From frilly to businesslike, address labels come with dozens of font choices. How can you tell which font is best for your letters, cards, or invitations? Here are five tips to help you choose the best font for your address labels.
Decide Between Serif and Sans Serif
One of the first choices you'll have to make is whether you want to use a serif or sans serif font on your address labels. Serif fonts tend to be slightly more complex, since they have extra lines or feet at the ends of the letter strokes. These fonts are usually seen as more traditional, since the earliest fonts used hundreds of years ago boasted serifs.
In contrast, sans serif fonts tend to be simpler, since they don't have the additional strokes that serif fonts do. Because they came about more recently, sans serif fonts are typically seen as cleaner and more contemporary.
It's important to remember some fonts can blur the lines between the two. Classic serif fonts might have a respectable look, but newer serif fonts might lean toward a more comfortable appearance. Similarly, some original sans serif fonts might come across as modern, but more recently created sans serif fonts might look more strong or progressive.
Stay Simple or Get Fancy
In choosing between serif and sans serif fonts, you'll need to decide whether you want to stay simple or get fancy. This largely boils down to the message you want to convey with your address labels. A simple, no-frills font is a great way to communicate information without taking attention away from other elements of the address label or the envelope. With a simple, straightforward font, you can keep the focus on the bold label theme you've chosen or the adorable family photo you've included in the design.
Sometimes a simple font just isn't enough. When you want to call attention or add more flair to your address labels, consider a script font or even a font based on unique handwriting. Just ensure you're not overpowering the other label elements, or the design might come across as crowded or busy.
Keep Decorative Fonts to a Minimum
If you opt for script, ornate fonts, or an elaborate family monogram, take care not to repeat the ornamentation throughout the label. Not only can decorative fonts be challenging to read, but they also tend to look sharper in moderation. Keep in mind that the font should fit the label's purpose. Decorative fonts often work well on seasonal or holiday labels, but they can be overwhelming when used on standard labels.
For everyday address labels, consider keeping ornate fonts to a minimum, focusing instead on classic yet playful fonts that match your geometric theme and candid family photo. For seasonal address labels, play up the script to celebrate the fun that comes with spring, summer, and fall. When the holidays roll around, use decorative fonts to add some cheer to your Valentine's Day, Halloween, and Christmas address labels.
Decorative fonts are also a great choice for special occasion address labels. When you're sending out graduation announcements, wedding invitations, baby announcements, or birthday party invitations, there's no need to be subtle. In these cases, have fun with the design and let the font help you celebrate.
Consider Mixing Fonts
If you're struggling to choose between two or more fonts for your address label, rest assured you don't have to limit yourself to a single choice. In fact, many fonts look their best when combined with others.
Mixing fonts isn't always an intuitive process, but you can get a great looking combination by following a few general guidelines. First, try to mix fonts that look like they're from the same time period. Combining a futuristic font with one that looks like it originated in Ancient Greece probably won't work.
Don't worry about keeping serif fonts and sans serif fonts separate. Many of them work well together, so try a combination or two and see what looks great and works with the rest of your design. Do your best to stick to just two fonts, since an address label can easily look disorganized when you hop from font to font.
Make It Readable
Even though you want your address label to look great, your first priority should be making it readable. After all, an address label that's difficult to read won't always make it to the right destination.
Ensure all the address information is accurate, spelled correctly, and doesn't include any unnecessary punctuation. Also make sure you've listed the information in the right order, with your name on the top line, business name on the second line if applicable, address on the following line, and city and state on the final line.
It's also important to keep your font choices as streamlined as possible. Left justify your address label text, and use a dark font color on a light colored background. With easily readable labels that look great, too, your notes, cards, and letters will be the highlight of your recipients' mailboxes.
Put those days of poorly designed labels behind you. Follow these tips to find the best font for your custom address labels.