Email and typography: 5 rules to respect
Have you ever thought about the typography you use for your emails?
This small detail, which you often delegate without thinking about your email software, could however significantly modify the impact of your messages …
Prefer the Standards
It is in the old pots that we make the best soups … and in the most common typography we pass the best messages.
Unlike a poster, or even a web page, you can not just force your recipient’s email software to read the special font that you have specially prepared for the occasion.
If your font is too specific, it will be automatically replaced.
It is therefore easier to remember directly a typography that will be read everywhere:
- MS Trebuchet
- Times New Roman
All these fonts will not move regardless of the device used by the recipient of the message.
Leave the Serifs to Printed Documents
On a screen, Sans Serif fonts remain the most readable. While some users advocate using serif typefaces for the longest mails, this practice remains little applied to the use.
The main issue of a message remains legibility, the Sans Serif remains the most effective solution for a screen reading, regardless of the size of the latter.
Write Big Enough
Since we are talking about size … The body of a message can not be written in characters that are too small, except to want your recipients to wear their eyes to read it (which they will not do unless you are their old grandmother to whom they forgive everything).
We advise you to choose characters between 14 and 18 pixels high (16 being a good average). Titles, they can be larger: between 22 and 28 pixels high, to make a real difference.
Conversely, your signature may be in smaller characters (12 pixels), which will distinguish it from the rest of the mail.
Guide the Eyes
We started talking about email titles.
As with any document intended for reading, your messages must respect a certain hierarchy, always in order to facilitate reading.
So you will use titles, even subtitles, you will add space between paragraphs, which will be aligned on the left. These simple typographic layout rules will greatly improve the reactions to your mailings.
Limit the Number of Fonts (and Their Colors)
It’s tempting to choose other fonts for titles than for the body of the text. Even to put these in color, to better differentiate them. And you have every right to do it. As long as you do not abuse it.
You write an email, you are not preparing a psychedelic Christmas tree with a child of 5 years.
Two different fonts (three at most) will be more than enough.
And it is the same for the colors (at least in the text): book them to highlight the links, and limit their number.
These rules apply for all types of email: personal, professional, as commercial.
This does not prevent you from adding images, gifs, buttons … Once your typography chosen and set up, you remain free to arrange your mailings according to your objectives.