Picking a font is one of the many steps toward developing a strong brand for your business, and it’s one that all of us are familiar with. Choosing the right font from the dropdown list for your word document can feel tricky. Imagine putting together a brand’s typeface strategy that communicates across print materials, emails, your website and more. Here’s how we choose the right font from the beginning that can grow with your business:
The 5 Families of Typeface
This family of type revolves around the philosophy of symmetry and form. Strokes are often the same width throughout the typeface, and this makes for a very minimalist design that is clear to read as well as conveys a sense of objectivity to readers. However, though they are very sleek and modern, they aren’t a great opportunity to leave an impression or grab attention.
The humanist font family is inspired by the exact opposite of the Geometric family: our own handwriting. With it comes varying stroke weight and more detail that can evoke a sense of familiarity in readers. A sans-serif family like geometric, the humanist fonts strive to balance modernity with natural shape. That said, these typefaces can feel wildly inauthentic if overused or poorly conceived, which is exactly how Comic Sans got its reputation.
The oldest typefaces known to mankind stem from the Venetian family of type. These serif fonts invoke tradition and strength with their slight lilt to mimic the calligraphy that was in style when they were first created more than two hundred years ago. This makes them easy to read, but they’re not a great fit for a brand that is forward-thinking or experimental.
These are the typefaces you see most frequently in your life. They come from the time period between the classic typefaces and our most modern ones, and as such, they made the Venetian fonts sharper, sleeker, and with bigger variances between the thickest and thinnest lines. Some of the best are strong and stylish, like Times New Roman. But they can also leave your brand stranded between tradition and modernity if overused. No brand’s land.
This final family of typeface is probably the most easily recognized. Slab serifs have hard, blocky serif lines added to each letter that command presence and attention on a page. These recently-re-popularized fonts hold a sense of finality and permanence as they mimic the look of typewriters. But the key to their success is their recognition. They take up a lot of room and can feel clunky if used for detailed paragraphs.
Other Considerations for Your Brand’s Typeface
When searching for a font, consider your choices like you would a wardrobe. It’s easy to feel bored by simple choices and want to build recognition with an uncommon typeface, but these are like flashy formal wear or ultra-trendy pieces. They’re not always the right fit, and they might only work for a little while. Instead, consider your classic jeans and a button-down combination. For most occasions, they’ll be the right fit. Then you can accessorize to add personality.
You’re not going to have a single typeface associated with your brand. In order to create all of your marketing materials, you’ll need a good handful for different applications. As such, you need to have a plan for how to build that set. When pairing fonts, you’re going to want to keep the font exactly the same or change styles significantly. Small differences will feel uneasy for readers and leave questions of what’s most important. Use complementary, contrasting fonts and sizes as a means of highlighting important information similar to building a brand mood board.
Leave Them Wanting More
Okay, most of what we have covered in this post directly relates to body typefaces, which will carry the vast amount of information your clients need to making purchasing decisions. Every now and then, though, you’re going to need something that really pumps up the volume. These are called display typefaces, which should be used minimally in your brand’s design. These readily inject your personality into your marketing materials, but they can be difficult to read and wash out their effectiveness quickly. Using display fonts for titles and leaving other typefaces for body copy is a great way to create interest and increase brand recognition without overstaying their welcome.
There’s a lot to consider when selecting a font for your business, and it’s just one of the hundreds of decisions when creating a visual brand strategy. Hopefully this list of considerations to make has given you insight into how to represent your business through typeface, but you may want to consider getting in touch with a professional for more. It’s a great investment in your business and your customer base.