Design Spotlight: Fonts in Financial Services

The global economy is growing rapidly, and online financial services continue to conquer the world. Most users from different parts of the globe have long been unable to imagine their life and their business without the ability to make money transfers remotely, and cash is gradually becoming part of the past.

More and more banks and other financial organizations are creating mobile applications to stay in touch with their customers, and startupers are coming up with new ideas for implementing secure financial services, even without physical representation.

All this suggests that online financial services are on the wave of development, but is it so simple as it seems? Creating a financial application requires huge investments, and first of all, investment in reputation, which can be done with the help of design tools including. In this article, we will talk about the design of web and mobile solutions for financial management, and pay special attention to the use of fonts for this task.

Design Thinking and Mobile-First Approach in the Fintech Industry

So, what do we see first of all when we open a website or launch an application of any orientation? That’s right, we primarily pay attention to design. In this context, design acts as a combination of visual tools that subconsciously affect users and begin to convince (or discourage in case of poor implementation) from further use of our application. When a company puts the design of its application in the first place, this is called design thinking. And this is the right approach since you will not have a second chance to make a first impression.

This is especially true for creating financial services because in this case the whole set of design tools should be used so that the user receives a direct and strong message that his money will be safe here. And the font is one of the elements that help to convey not only a text message but also a subliminal one.

Besides, the mobile-first approach is used in the modern app development process as well. According to this approach, it is necessary to first think over the concept of the design of the application for mobile phones or other small screens, and only then switch to the desktop version if necessary. Concentrating primarily on mobile devices, financial services designers should also pay special attention to the font and its size – because the space for implementation will be significantly limited. And here the font begins to work in strong connection with the user interface, which must be created in such a way that the user can find the necessary information or perform the necessary action in no more than three clicks or touches.

Features of the Perception of Fonts in Web Design

The psychology of a font determines which effect a particular font will produce on a user. Typography or fonts is a very significant component, ignoring which leads to the creation of less high-quality web design. Many designers focus on the beauty and artistic appeal of the project, color combinations, and practical meaning, but few relate to the same scrupulousness in fonts.

They simply do not understand that it is the visual component of the text that sends the message to the user. A font is one of the elements that you need to take very seriously. Fonts provide readability and carry the main point. Font psychology plays the role of the spine in the effectiveness of web design. Every designer knows that colors affect the mood, emotions, and feelings of people. Fonts in this sense give the same effect as colors.

Graphologists and developers agree that the choice of font style is accompanied by the transfer of a certain eigenvalue, regardless of whether the effect is used intentionally or not. It is believed that the effect of applying a particular font in a certain sense depends on the context, as well as on the characteristics of the perceiving person. This influence is subconscious. Ideally, the visual text and the message itself should complement each other, otherwise, we have a mismatch.

In real life, these are situations where a person says one thing, and the expression on the face or tone of his voice reveals the opposite. Many people use a particular font because they like it, or simply because it is installed in their text editor, without imagining the recipient of the message — the person who reads the text they created. However, this approach will be extremely wrong for creating financial applications.

Features of the Perception of Fonts in the Design of Financial Online Services

So, the visual perception of sites and applications for financial services has its own key features. And they stem from the values that the service translates to attract and retain users. The main values, in this case, are safety, reliability, guarantees, and reputation since we are talking about valuable assets that users temporarily trust to a certain company.

Therefore, visual elements must conform and reflect these values, and in no case contradict them. And the font is one, but not the only element that works on this task. In order to create a visual impression and a user interface that will convey these values, financial services designers also need to correctly use white or empty space, as well as the right combination of colors from the point of view of the psychology of perception. Next, we will talk about which pairs of fonts and colors are most suitable for creating financial sites or applications.

Potentially Matching Font Pairs

Fonts with large round letters “O” and “ponytails” are perceived as friendly and “human”, possibly because their style imitates the image of a human face. Examples are Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Square. In this context, Square is the most classic indicator of this example, while the humanization effect is created by Apple and Google through the use of such native and familiar logos in front of the name of the payment system.

