Font – Type – Typography – Typeface.
Whatever you choose to call it, you need it. Just like you need a face as a human.
Your font choices say a lot about your brand. Type matters because it is one of the main pillars of good design. In branding, we use different fonts to communicate different messaging, psychology and emotions. In short, your font forms a relationship with your audience before they have even read it.
Different fonts portray different brand personalities and ecoke different emotions.
For example, imagine you received a letter one morning. You wake up, walk outside to enjoy your morning cup of coffee and there it is, waiting for you on your patio table.
The note reads, “You will always be mine”.
- Scenario 1: it’s written in a romantic, handwritten script.
- Scenario 2: it’s written in a dripping blood letter effect.
- Scenario 3: It’s written in a playful, fun font.
While all of these scenarios contain the same text, the font is clearly going to evoke different emotions for the reader. Being aware of this and applying it to your own branding will help you shape a better brand image for your own business.
Helvetica is hard to work with because it is neutral, so personality comes from the imagery and accompanying fonts. Fonts like this can be used as body text (in paragraphs), but should be avoided for headings.
Fonts are Functional
Have you ever needed a sign to give you directions?
There is a reason a “Stop” sign is written in such a bold font.
Typefaces help you choose where to eat, what to drink, who to trust and what action to take. They communicate quality and play a significant part in converting your audience.
For example, who would you trust more to represent you?
– a Lawyer
– a Lawyer
– a Lawyer
Do you see the difference?
Fonts turn words into stories
I have plenty of clients that come to me with the same concern – they are in a competative market and they don’t know how to stand out. At the end of the day, the answer is simple: Your branding will set you apart from everyone!
Fonts convey emotion (along with the rest of your brand strategy) and your customers are going to connect through stories, not sales!
Using your brand to build relationships and establish trust before your audience has even spoken to you is your best secret weapon. Your font choices help you do this by triggering imaginations, invoking emotions and prompting memories. In the end, your audience is going to buy into the way you make them feel, regardless of what you sell.
How to choose fonts for your brand
Every business should have two or three fonts that they use in all of their branding. Using too many just makes your visual messaging confusing and tacky. Using only one makes it bland.
Pick one main title font
This will be used in the main headings in everything you do. It immediately sends a message about the kind of content that is about to be read.
We picked a bold and earthy font for the Stoned brand. We were very careful not to pick anything too playful, as this would have taken away from the imagery of quality and balance we wanted to communicate.
Pick a clean and clear body font
Your body font is the typeface that is going to be used in your main paragraph text. You want this to be clear and easy to read, so that your users can take in your messaging and process the information. Fancy fonts here are going to strain some brains – and strained brains aren’t going to convert!
While a neutral font is completely acceptable in your body text, you do want to keep your brand messaging strong.
Fonts like Helvetica and Roboto (the font you are reading now) are pretty easy on the eyes, but don’t have a strong emotional connection. If you’re looking for something that feels a little more educational, classic or authoritative, you may want to try a sexy serif font (the fonts with the pointy bits on the end).
Times New Roman is the go-to for the New York Times because the font is associated with authoritative and up-to-date news.
Pick an accent font (optional)
This is often a piece of cursive or handwritten font that you will see a lot of influencers shamelessly overusing.
An accent font is a little splash to add some extra personality to your designs. It should be used (very) sparingly and in short bursts.
Tech Tree has used the Kalam font with cute little sketched arrow elements for a friendly and approachable tone. Because they are a tech school, they know that certain terminology may be a little daunting to users. A light and friendly font helps to make the tech more approachable.
What are your fonts saying about your brand?
Take a good hard look at the fonts that you are choosing to use at the moment. Maybe you don’t have a set of brand fonts?
Remember, a consistent brand builds trust, and your type choices play a massive role in your brand continuity.
If you just realized that your brand may be shit, then it’s a good thing that you know someone who can help you, right?