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Fonts Enhance Your Marketing



Originally published here on 01/25/2009:

typography in marketing

Typography as Art

My affinity for typography began at a very early age as I watched my father who is an artist design ad campaigns. I remember watching in awe as he spent endless hours tweaking his work and I was always jealous of his transfer letters- it looked like so much fun to rub and rub and magically text came to be! As early as second grade, I obsessed with how my handwriting appeared and would see a particular letter written somewhere and accordingly change the arch of my “a” and practice for hours emulating advertisements, high school cheerleaders’ posters, my father’s all caps handwriting or fancy “g” with two circles. I have always seen text as more than just a form of communication, it is art. I read typography blogs and study designer sites and it is delightful fun for me.

I’m not alone. The world thirst for beauty and tires of the monotony of advertisements. How many MLS home flyer templates can you look at before they all look the same? The solution could easily be typography.

There are fifteen videos below that showcase animated typography and I want you to watch whichever ones look interesting to you and think about how you use font in your marketing. Pay attention to the simplicity of the fonts chosen, the fact that many only use one font throughout, watch the colors, the contrast and the pace, and apply them to your print marketing. I challenge you to think of creating an animated text advertisement to music or your words or both. Enjoy!

Lyrical typography:

Typography in movies:

The simple beauty of typography illustrated:

Typography depicting politics:

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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  1. Chris de Jong

    January 25, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Great article! It is amazing just how much additional information and meaning can be gleaming from text simply by altering its type-face.

    If you really love typography you should check out the documentary Helvetica by Paula Scher. It explores the world of typography, graphic design, visual culture, and of course, the font Helvetica – amazing stuff.

    Also, if you are looking for new fonts to add to your marketing materials or to spice up your personal branding, my favorite is DaFont. They have a massive archive of fonts and the best part is that every single one of them is free!

  2. Missy Caulk

    January 25, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Very cool. I use to do the same thing always try to change my handwriting when I saw one I really liked.

    In our MLS we have no control over the fonts, but in other marketing pieces we do so good points.

    The different fonts make them say more than the mere words.

  3. Mark Eibner

    January 25, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    we’re at it again Fonts Enhance Your Marketing: Get out of your feed reader and comment on this..

  4. Cheryl Johnson

    January 26, 2009 at 5:42 am

    So, Lani, do you think maybe, just maybe, we could petition whoever controls the stylesheet on AG to change the body font from Arial to, maybe, Verdana?

    The letter-spacing in Arial is tight, to allow more words per line, but it always seems “constricted” to me. Verdana’s fonts are just a tiny bit wider and the letter-spacing just a tiny tad looser, and it appears to me much more “elegant”.

    In fact, I’d really prefer a plump, serif font such as Georgia or Garamond, but that would be asking too much. 🙂

  5. Rob Hahn

    January 26, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Lani –

    As a typography dilettante, I have to say thank you for this. 🙂

    By the way, if you’re interested in topics like this, I really can’t recommend Presentation Zen more highly (


  6. Christopher Zabka

    January 26, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Lani – this is way cool! Like you, I can spend hours tinkering with just the font of a project. I hope agents are inspired and motivated by what you’ve posted here. That video of the clouds and flowers is so neat (what’s it from?), and I’ve always enjoyed the “Catch Me If You Can” credits 🙂

  7. Ben Anglin

    January 26, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Ah, yes, Pops remembers the rub-down type, and the sheets of waxed copy, and when the sundial hit noon, we’d order a blackened sabretooth tiger for four, and chant to Attuma, the rock-god. Good times. For a look at typography at it’s finest (and most pretentious) go to Hoefler & Frere-Jones represent the state of the art. If you need real-world help, see, to locate a look you may have floating in your head. Tinker-on, Wayne.

  8. Benn Rosales

    January 26, 2009 at 10:58 am

    @Rob presentationzen has always been a tool on our desktop, we couldn’t agree more.

    @Ben Flinstone Anglin rock on… I think we typically just ask you though. 😉

  9. Steve Burlison

    January 26, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    For many this is a lost art RT @avfguy Using typography to enhance your marketing – #marketing

  10. Ivo Gabrowitsch

    January 26, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Fonts Enhance Your Marketing ?

