdy, non-aggressive font that gets the job done; it’s the handyman of fonts. But again, this one should really only be used in bold because otherwise it’s just too dull, which means it’s limited once you start making marketing videos. For that a better choice might be either Myriad Pro or Avenir Next. Both look good in regular or bold format, and Avenir even looks good in light, something I would not recommend for any other font, as long as it has a high contrast background behind it. So iI hope you’ve seen the take-away here is that you should be using Non-Serif fonts 90% of the time. Now, then there are the specialty fonts.

I used to use this one, Bank Gothic, to open the BrainyVideo broadcast. You know why? I’ll tell you. I don’t know. I just thought it looked stylish and authoritative without being obnoxious. But when I changed the tagline from non-intimidating to fun-based, I needed a less stuffy font, and I’ve really enjoyed Handwriting Dakota for this, but you can’t make it bold. So you have to be very careful about what’s behind it, you know, in the background. It would be easy for a line of text made with this font to just disappear.

Now, if you’d like to do one of those intros with a big cinematic punch, it’s very tempting to use the one that gets overused on web pages, you know, for the latest greatest thing that you just have to have or the world will come to an end in the next 92 minutes. I’m talking about Impact. It just got too popular. It’s too bad, because it does have a powerful feel to it. Well, good news: there’s another font that will give you the same impact but with less baggage. It’s called Haettenschweller. And it’s just as good, only less shouty.


Obviously there are others. These are just some of my favorites, and time prevents us from going any deeper into all the situations that you would use these in. So, if you’d like to learn all about the mysteries of video fonts and other aspects of motion graphics, and how they affect conversions, just keep it on this channel. There’s a lot more to come. Now I want to remind you there’s still time to sign up for our special training on the 9th of April. I’m gonna walk you through how I do Greenscreen. It’s a different philosophy than you’ve probably heard before. It’s designed to engage, not necessarily to impress. We turn some cherished ideas upside down to get the effects we do. Hundreds of people have signed up for this, by the way, so try not to wait too long. You can sign up right below this video. Also, there won’t be a replay, so please mark this event on your calendar, I don’t want anyone to miss it. I can tell you this though, it’s gonna be a mind-blowing session.

Why Stop at Number One On Google With Video?

I’m here to talk to you about videoing and why it is really, really useful for you to start incorporating into your business. Now I’m going to give you a little bit of an overview, and then I’m going to run through three top tips. Video is the missing piece of the online jigsaw, and it is brilliant because it allows us to add a personal touch to all of our communications, whether that’s on our websites, in our sales letters, or even in our e-mails.

And it really does bridge the gap between technology and your business. It allows us to get to know the person who we’re interacting with. Most of us actually like to interact with people who we can either relate to or who inspire us, and once we gain someone’s trust, then the rule of thumb is that sales will follow.

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Tip #1: To know your objective from the start.

Is it to get people to you website? Is it to aid a sale? Is it to increase your rankings, SEO and traffic? Is it to develop a relationship? Is it to position yourself as an expert, and a good way to do that is definitely through interviews. So think about it right at the very start.

Tip #2: Branding

Whilst the internet is extremely forgiving, always be aware that video is just another extension of your brand. Now your video doesn’t have to be a film studio, Hollywood quality, but it does need to be fit for purpose, and I would always encourage you to make it professional. If it is too studio-like actually sometimes, it can be really damaging for your brand because you come across as being corporate; you come across as maybe being untrustworthy because you’re just too polished. So always remember to think about it when you’re blogging and make it fit for your marketing objectives.

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Tip #3: All About Tools

Obviously, the first thing you need to start off with is a camera. Now I use my iPhone, and if you are going to use it, make sure you use it horizontally. Otherwise, I use my iMovie. If you don’t have a MacBook then I’m sure you can use the filming system from another laptop. If you don’t have those, then you can always use your camera, but make sure it’s HD-ready. Also, use a tripod with it, because there’s nothing worse than actually have camera wobble, well in fact there is. In my opinion, the thing that is worse than camera wobble, is actually noise; and it’s background noise. That’s one of the reasons why I always encourage people to film indoors, unless they have proper sound equipment. So traffic, birds tweeting; as lovely as their birds are, they’re really off-putting. So try and pick a suitable place that is as quiet as possible from background noise. Lighting, background, and shadows: Be aware of those too, and if at all possible, use natural lighting unless you have equipment, such as light boxes and light balancers and things like that.

So background; I actually like a white background, a plain background, although I never tend to have it. But I feel that the focus then is on you and what you’re saying. Make sure that the sun isn’t beaming into your face and that the shadows aren’t dropping in, in all the wrong places. That kind of brings me onto your frame. Make sure that you have the right angle so double chins, no; chins like that and like that, make sure you get the right angle for your film. Often, it’s really useful to have someone who can help you do that. Frame is from your head to your waist. In terms of your scripting, it kind of leads me on to talk about that. Actually, before I do that, I’m going to talk about posture; it’s an important factor. Make sure that you are sitting up straight. I feel like a schoolteacher, but sit up straight.

You’re going to get much more energy by doing that, and you’re going to come across as much more professional and also confident. So have the energy there and use it. So sit up straight, guys. It kind of leads me on to script and how you need to speak to the camera. It is very different to how you will communicate, say in a workshop or a live presentation, if you’ve ever done those before. You need to look straight into the camera. You need to smile a lot; everybody likes a smile. You need to go over your script, if possible. So know it, or otherwise use an autocue or a prompter. Now I don’t tend to do that, but I’m sure I could practice my scripts an awful lot better, but there are some really good prompters out there. One that I have tried using, and I know a lot of people who do use it is What else can I say? Wardrobe. Wardrobe is really important too, because you want to be coming across as being professional. If at all possible, incorporate your branding colors into it. It’s just a really nice consistent message. If you notice in my videos, I tend to use lots of reds, lots of bright pinks, blacks, whites.

Avoid neons, because so few people look good in them and avoid very busy patterns, too. I think that brings me on to the end of what I’m going to say, which is all about editing and uploading. So editing, I use iMovie, and there are some really simple tutorials on YouTube. Otherwise, you can use things like Camtasia and ScreenFlow; they’re really good, and Sony Vegas. Otherwise, go on Google because things are coming out all the time. There’s really good technology out there. In terms of uploading, some would argue that’s there’s nowhere else than YouTube these days, but it’s entirely up to you. There are other places such as Viddler and Vimeo, so just make sure that you’re uploading to a place that is appropriate for your marketing objectives.