July 29, 2020

One of the latest trends we’ve been seeing, especially on Instagram, is using fancy fonts to add creativity and style to post captions or other areas. For as much as some people love to use them, others don’t like them at all. So should you use them or not?

Well, I have plenty of personal opinions on this! But rather than just give you my personal thoughts, I want to give you some actual technical info about how these fonts work and how they can impact your content performance.

First, let’s start off with what these fancy fonts are.

Fancy fonts are created with font generators, which are basically emojis. So, instead of text, you’re using emojis in your content. There are a variety of apps and websites out there that allow you to create fonts in a variety of different styles: italics, bold, cursive, calligraphic, with circles or with strike through.

If your brand is pretty and girly, you might choose one of those cursive or calligraphy looking fonts. These are what I typically see most often, but I’ve seen a variety of other options as well.

The key to remember is that these fonts, each letter, is essentially an emoji that you’re using in place of actual text.

Here’s why that is a PROBLEM:

  1. Instagram only looks at your name and username for search. So if you’re putting emojis in your NAME (or using fancy fonts), those don’t show up in search parameters. So now, anything you put in the name field becomes irrelevant for search and growth on Instagram. DO NOT put fancy fonts in your name!
  2. Not all devices read emojis the same way. They may look different or not even display at all on some devices. So you could be preventing some, or a lot, of your audience from reading what you wrote.
  3. Screen readers may not be able to (and most likely cannot) read the fancy fonts. If you have an audience with visual impairments or who rely on screen readers, you’re preventing them from accessing your content. This could be considered an ADA non-compliance issue depending on your industry.
  4. The fancy fonts are hard to read. When scrolling through Instagram, which is a visual platform, people are not inclined to read. It’s already a whole strategy to get them to read your caption, so why make it harder by using complicated fonts? It could reduce your engagement, comments, and traffic if people aren’t reading your captions.

So, should you use them?

My take: avoid fancy fonts!

It’s not worth the risk to use them, especially on Instagram.

Using the fonts in your Instagram bio probably isn’t all that bad – as long as it’s a legible font that displays well on all devices. As I mentioned above, do NOT use them in your Instagram NAME field. And if you’re going to use them in the captions, I’d avoid using them in the first sentence since that’s what people see first when scrolling through the feed. If you want to use them throughout the caption to draw attention to certain things, that can be valuable when done strategically.

If you really want to use them, try them out and see how your content performs. Continue or stop as your insights show you what works. As with all things, test test test!

For more on this, check out my YouTube video with my unfiltered thoughts:

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. That’s yet again a very interesting topic you have chosen. I absolutely feel that rather than generalizing the answer – to use or not to use- it should be very much industry-specific. Like fashion, travel and food industry should use fancy fonts but industries like healthcare, education, professional consultancy should avoid.

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