How fonts affect what you binge on Netflix
What does typography and Netflix have in common? Probably nothing at first glance. But for the editors at Venngage, there is plenty!
A few months back, the team at the Venngage blog created a visual infographic detailing the fonts used for Netflix show titles. They went on to analyze how these can influence the way you choose the shows to watch and binge.
Along with an explanation of font psychology and how it affects everything we interact with, the infographic is a fun and eye-opening insight into the minds of graphic designers and visual marketers.
What brought about this idea to analyze the fonts used in Netflix show titles anyway? For a few years, Netflix has been using the Gotham font throughout their branding and visual marketing graphics. After a few years of paying usage licenses, Netflix decided they needed their own font. The branding strategists at Netflix partnered up with Dalton Maag to create the new and unique “Neflix Sans”.
With the announcement of this new font, eyes were on Netflix and typography. It wasn’t long before the creative brains at Venngage though to analyze ALL the fonts on Netflix show titles. Hence, this fun infographic.
The Netflix show title fonts
In order to create the infographic, the fonts were separated into sans and sans serif first. Then they were analyzed visually and organized into four main visual categories; Decorative (quirky, fun), Headline (bold, dramatic), Modern (forward thinking, efficient) and Handwritten (personal, playful). The designers also used relevant icons to add a visual association to each show, next to the first letter of the title.
The designers found that the shows that used serif fonts were the ones that had a certain sense of nostalgia or history. For example, the show The Crown uses a thin serif font that carries an elegant nostalgic feel. A perfect choice due to how the show is a historical portrayal of Queen Elizabeth and also how the target audience enjoys nostalgic shows.
Another great example of a serif font in a Netflix title is the one used for Stranger Things. The nostalgic title font on Stranger Things really hits home for the visual typography of the 80’s. Once again, this font fits perfectly well not only with the story but also with the viewers.
Titles with sans fonts were found to be more varied in niche but that wasn’t a surprise since sans fonts are most common on the web these days and people basically live on the web! Turns out that some of the shows that used sans fonts also had a nostalgic appeal but most had a more modern style. One of the most notable is Black Mirror, which uses a geometric font with an added blurred effect and a cracked mirror to portray the theme of the show.
Two other shows with unique sans fonts are Fuller House and Glow, both with a decorative special font that really gets the feeling of each show. The Fuller House font really calls attention to the quirkiness of the story and attracts the same kind of viewers. The font used for Glow is very reminiscent of the 80’s with a neon glow and a strong presence, just like the characters on the show.
A bit about font psychology
The idea behind this Netflix font analysis is that the font used for each show title has been specifically chosen to create a reaction in the viewer’s psyche. The usage of font psychology on Netflix show titles follows the same idea as how marketers choose fonts according to their brand personality and target audience.
Marketers look at all aspects of each project from both sides; the brand and the audience. There must be a balance between both when creating a visual identity. Choosing the correct font is more important than it might seem, it sends a message not only with what the words say but also with the shape of the letters. That is the magic of typography.
Their suggestions for designers
The article by Venngage continues on to give suggestions for designers on how to pick and choose the right fonts for their projects. They give examples of companies in the same niche which use completely different fonts from each other. It all depends on the message they want to transmit and the people they want to attract to their products.
They also suggest that designers constantly pay attention to the fonts used in the products they use themselves. And to look closely at the fonts used on social media.
Over to you
How much attention are you paying to the fonts around you? They literally are everywhere and can say so much. Start looking closely at the Netflix fonts infographic and read the article the Venngage writers developed on it. Understanding font psychology is like having design and marketing superpowers!