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.