Why a jaunty email signature may not be wholly appropriate

I feel the need to start this blog post with a disclaimer. I am not an authority on the use of fonts, and I am also not seeking to sway anyone on the application or suitability of novelty email signatures. 

Any opinion put forth in this article is entirely subjective; but in a way, subjectivity is entirely the issue.

A jaunty, fun, novelty email signature may have the greatest of intentions, but the judgement of those intentions lies with the recipient, not the sender.

For example, I recently received a sales email, in which the sender had stylised their name by using Brush Script MT font in a bright colour. The individual may think that setting their name in a lime green flowing font is a projection of their character and an indication of their fun and outgoing personality; or, by adding a touch of creativity via the use of a script font, it helps to create a sense that the email has been hand signed (it really doesn’t, by the way).

As the recipient, when I see a personalised email signature, I can’t help but think, “what are they trying to say?” This often leads to me drawing the wrong conclusion...

If you genuinely feel that your personality can be reflected by the use of a custom novelty font or bright colours, then that's up to you. I am not trying to knock personal choice or influence anyone who currently uses a personalised approach. All I am trying to highlight is that those who stray away from accepted norms run the risk of creating confusion or eliciting the wrong reaction from the recipient. This situation is worsened if you receive multiple emails from different people within a business, each featuring its own personalisation.

A quick poll amongst my colleagues in the office has shown that this simple subject is very divisive. Some felt that my opinion was boring and seeks to create a world in which everything looks the same. Others agree that personalisation for its own sake has no place in professional communications and employees should be encouraged to adhere to accepted corporate standards.

My advice would be to stick to your organisation’s brand guidelines and express your personality the old-fashioned way - in person.


About the author

Peter is an award winning marketing professional who has worked for some well known brands within Wales and England. He is a forward thinking marketer, who is always looking to enhance the customer journey and experience as well as to attract new clients to the company through innovative and value added strategies.

Get RWA Insight In Your Inbox

Regular business news and commentary delivered direct to your inbox each week. Sign up here