Typecasting: How to Choose a Font for Your Project

While a picture can say a whole lot, sometimes you need text, too. Whether it’s a date for a party invitation or the name of your soccer team, sometimes only words will do. But no one said text had to be boring. PicMonkey’s got a ton of great fonts to choose from, but finding the “right” one can seem a tad overwhelming. Here are some practical tips to becoming a font guru.

Our fonts or your fonts

You can access PicMonkey’s fonts in Edit or Design—just click the Text tab.  

At the top of the font menu, you’ll see the Ours and Yours buttons. Clicking the Ours button gives us access to great PicMonkey fonts. These fonts will look good both on-screen and in print. But feel free your choose Yours, which gives you access to any font you have on your computer.

Bonus tip: Check out a whopping 20 free font resources you can use to add to your folder, here.

Pick a style for your font

Shopping for a font can be a tad overwhelming. Just like the grocery store, they’re organized into sections to make them easier to find. Let’s take a second to give you an overview of your choices.

  • Serif: These fonts are classics. A serif is a small line attached to the end of the main stroke. Fonts like Times New Roman and Bodoni have a rich history in print and evoke a conventional design.

  • Sans Serif:  “Sans serif” means without serifs, so they lack the small line embellishments. Think of modern standards like Futura and Arial; they’re great choices when you want a more contemporary feeling.

  • Handwriting: Want a hint of personality? The Handwriting group of fonts make your text look like it was created with a pen or pencil. These fonts look casual and add a relaxed energy to your design.

  • Script: Feeling fancy? These fonts often look like handwriting too, but tend to have a lot of flourishes. If you’re creating a formal invitation or want a classy look, these are for you.

  • Display: Feeling bold? Display fonts offer a dramatic way to add text. These are great for event titles or bold words in your design.

  • Themes: Here, you’ll find a bunch of handpicked fonts to match your design. Whether you’re throwing a party, feeling spooky, or want a touch of romance, themes provide a quick way to get a great font.

What’s the reason?

Now that you know more about font categories, you still have to make up your mind. Here are a few simple questions to ask yourself to help narrow down your pick. But remember, just like finding a great pair of jeans, there are a lot of choices and most of it comes down to personal taste.

  • Are there a lot of words? How much text do you need to fit in? A big bold font works great for a title, but gets a little tough if you’ve got a lot of details to fit on the page.

  • What’s the mood? The collection of Frightful Fonts is perfect for a Halloween Party, but might send your sweetie running if used on a Valentine’s Day card (try Sweet Nothings instead).

  • A great match. Trying to match the look of your favorite ad or tv show? It’s easier than you think, thanks to a website called What the Font. Just upload a JPEG or use the mobile app to search through a huge database of fonts. While the site has many fonts for sale, there’s also a ton of free ones to pick from.

Click away

So what’s the right font to pick? Ultimately that’s up to you. Think about the feeling you want, and go with your gut reaction. Try out different fonts until the right one jumps out at you, and have fun designing!

Rich Harrington is a visual storyteller exploring the fusion of photography and video. He's the publisher of Photofocus (http://www.Photofocus.com) and an avid travel photographer. He's also a husband and a father who finds time for a Girl Scout and Boy Scout troop.