Fonts and colors are extremely important to an email’s readability. Apply the right touches and both can help your message stand out and grab attention. Screw up, and they can muddle your message and make it incredibly difficult to read. Many people have a preferred font and just about everyone has a favorite color or combination of colors. But below are some styles and combinations that most readers are not too fond of. You may want to avoid the following when designing your email templates:

Cringe-Worthy Typefaces

Alright, from the title you can see that we are in agreement with the overall consensus that Comic Sans is not the most attractive font – but it is far from the ugliest in the bunch. There are plenty of others that people loathe even more on first glance. A few that come to mind are Curl, Jokerman and the dreaded Brush Script. For the most part, less than popular fonts are not hated because of how they look, although the aforementioned have been known to induce the urge to wince. Some of the more stylish options can actually work wonders in the right situation. It’s just that when it comes to email or web copy, they often make the content too hard to digest, making them too big of a risk.

Pukey Puce

Some colors are adored, others are treated like the relative in the attic of some Gothic novel. If you want to talk colors that don’t get a lot of love, puce would make a worthy candidate for the discussion. A reddish, purplish, brownish sort of tint officially classified as a shade of red, it is one that rubs several people the wrong way for some reason or another. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the term translates to “flea” in French, the bothersome little parasite of a critter that is said to have a similar hue if viewed up close. In any event, puce seems to have a nauseating effect on many of the people who encounter it.

Garbage Pail Anyone?

The color green is seen as a symbol for many things, including money, growth and hope. Brown is a neutral one that tends to make people think of natural elements such as earth, wood and stone. Neither are too bad to look at on their own, but when combined together, the two can result in a classic case of color clashing. Use this scheme unjustifiably and readers may turn up their noses the moment they set eyes on your message. They may also have trouble holding down their lunch.

Indeed, some fonts, colors and color schemes are unpleasant to visually digest, to say the least. Keep in mind, however, that when it comes to formatting your email template with such elements, there is no right or wrong. Fonts that most people find less appealing may help highlight important aspects of your message, while colors that often offend could be necessary for a consistent brand identity. It’s all matter of subjectivity, so if you have to, run a few tests to see what your audience responds to best.