  11. Lisa Sanderson

    January 26, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    I always admire a well chosen font and wonder how or where people learn to choose them. Is it a talent you are born with or can it be learned? I am going to watch some of these videos and check out some of the links in the comments to see if there is hope for me.

  12. Joshua Taylor

    January 26, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    RT @fontwerk Fonts Enhance Your Marketing (an great compilation of fonts in motion)

  13. Nicole

    January 28, 2009 at 6:57 am

    RT @fontwerk Fonts Enhance Your Marketing:

  14. Jim Whatley

    February 1, 2009 at 10:14 am

    WOW, I would never imagine you could triple the action out of words.
    1. the action of thinking
    2. the action on the video
    3. the action to get you to do something.

    Thank you, very well done. when I first started reading I wondered what could I get out of this, maybe learn a better way to choose a font, I love it when someone show me a different way to look at something. You have just educated a redneck. Pat your self on the back.

  15. RealEstate Babble

    June 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    AgentGenius: Fonts Enhance Your Marketing Full

  16. Real Estate Feeds

    June 20, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Fonts Enhance Your Marketing: Originally published here on 01/25/2009:

    Typography as Art My affinity for typogr..

  17. Brad Rachielles

    June 21, 2009 at 1:19 am

    I remember watching these the first time you presented this….. and I enjoyed it just as much this time, thanks

  18. Gwen Banta

    June 21, 2009 at 3:37 am

    Lani, proper handwriting used to be considered a sign of gentility, class and distinction. Today in the electronic age, this translates to fonts used in printed materials. Everyone should take your advice and be aware of the image one conveys with each font chosen for every piece of material marketed and every online site developed. Font can change a site from boring to bold – it’s another way to stand out in a crowd without dropping your trousers.

  19. Jason Sandquist

    June 22, 2009 at 10:45 am

    @LaniAR so you wouldn’t recommend Comic Sans for anything 😉

    @robhahn good find on presentationzen

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Business Marketing

Bite-sized retail: Macy’s plans to move out of malls

(BUSINESS MARKETING) While Macy’s shares have recently climbed, the department store chain is making a change in regards to big retail shopping malls.



Macy's retail storefront, which may look different as they scale to smaller stores.

I was recently listening to a podcast on Barstool Sports, and was surprised to hear that their presenting sponsor was Macy’s. This struck me as odd considering the demographic for the show is women in their twenties to thirties, and Macy’s typically doesn’t cater to that crowd. Furthermore, department retail stores are becoming a bit antiquated as is.

The sponsorship made more sense once I learned that Macy’s is restructuring their operation, and now allowing their brand to go the way of the ghost. They feel that while malls will remain in operation, only the best (AKA the malls with the most foot traffic) will stand the test of changes in the shopping experience.

As we’ve seen a gigantic rise this year in online shopping, stores like Macy’s and JC Penney are working hard to keep themselves afloat. There is so much changing in brick and mortar retail that major shifts need to be made.

So, what is Macy’s proposing to do?

The upscale department store chain is going to be testing smaller stores in locations outside of major shopping malls. Bloomingdale’s stores will be doing the same. “We continue to believe that the best malls in the country will thrive,” CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC analysts. “However, we also know that Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have high potential [off]-mall and in smaller formats.”

While the pandemic assuredly plays a role in this, the need for change came even before the hit in March. Macy’s had announced in February their plans to close 125 stores in the next three years. This is in conjunction with Macy’s expansion of Macy’s Backstage, which offers more affordable options.

Gennette also stated that while those original plans are still in place, Macy’s has been closely monitoring the competition in the event that they need to adjust the store closure timeline. At the end of the second quarter, Macy’s had 771 stores, including Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury.

Last week, Macy’s shares climbed 3 percent, after the retailer reported a more narrow loss than originally expected, along with stronger sales due to an uptick in their online business. So they’re already doing well in that regard. But will smaller stores be the change they need to survive?

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Business Marketing

Why you must nix MLM experience from your resume

(BUSINESS MARKETING) MLMs prey on people without much choice, but once you try to switch to something more stable, don’t use the MLM as experience.



Discussing including MLM experience on a resume.

MLM experience… Is it worth keeping on your resume?

