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Italicized Fonts Increase Consumers’ Sense of Urgency

Graphic designers often choose fonts in print ads and web pages based on their personal preferences. Studies have shown that font choices influence consumers’ buying decisions.

A recent study indicates that selecting a specific font style in time-limited promotional ads can affect consumer responses. Specifically, italicized fonts generated more urgency to purchase than static, vertical fonts.

Font Style Choice Neuromarketing

In one experiment, volunteers were presented with two versions of an ad. The ad said that if they bought a $50 gift card, they would get a $10 credit.

One line of the ad indicated that the promotion would end soon but gave no specific time. The volunteers were asked how soon they thought the promotion would end. Those shown the Italicized text thought the offer would end significantly earlier than those shown the vertical text.

In a second experiment, a time-limited promotional ad for a fictional Mexican restaurant was presented to 250 volunteers. As in the previous experiment, one version used vertical Times Roman text, while the other used the Italicized style.

Volunteers were asked to rate how soon they would likely visit the restaurant. Those who saw the ad with the Italicized font consistently chose an earlier visit to the restaurant.

In a third experiment, similar ads with either vertical or Italicized fonts offered a $5 gift card for $4, again with a non-specific time limit, and were sent by email to volunteers. To take advantage of the offer, they had to click a link in the email. Significantly more subjects clicked through on the ads with Italicized text.

Dynamic Fonts Prompt Urgent Responses

What conclusions did the researchers draw from these and other similar experiments? First, the dynamic, Italicized text appeared to cause a perception of urgency. Second, volunteers were more likely to take action when presented with ads designed with Italicized text. Finally, the Italicized text got more actual click-throughs than the static, vertical text font. The perception of urgency triggers the fear of losing out and stimulates action.

Font Choices Can Influence Buying Decisions

Other studies have shown other effects of font choices on consumer perceptions and actions. For example, one study demonstrated that simple fonts used in instructions led people to think a task would take less time than if a more complex looking font were used. In another study, lower-case logo text was found to appeal more to women than logos in all capital letters or with first letter capitalization.

How the brain reacts to fonts should be a crucial concern for designers. Personal preferences and intuition should not be the primary reason for font selection. Making choices based on science can significantly affect the bottom line.

Price to Sell Using Neuroscience – Can how prices are presented significantly influence consumers’ buying decisions? Neuromarketing research has shown that when pricing is guided by science, sales go up. Very often, a subtle difference in prices can make a big difference.
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