The Most Persuasive Font

Back in 2012 a cool experiment was run, unknowingly, on readers of the New York Times. Errol Morris feigned a survey to see if readers responded differently to different fonts.  He discovered that a certain font, Baskerville- specifically, was perceived as more believable by readers.  The words with a Baskerville font where perceived as slightly more truthful than the identical words in five alternatively tested fonts – Computer Modern, Georgia, Helvetica, Trebuchet, or Comic Sans.

Another test explained in Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, tried the same text in two formats – bold and regular.  It looked like this:

Adolf Hitler was born in 1892.
Adolf Hitler was born in 1887.

More people believed the sentence in bold. Even though both of them are incorrect (Hitler was born April 20, 1889).

When you write proposals, design your website, send an email… never forget this: Looks matter.


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