Are you or someone you know looking for a job after a stint in an MLM? Well, first off, congratulations for pursuing a real job that will provide a steady salary! But I also know that transition can be hard. The job market is already tight and if you don’t have much other work experience on your resume, is it worth trying to leverage your MLM experience?

The short answer? Heck no.

As Ask the Manager puts it, there’s a “strong stigma against [MLMs],” meaning your work experience might very well put a bad taste in the mouth of anyone looking through resumes. And looking past the sketchy products many offer, when nearly half of people in MLMs lose money and another quarter barely break even, it sure doesn’t paint you in a good light to be involved.

(Not to mention, many who do turn a profit only do so by recruiting more people, not actually by selling many products.)

“But I wouldn’t say I worked for an MLM,” you or your friend might say, “I was a small business owner!”

It’s a common selling point for MLMs, that often throw around pseudo-feminist feel good slang like “Boss Babe” or a “Momtrepreneur,” to tell women joining that they’re now business women! Except, as you might have guessed, that’s not actually the case, unless by “Boss Babe” you mean “Babe Who Goes Bankrupt or Tries to Bankrupt Her Friends.”

A more accurate title for the job you did at an MLM would be Sales Rep, because you have no stake in the creation of the product, or setting the prices, or any of the myriad of tasks that a real entrepreneur has to face.

Okay, that doesn’t sound nearly as impressive as “small business owner.” And I know it’s tempting to talk up your experience on a resume, but that can fall apart pretty quickly if you can’t actually speak to actual entrepreneur experience. It makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about…which is also not a good look for the job hunt.

That said… Depending on your situation, it might be difficult to leave any potential work experience off your resume. I get it. MLMs often target people who don’t have options for other work opportunities – and it’s possible you’re one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t have much else to put on paper.

In this case, you’ll want to do it carefully. Use the sales representative title (or something similar) and, if you’re like the roughly 50% of people who lose money from MLMs, highlight your soft skills. Did you do cold calls? Tailor events to the people who would be attending? Get creative, just make sure to do it within reason.

It’s not ideal to use your MLM experience on a resume, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Still, congratulations to you, or anyone you know, who has decided to pursue something that will actually help pay the bills.

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Business Marketing

This smart card manages employee spending with ease

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Clever credit cards make it easier for companies to set spending policies and help alleviate expense problems for both them and their employees.



Spendesk showing off its company credit cards.

Company credit cards are a wonderful solution to managing business expenses. They work almost exactly like debit cards, which we all know how to use, am I right? It is the twenty-first century after all. Simply swipe, dip, or tap, and a transaction is complete.

However, keeping up with invoices and receipts is a nightmare. I know I’ve had my fair share of hunting down wrinkled pieces of paper after organizing work events. Filling out endless expense reports is tedious. Plus, the back and forth communication with the finance team to justify purchases can cause a headache on both ends.

Company credit cards make it easier for companies to keep track of who’s spending money and how much. However, they aren’t able to see final numbers until expense reports are submitted. This makes monitoring spending a challenge. Also, reviewing all the paperwork to reimburse employees is time-consuming.

But Spendesk is here to combat those downsides! This all-in-one corporate expense and spend management service provides a promising alternative to internal management. The French startup “combines spend approvals, company cards, and automated accounting into one refreshingly easy spend management solution.”

Their clever company cards are what companies and employees have all been waiting for! With increasing remote workforces, this new form of payment comes at just the right moment to help companies simplify their expenditures.

These smart cards remove limitations regular company cards have today. Spendesk’s employee debit cards offer companies options to monitor budgets, customize settings, and set specific authorizations. For instance, companies can set predefined budgets and spending category limitations on flights, hotels, restaurants, etc. Then they don’t have to worry about an employee taking advantage of their card by booking a first-class flight or eating at a high-end steakhouse.

All transactions are tracked in real time so finance and accounting can see purchases right as they happen. Increasing visibility is important, especially when your employee is working remotely.

And for employees, this new form of payment is more convenient and easier on the pocket. “These are smart employee company cards with built-in spending policies. Employees can pay for business expenses when they need to without ever having to spend their own money,” the company demonstrated in a company video.

Not having to dip into your checking account is a plus in my book! And for remote employees who just need to make a single purchase, Spendesk has single-use virtual debit cards, too.

Now, that’s a smart card!

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