Typography is an important part of branding a business. You might not be able to name the fonts your favourite brands use, or know why the difference between serif and sans serif matters, but your unconscious brain does.
This is how to choose the right typeface when you’re establishing your brand’s visual identity.
Why typography matters to your brand
Just like imagery and colours, typography communicates a visual message to whoever’s looking at it.
Brand look and feel helps us choose who to buy from, who to trust, and who to avoid. When someone looks at your website or social media account they’ll take in all the visual information – as well as what they can read – and make up their mind about your brand within seconds.
Define your brand’s personality and ethos
What do you want your branding to say to people?
- We’re a safe pair of hands
- We’re innovative
- We’re cool and we know it
- We’re a family business
- We’re experienced craftspeople
Answer this question and you’re ready to choose your typography style, as well as lots of other design elements.
Comic Sans is ideal for a primary school’s newsletter but it’s not going to fill someone with confidence when they’re choosing a solicitor. A ‘safe pair of hands’ brand might favour classic or uncomplicated fonts like Source Serif Pro. A business that prides itself on innovation might go for something modern and subtle like Open Sans.
‘Try it on’
You won’t know how a font looks or feels until you try it. Take your brand name, a section of your website copy, or a brief synopsis of your brand and try it in a variety of font combinations. This process of tweaking can be time consuming so you might prefer to brief a designer and ask them to show you some ideas.
Whether you do it yourself or someone does it for you, you’ll be able to identify which fonts do and don’t fit.
Use your logo as a starting point
If you’re mystified by the amount of choice – there are thousands of fonts to choose from after all – start with what you’ve already got. Look at your logo’s design elements and find fonts that complement them.
A logo with lots of rounded lines could lead you towards a similarly constructed typeface, while something angular and serious would help you narrow your choice down to structured serif fonts.
Choose a typeface and stick to it
Consistency is key. A 2004 study from the Journal of Business Research found it’s important for brands and marketers to “adopt a coherent font policy”. The researchers found brands were chosen more if their fonts were appropriate and consistent. In other words, people chose the brands that knew who they were and communicated it effectively through their typography.
Many brands will have three fonts – one for their headers and page titles, one for subheaders, and one for the main text font. This carries over across everything from emails to social media channels. If your preferred typeface is particularly versatile you can use it for everything – a heavy, bold version for headers and a finer version across the rest of the page. As long as it’s consistent and cohesive, you’re all set.
Ready to give your brand the typography it deserves? We can help you build a brand identity that you’ll love for years to come. Take a look at our previous work.
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