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Fonts Enhance Your Marketing

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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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23 Comments

23 Comments

  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.. https://tinyurl.com/bculvf

  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 (www.presentationzen.com).

    -rsh

  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 http://www.typography.com/about/index.php. Hoefler & Frere-Jones represent the state of the art. If you need real-world help, see identifont.com, 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 – https://bit.ly/KH5w #marketing

  10. Ivo Gabrowitsch

    January 26, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Fonts Enhance Your Marketing ? https://agentgenius.com/?p=9579

  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 https://agentgenius.com/?p=9579 (an great compilation of fonts in motion)

  13. Nicole

    January 28, 2009 at 6:57 am

    RT @fontwerk Fonts Enhance Your Marketing: https://agentgenius.com/?p=9579

  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 https://tinyurl.com/lkeyjn Full https://tinyurl.com/m3u3zu

  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.. https://tinyurl.com/m3u3zu

  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

Canva is catching on to content trends, launches in-app video editor

(MARKETING) Canva launches an in-platform video editor, allowing access to their extensive library of assets and animations to create high-quality videos

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African American woman working on Canva Video Editor Desktop in office setting.

Video content consumption is on the rise, and the graphic design platform, Canva, took note of it. The $40 billion Australian startup has entered the video business and announced the launch of its video editor, Canva Video Suite.

The end-to-end video editor is an easy-to-use platform that anyone, no matter the skill level, can create, edit, and record high-quality videos. Best of all, it’s free, and it’s available on both desktop and mobile platforms.

The tool has hundreds of editable templates that you can use to create videos for several online platforms like TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Some templates can be used to create workplace and business videos, while other templates are perfect for personal videos. There are playful themes you can use to create that spooky video just in time for Halloween or make a laugh-out-loud video to send to your best friend! With a wide range of selections, in no time you’ll start creating your very own video masterpiece with Canva.

Caucasian man holding iPhone showing Canva video editor on mobile.

What else does the video software offer and what can you do with it? Well, let me tell you:

Collaborate in real-time

Having everyone on the same page is important and Canva’s video suite takes that into account. To collaborate with others, you simply send them an invite, and together you can edit videos, manage assets, and leave comments to give your input.

Video timeline editing and in-app recording

Similar to building presentation slides, Canva’s scene-based editor simplifies video editing by using a timeline approach. With it, you can quickly reorder, crop, trim, and splice your videos. Also, users don’t need to leave the platform to record that last-minute shot; within the app, you can shoot and record yourself from a camera or a screen.

Library of assets

The video editor is filled with an array of watermark-free stock footage, icons, images, illustrations, and even audio tracks that you can choose from – but if you really need something that is not on their platform – you can upload your own image, video, or audio track.

Animate with ease

Although still in the process of being released, soon you will be able to add animations of both text and visual elements in just a few simple clicks. Among others, animation presets that fade, pan, and tumble will help you transform your video and take it to a whole other level.

Overall, Canva Video Suite is very intuitive and has all the essential things you need to create a video. And by streamlining the video creation process, Canva is ensuring it enters the video marketplace with a bang.

“One of Canva’s guiding principles is to make complex things simple, and our new Video Suite will allow everyone to unlock the power of video, whether that’s to market their business, make engaging social posts, or express their creativity,” said Rob Kawalsky, Head of Product at Canva.

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Business Marketing

Amazon attracts advertisers from Facebook after Apple privacy alterations

(MARKETING) After Apple’s privacy features unveil, Amazon adapts by taking a unique approach to targeting, disrupting revenue for the ad giant Facebook.

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Two African American women work at their desks, one viewing Amazon's advertising landing page.

As a de facto search engine of its own persuasion, Amazon has been poaching ad revenue from Google for some time. However, disrupting the revenue stream from their most recent victim – Facebook – is going to turn some heads.

According to Bloomberg, Apple’s recent privacy additions to products such as iPhones are largely responsible for the shift in ad spending. While platforms like Facebook and Instagram were originally goldmines for advertisers, these privacy features prevent tracking for targeting – a crucial aspect in any marketing campaign.

