Communication is a fascinating subject. It’s far more complex than two people talking. So many factors influence the communication process besides language. Non verbal cues like facial movements, gestures and body position affect how information is processed. Likewise, environmental factors like a room’s color can influence communication.
Online, communication is no different. The photos you choose to post on social media, colors you pick for your website and fonts you use in your brochure all affect the message you are trying to send.
Comprehension is key
Comprehension is the important goal for mediated communication (like online content). People must be able to quickly and easily understand what you are telling them and more importantly what you want them to do.
Focusing on fonts, it’s important to understand how the typeface you choose influences your message. Again, it’s always important that the font is legible. People should be able to easily read what you’ve written. Second, the type of font will dictate tone. A playful font will make the text seem more casual while a traditional font will have the opposite effect.
Be consistent but not boring
It’s usually a good idea to vary your fonts, choosing one for headlines and one for copy. This helps to distinguish the information from one another and give the eyes something interesting to look at.
The style and structure of your writing also affects comprehension.
It’s a good practice to vary sentence length. And to keep your paragraphs relatively short, especially if you’re writing for the web.
Style also extends to other aspects of writing. In general, it’s a good habit to only use one space after a sentence instead of two. I read the most amusing article on the topic recently. Here’s a link.
Define Your Style
Other stylistic things include the way you use italics, apostrophes, exclamation points or capital letters. These all translate to a style guide which simply unifies your voice and defines your writing style across all mediums.
There really isn’t a right or wrong way to write. My advice is to make sure it comes natural (so you don’t have to work so hard) and that it’s relatable to your audience.
I love connecting with all different kinds of brands and picking out their unique communication style.
So, next time you sit down to write something, think about what you’re saying beyond your words. And never miss an opportunity to connect with someone in a surprising way.