As a graphic designer, the font choices we make for your logos, websites and marketing material can be a polarizing topic. Most designers have favourites, myself included. Right now, we are liking Roboto, but this could change sometime in 2018. And, like all good graphic designers, the thought of using Comic Sans makes us die a little on the inside!
Font choice is important, it is a core part of your brand’s identity & needs careful consideration. The fonts you use in your business are reflected in each and every piece of visual communication you do. Your logo, business cards, vehicle signs, flyers, websites. All of these use fonts to display your company and your message.
How to choose the right fonts
Know Your Style
Generally, we can categorize font styles into a few different areas. Let’s look at the main players:
Serif: Serifs are the little feet on the ends of each letter. This style dates back to the 1500s and allows the eye to flow across the lines of text.
Sans Serif: Sans means without. So this style is the same as above, minus the little feet! San Serif fonts are more modern looking, informal and friendly. Many companies (including ourselves) use a sans serif font for their logo font.
Script: This style is seen as elegant, feminine and elaborate. Think carefully about using this style for your logo as it does not work well across all media. What might stand out on a business card, won’t necessary stand out on the side of a vehicle.
Slab: Bold, strong and high impact. This style is great for logos and headings. Once again, think about your brand personality before using this one. Whilst it stands out and is strong, it can also be seen as loud and pushy.
Handwriting: Relaxed in style, handwriting is similar to script, but less formal. This style works well for some headings and small pieces of text such as company taglines.
Who is your audience?
Knowing your audience and target market is vital when it comes to choosing your font style. For instance, Toys R Us has a target market of children and parents. They use a very playful font style with lots of colour. It’s perfect for their market and immediately sets them apart.
This approach wouldn’t be as effective if a company’s target market was financial investors whose expectations would be more aligned to stability, wealth and growth.
Three’s a crowd
Choose a couple of fonts and stick with them throughout your company’s communication. Having a website, brochure or poster designed? Make sure the designer sticks to just 2 or 3 fonts across everything. Not only does this ensure your message gets communicated to the reader better, it makes the reader feel that each piece is simply part of the same whole, cementing your brand personality.
Where to look
Here are some great font resources for you to browse:
Does your font branding resemble a pizza?
Over time, different fonts can creep in to your company’s marketing. If you looked back on all your items of communication over the past 5 years you probably would notice a fair bit of artistic license has been taken on your brand. Different fonts, colours, ways of displaying your logo. Its not uncommon for a company’s branding to look a little like a supreme pizza. Lots of variety, all packed into one box. Being a pizza snob, I know this is never a good thing.
Once a year, take a look at your company’s communication over the past 12 months and pay particular attention to the typography used. Is it consistent? Does it reflect your brand? Can you spot any typos?? (hopefully not!)
How to keep it consistent
Developing a simple Style Guide is a great way to keep your brand’s visual communication on track. A simple Style Guide would document the fonts to be used in all company communications, the company colour breakdowns and how to (and importantly, how not to) display your logo. A more detailed Style Guide would go a step further and detail the exact layout and design of all your stationery and marketing material.
Either option is a great way to ensure your brand is communicated strongly and consistently to your audience. Contact us today if you think your company could benefit from this.