In 2013, the acclaimed filmmaker, Erroll Morris, sought to determine if typeface — a set of characters with a common design ethos — could affect the willingness of a reader to provide information. To do so, he tested different typeface in a survey that he published in the New York Times.
Put a different way, Morris sought to determine if changes in typeface could affect the persuasiveness of the survey itself. No other information was altered, only the typeface.
What do you think? Did it have an affect?
Well, in short, it did. And quite a bit. One particular typeface (Baskerville) was “statistically more likely” to garner a response.
That’s an incredible discovery — and one that could drastically affect the success of your business.
The typeface that readers trusted the most (in Morris’ survey) was Baskerville, a serif typeface that’s more serious and formal.
The typeface that readers thought was less trustworthy were Computer Modern, Georgia, Helvetica, Comic Sans and even Trebuchet. Of this bunch, the least trustworthy one was, not surprisingly, Comic Sans.
The takeaway is… that while typeface is an important part of your site’s branding, it also impacts the persuasiveness of your content. Pay attention to this for maximum effect.
If you’re selling a health product, review your competitors and consider mimicking their style. Don’t try to re-invent the wheel just to prove a point.
What’s the Difference Between Typeface and Font?
Typeface vs font: watch the below 3 minute YouTube video for a visual understanding of the difference. It’s the best video I’ve seen on the subject.