Effect of Typography on Conversions

Effect of Typography on Conversions

Last updated on July 5, 2016 by Fahad Muhammad in Conversion Rate Optimization

You’ve now successfully put together your landing page.

Spent time perfecting your CTA button getting both the copy and the design just right, you’ve spent precious time figuring out the compelling copy that goes under the effective headline and right alongside the perfectly sized non – invasive lead capture form.

You have what you think is the perfectly optimized landing page – a page that guarantees a high conversion rate. So, you publish, and you wait.

And you wait, and you wait and you wait some more, but the promised conversions never do come in.

You’re upset, I get it, you did everything that you were supposed to do – followed all the tips, tricks, hacks, whatever word your marketing gurus chose to use, but then where’s your promised pot of gold? Why is your landing page being denied conversions?

One word my friend, typography.

Typography – the element you ignored

Though not technically a landing page element by definition, typography plays an integral role in bringing you conversions. Typography can be simply defined as the style and appearance of text – it is where your aesthetic sense meets your text. And though many marketers take typography for granted, it is just as important of an element as any other and hence impacts your conversions with the same fervor.

Unlike what you might have believed typography is not just about choosing which font to use, it includes five important elements that are all explained below.

The 5 elements

These are the five main components of typography all of which you have to get right to make the right impression on your customers and to get the right increase in your conversions.

  1. Typeface: It refers to the group of characters and letters that have the same design, the thing we mistakenly like to refer to as “fonts” such as Times New Roman, Comic Sans etc.
  2. Fonts: A font is a particular style of a typeface that has a specific size and weight. For example, bold Times New Roman is a different font than Italic Times New Roman.
  3. Line Length: This is the distance between the right and left margins between which the text is placed.
  4. Leading: The space between two lines of text.
  5. Kerning: This is the white space present between the letters.

The impact of typography on readability

Typography is important for your landing pages because if the copy that you have placed on your landing page is hard to read; either the typeface you’ve used is too small or the kerning is too minimal your visitors will find it harder to understand your message and they’ll just mozy on over to some other service instead of squinting their eyes to understand what you have written for them.

Giving ample attention to typography is what makes the process of comprehending your message easy for your potential customers, when your copy is well formatted and attractive your visitor can focus on the message that you’re trying to convey to them and not put in an effort just to understand what you’ve written on your page.

To understand the impact that typeface can have on what people thought, Errol Morris ran an experiment in the New York Times with the title “Are you an Optimist or a Pessimist”. Morris wanted to ascertain whether typeface could affect how people perceived the information that was presented to them, so he put in front of readers a passage from David Deutsch’s book followed by a yes or a no option inquiring from the respondents whether they supported the claim presented in the book and just how confident they were about their answers.

There were a total of 40,000 participants and 6 different typefaces namely Trebuchet, Comic Sans, Georgia, Baskerville, Computer Modern and Helvetica and the results showed that statements in Comic Sans had the least amount of credibility, Helvetica was a close second. Majority of respondents agreed to and trusted the statements in Baskerville.


A study run by Michael Bernard of Usability News compared eight popular online typefaces i.e. Courier New, Arial, Times New Roman, Comic Sans, Tahoma, Century Schoolbook, Verdana, and Georgia. All the fonts were examined at 10, 12 and 14 point sizes with a total of 60 people participating in the study. The results revealed that Times New Roman and Arial were read the fastest and that Arial and Courier were found to be the most readable.

Though it is hard to figure out whether Serif or Sans Serif is better, the general opinion is that Sans Serif texts are much more readable even when present in smaller sizes.


Another experiment conducted by Dr. Kevin Larson of Microsoft and Dr. Rosalind Picard of MIT tested whether typography had an impact on the reader’s mood and cognitive ability. There was a total of 20 participants in the study, 10 of which got a text with good typography, and the rest got a text with poor typography.

MIT Miscrosoft study

The participants that were given the good typography got so absorbed in what they were reading that they underestimated the time that was spent reading the passage. When testing cognitive ability the two groups of participants were presented with a candle problem and a remote associates test respectively. 4 of the participants given the good typography completed the test whereas none of the participants from the group given the bad typography were able to complete their task.

The experiments mentioned above clearly show that typography has a huge impact on your conversions and it is not only the typeface that is important but the style of the typeface too.


A lot of marketers are guilty of neglecting the typography of their landing pages and this costs them their conversions. Give your customers a chance to process your copy before you turn them off by your typography mistakes.

Don’t make the same errors your competitors have made.

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