It may be the squeaky wheel that gets the grease, but when it comes to capturing the attention of your brand audience, a whisper is much more likely than a holler to perk their interest and keep them reading.
Too many marketers make the mistake of thinking bigger is better when choosing their headline fonts for web page articles or social media posts—creating ALL CAP headlines that SHOUT their message at digital passers-by. While this may halt the reader’s eyes momentarily, they are much less likely to stay on enormous block fonts long enough to absorb the content, and they are less likely to click on an article headline that shouts, “LOOK AT ME, PLEASE!” than one that inspires gentle curiosity, with a quiet, “Psst…check this out.”
What the F(ONT)?!
Words matter, but in the world of digital media, fonts can invite, or repel. For instance, readers spend more than 90 % of their reading time looking at lowercase letters. This makes the use of caps jarring to the eye and brain, which must adjust in order to process the meaning of the letters—not a major adjustment, mind you, but just enough that it causes a mental stumble. Choosing between a headline that creates (even subconsciously) discomfort or confusion and one that doesn’t, the reader is more likely to choose the one with standard fonts, rather than all caps.
Still need convincing to cut the caps?
Okay, how about this? Caps are intrinsically less readable. According to Ankit Oberoi, in his article, “How Typography Affects Readers,” caps disrupt the “coastline,” or “…shape that the boundary of a word makes…which makes recognition harder.”
There are too many headlines out there to risk having yours be skimmed over in favor of simplicity.
Another good reason to avoid the overuse of caps is they are off-putting and can appear angry. It is the typographical equivalent of shouting at your readers, and let’s face it—shouting at people is just plain rude, even online.
Using all caps in a headline makes people feel panicky. Well, it makes me feel panicky, so unless your article is announcing an F4 on the way NOW, give those of us with high anxiety and low visual-processing skills a break. The truly curious are much more intrigued by a nuanced invitation, whispered, or spoken in civil tones and standard fonts.
Looking for more helpful social media marketing do's and don'ts? Check out my curated post on mapping your way to digital success, with the GPS on your first few steps
Got any great typology tips of your own to share? I welcome your comments!