Internet privacy has been featured heavily in tech conversations for the last several years, and with Chrome phasing out third-party cookies, along with Safari and Firefox introducing roughly analogous policies, social media advertising is bound to become less useful as tracking strategies struggle to keep up with the aforementioned changes.

However, Amazon’s wide user base and separate categorization from social media companies makes it a clear alternative to the Facebook family, which is perhaps why Facebook advertisers are starting to jump ship in an effort to preserve their profits.

This is the premise behind the decision to reduce the Facebook ad spending of Vanity Planet by 22%, a home spa vendor, while facilitating a transition to Amazon. “We have inventory…and the biggest place we are growing is Amazon,” says Alex Dastmalchi, the entrepreneur who runs Vanity Planet.

That gap will only widen with Apple’s new privacy features. Bloomberg reports that when asked in June if they would consent to having their internet activity tracked, only one in four iPhone users did so; this makes it substantially harder for the ad campaigns unique to Facebook to target prospective buyers.

It also means that Amazon, having demonstrated a profound effectiveness in targeting individuals both pre- and post-purchase, stands to gain more than its fair share of sellers flocking to promote their products.

Jens Nicolaysen, co-founder of Shinesty (an eccentric underwear company), affirms the value that Amazon holds for sellers while acknowledging that it isn’t a perfect substitute for social media. While Nicolaysen laments the loss of the somewhat random introduction charm inherent on Instagram, he also believes in the power of brand loyalty, especially on a platform as high-profile as Amazon. “The bigger you are, the more you lose by not having any presence on Amazon,” he explains.

As privacy restrictions continue to ramp up in the coming months, it will be interesting to see how social media advertising evolves to keep up with this trend; it seems naive to assume that Amazon will replace Facebook’s ads entirely, tracking or no tracking.

Apple's privacy landing page showing iPhone users ability to shut off location services and a desktop image of a user's ability to control how their data is managed.

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Business Marketing

How many hours of the work week are actually efficient?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Working more for that paycheck, more hours each week, on the weekends, on holidays can actually hurt productivity. So don’t do that, stay efficient.

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Clock pointed to 5:50 on a plain white wall, well tracked during the week.

Social media is always flooded with promises to get in shape, eat healthier and… hustle?

In hustle culture, it seems as though there’s no such thing as too much work. Nights, weekends and holidays are really just more time to be pushing towards your dreams and hobbies are just side hustles waiting to be monetized. Plus, with freelancing on the rise, there really is nothing stopping someone from making the most out of their 24 hours.

Hustle culture will have you believe that a full-time job isn’t enough. Is that true?

Although it’s a bit outdated, Gallup’s 2014 report on full-time US workers gives us an alarming glimpse into the effects of the hustle. For starters, 50% of full-time workers reported working over 40 hours a week – in fact, the average weekly hours for salaried employees was up to 49 hours.

So, what’s the deal with 40 hours anyway? The 40 hour work-week actually started with labor rights activists in the 1800s pushing for an 8 hour workday. In 1817, Robert Owen, a Welsh activist, reasoned this workday provided: “eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.”

If you do the math, that’s a whopping 66% of the day devoted to personal needs, rather than labor!

Of course, it’s only natural to be skeptical of logic from two centuries ago coloring the way we do business in the 21st century. For starters, there’s plenty of labor to be done outside of the labor you’re paid to do. Meal prep, house cleaning, child care… that’s all work that needs to be done. It’s also all work that some of your favorite influencers are paying to get done while they pursue the “hustle.” For the average human, that would all be additional work to fall in the ‘recreation’ category.

But I digress. Is 40 hours a week really enough in the modern age? After all, average hours in the United States have increased.

Well… probably not. In fact, when hours are reduced (France, for instance, limited maximum hours to 35 hours a week, instead of 40), workers are not only more likely to be healthier and happier, but more efficient and less likely to miss work!

So, instead of following through with the goal to work more this year, maybe consider slowing the hustle. It might actually be more effective in the long run!

This story was first published in January 2020.

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