PICKING A BRAND FONT? READ THIS FIRST...
What if I told you that the fonts you're using for your branding could be sending the wrong impression? Or worst yet, that this little mistake could be costing you money?
Choosing the right fonts for your brand is like choosing the right outfit for an interview. It sets the tone and leaves a lasting impression.
Often times, I see brands that are using super trendy fonts, fonts that are borderline illegible or way too many fonts. While using the right font can elevate a brand's status to high-end or exclusive, the wrong font can make it feel cheap, outdated and unprofessional. When branding for your business, picking the right font can be a big factor in making or breaking you.
Let's break down the easiest ways to pick your brand fonts, how to pick the right fonts for your brand and the types of fonts there are.
But first, let's define the attributes of a brand font:
While there are thousands upon thousands of fonts out there to use, not all are worthy of being a part of your branding. A few key features you should be looking at first BEFORE you pick out your fonts are:
1. Are they easy to read? If your brand fonts are illegible, no one will ever know who you are and be able to make the distinction of what you do. This is especially true when it comes to your primary font or the font you will use for your business name.
2. Is it Google-friendly? Some designers may not agree with this one, but let me explain. As a brand strategist AND web designer for creative small businesses, I firmly believe that EVERY business should have some kind of website or landing page for their business. Everything is digital today and if your business isn't online, does it really exist? Building a space online comes with playing nice with the Google-gods and being search engine optimized. Although there are a ton of factors that go into good SEO (which I'll be covering in a later post), one factor is having fonts that Google can read. One quick way to find Google-friendly fonts? Visit Google Fonts to see every font they promote PLUS you can download a free version to use in your branding.
3. What message does it convey? Fonts tell all different stories. From feeling more modern to whimsical, playful to confident, bold to classic. Depending on your brand, business and your clients, the fonts you choose may tell a story that attracts or repels your dream clients. Consider the message you want to convey and choose a font that relates that message.
Types of fonts
There are so many different types of fonts, but let's break down the big 5 you will come across most often:
Serif fonts are a more classic font. They have "feet" or detailing on their ends that gives them a more classic feel.
Fonts you might like: Playfair Display, Source Serif Pro, Bodoni Didot, Libre Baskerville
Sans Serif Fonts
Sans Serif fonts are "sans-feet" or without the feet. They tend to be the most commonly used in branding due to their simplicity and timeless look.
Fonts you might like: Roboto, Montserrat, Open Sans, Source Sans Pro, Raleway, Glacial Indifference
Modern fonts, or Slab Serif Fonts are a mix between a serif and a sans-serif font. They have a thicker body usually with feet on their ends and tend to have a more clean, modern style to them.
Fonts you might like: Forum, Rockwell, Libre Serif Modern, Prata, Aleo Light, Alegreya Sans Regular
Handwritten fonts are inspired by everyday handwriting. They have a more organic feel and are more artistic, carefree and trendy.
Fonts you might like: Brittany, Lemon Tuesday, Amsterdam One, Jaceline
Vintage fonts tend to feel nostalgic, like they've been around forever. They are bold, retro and can bring a sense of old-world or modern luxury, depending on how they are used.
Fonts you might like: Robolt Vintage, Limelight, Cinzel, Rawgly Regular, Anaktoria, Chaman Elegant
When choosing a font, what should you focus on?
Brand Personality: carefully consider the purpose of your brand and your audience. How do you want to be perceived? List out adjectives that describe how you want to be seen by potential customers.
Font Psychology: Understanding the different font categories will help you to decide which is most applicable to your business. Do you want your brand to feel luxurious, high-end, playful, friendly, serious, etc?
Keep It simple: Choose fonts that are easy to read. It's easy to get excited about beautiful fonts and forget about the importance of functionality and readability but remember: hard-to-read fonts can make your viewer lose interest FAST. Try not to over do it with overlapping fonts and too many different font variations.
Balance: You can use multiple fonts in your brand, but you have to be careful and considerate . It's important that the fonts you choose don't compete with each other, rather, when pairing fonts, use simple contrast which is done by using varied font selections, varied font sizes and the weight or thickness of fonts.
Pairing: I suggest using between 2-3 fonts, no more, for your brand. These will be applied everywhere from your logo, packaging and brand collateral to your website email marketing and so on. When picking the perfect fonts, don't just pick the first two fonts you see. Play with them, consider how they work together and how they work with your other brand elements. Some points to consider when pairing fonts:
Contrast: Choose fonts with different weights, like a thicker serif font paired with a thin sans-serif font.
Hierarchy: Consider which font will be more prominent in your branding? As described above, each font carries a different feeling or meaning so consider which will carry more weight.
Mood: Choose fonts that fit the mood or feeling you want your brand and website to convey.
Font Styles: Try mixing different font styles to create contrast and heirarchy.
Size: Play with the size, spacing and boldness of your text.
Layout: Font pairing comes down to the overall layout of your text and if you want everything symmetrical and centered or sporadically aligned.
Remember, when it comes to branding and fonts, consistency is key! Sounds silly, but your fonts play a big role in that. Before you consider your brand fonts, develop your brand's personality, message, mission, vision and who your ideal clients and THEN start to choose your brand fonts and visuals.
Need help developing your brand personality? Download the free Brand Substance Guide here help you develop your brand's why.
So grateful and glad you're here!