Want to come across more human? Use handwritten typefaces!

Posted by Oliver Koll on Jun 22, 2018

Manufacturers increasingly emphasize humanness in their packaging design by using typefaces that appear handwritten. Think of brands like Lindt with its Hello Chocolate bars, Rachel’s yoghurts or Urban Bakery cookies. A recent academic study examines how such humanization impacts consumer choice:

  • products with a handwritten typeface on the packaging were purchased more frequently compared to products relying on machine-written typefaces
  • 30% of all respondents actually purchased crisp-bread using a handwritten typeface on the packaging vs. only 6% buying the same crisp-bread but with a machine-written typeface
  • consumers evaluated products using handwritten typefaces more favourable: handwritten fonts signal human presence leading to stronger emotional attachment to the product
  • if consumers lack emotional attachment products that signal sensual pleasures benefit most from handwritten type-faces whereas machine-written fonts support a more functional positioning

Human-like designs and handwritten typefaces are an effective and easy-to-implement humanization strategy to impact shoppers’ behaviours. Especially new brands or brands that lack attachment can boost their emotional connection with consumers.

*Effects were tested for various consumer product categories (e.g., chocolate, crisp bread, soaps, milk), for different handwritten and machine-written typefaces and in different countries (EU and USA).

Source: Schroll, R., Schnurr, B., Grewal, D. (2018). Humanizing Products with Handwritten Typefaces. Journal of Consumer Research.