Straight and angular fonts are associated with inflexibility, rigidity; they are characterized by coldness, facelessness and mechanistic. In terms of psychoanalysis, they are defined by such expressions as “emotionally sandwiched” or “strong in mind”. An example is Skrill.

Antique fonts (serifs) like Times, Times New Roman and Palatino are a compromise between old and new. Clear and fairly simple, they have a well-defined shape and roundness, hinting at the neoclassical tradition and continuity. They cause a feeling of trust, therefore they are favorites among respected representatives of traditional business. Examples are Stripe, PayPal and some other world-class banks.

Sans Serif fonts, such as Arial, Modern, and Univers, have a low emotional charge and are associated with practicality and sanity. They carry a modern common beginning and are a reliable choice for those who crave harmony and are not concerned about self-expression through font design. An example is Visa.

Typically, modern Sans Serif fonts talk about strength, reliability, and stability (such as Montserrat, Futura Medium, and Overpass) and fonts with a strong personality (like Arsenal) are generally used in the financial services industry. In addition, very often, designers have to use two fonts to correctly convey the necessary marketing message and draw a line between the key and additional information. For financial services, the following font pairs will be suitable as their combination enhances the feeling of trust and reliability.

  • Soleil + Borgia Pro. These are two classic fonts that perfectly complement each other and are well-perceived when combined. They talk about the reliability of information and verified data.
  • Gibson + Adriane Text. This pair is a bit similar to the previous one and generally performs its tasks pretty well.
  • Clarendon Text + Interface. These two Serif and Sans Serif fonts have rounded letters and excellent readability, and this, as we said earlier, is good for humanizing your service.
  • Abril Titling + Fira Sans. Used together, these two fonts have a good effect on the level of trust and subconsciously speak of guarantees – this is exactly what your financial application may need.
  • Fira Sans + Freight Text Pro. This is the last perfect combination that conveys a sense of confidence in every action done.
Potentially Matching Colors

However, it’s not enough just to choose the right fonts. It is also necessary to competently combine them with the color scheme. Here are the most suitable colors for financial services in terms of psychology.

  • White: This is the most popular color, and you will see this when you look at the examples below. White color conveys peace and harmony. In the language of financial services, white means the transparency of all actions and the seamlessness of all financial transactions.
  • Light blue: Light blue indicates stability and security. And this is the second most popular color that designers choose for financial sites and applications. Blue indicates that it is a safe place to be trusted. The analog is the blue sky, which is always above our heads, regardless of the circumstances.
  • Gray: Gray is the color of professionalism and a cold mind. Being used in the development of financial applications, gray indicates that all operations will be performed with mathematical precision to one millionth.
  • Red: Red is a bold enough color. However, it is beautifully used by MasterCard in combination with yellow. In this case, color indicates leadership in the industry and the quality of services.
  • Yellow: Yellow is the color of a positive stimulus. Subconsciously, it also arouses a sense of trust, assurance, and stability, plus it motivates to action.
  • Black: Black is the most rigorous color, which once again emphasizes professionalism and iron guarantees. Black does not allow emotions and errors. This is the color of unambiguity.

Practical Examples

So, let’s see how the fonts and colors that we have listed can be implemented in practice.


PayPal is a classic in the design of financial services. The two most popular and reliable colors – white and blue are used on the site. Plus, white is also used for the empty space effect to emphasize the importance of textual information.



Stripe continues the classic trend originally set by PayPal.



This service uses an unexpected color – purple, but also does not refuse from blue and white, and a little gray is added.



WesternUnion is a strong and serious financial market player. Its colors are black, yellow as primary colors, and also white and blue as optional.


In Conclusion – Remember That Not Everything Depends on the Choice of Font

Perhaps your task is not solved by choosing a “beautiful” font, but by the correct use of the typography basics. In the layout, the final result is affected not only by the selected font, but also by its size, type (for example, bold or italics), the distance between lines (leading), the distance between letters (tracking and kerning), indents and margins, the use of typographic characters ( for example, long dashes and quotation marks), color, composition, visual hierarchy, the presence of other graphic elements, and much more!

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