Picking the right font for your next 4K video project is just as the same as picking the right 4K camera for shooting. Fonts can conduct emotions and can enhance and round out your project providing a stronger sense, or on the contrary, can ruin the overall impression and the impact of the good work you’ve already done if not used properly. The more you know about fonts, the better you can implement them in your workflow.
In the first place, you should always pick fonts that are easily and instantly readable. Even if you thought you picked the right font, make sure that your audience always has enough time to read it. Keep in mind that, while you may have stared at that text countless times, the audience attention may be distracted by many other factors such as the moving images in the background or the sound mix, for instance, not to mention that all that information should be perceived at once. In general, a moving image is harder to read than a still image, so don’t push the things too far.
On the other hand, you can always test and experiment with different fonts finding the best match for a certain project. The following videos would give you some ideas about super artistic and provocative fonts you can use for your work. You can find the download links of the fonts in the description section of the videos.
And, one more example:
Whatever font you pick for your project, here are some simple, yet extremely useful rules suggested by the US-based editing trainer Larry Jordan on how to use text in film and video.
- Readability is everything. If the audience can’t read the text, you’ve picked the wrong font.
- Always add a drop shadow to text you want to read.
- Hold text on-screen long enough for you to read it twice. (If you are using fanciful fonts, hold them on-screen for extra time.)
- Given the same amount of screen time, a horizontal text is more readable than text at an angle or vertical.
- Don’t make your text too small. In general, for HD fonts, avoid point sizes smaller than 18 points. For SD video, avoid point sizes smaller than 24 points. Slightly larger is better.
- Avoid fonts with very thin bars or serifs, unless they are sized very large.
- Avoid highly curved fonts, unless they are sized very large.
- When creating projects for broadcast or cable, avoid fonts containing highly saturated colors or white levels greater than 100%.
- When creating projects for broadcast or cable, keep all text inside Title Safe. When creating projects for the web, keep text inside Action Safe. Even today, not all displays show the entire image.
- When creating text you want the audience to read, be sure the text contrasts in shape, texture, color and gray-scale from the background.
Following these guidelines will make your text look great and stand out strengthening the emotional impact of your video. As Larry Jordan says, “Just like people, fonts have different personalities that you can use to reinforce the story you are telling.” There are hundreds of thousand fonts all over the web, so the hardest task remains to find the right one suiting your project at the most.
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