The typeface used in logos and any instance of brand communication has a potential to create a specific mood, bring up associations and situate the brand in a larger context of values and aesthetic principles.
First, what is typography?
Most people think typography=fonts. But typography isn’t just about fonts. It’s also about colors, as well as layout integration.
When choosing a font, brands should concentrate on those that fit their overall design scheme, bridging the gap between the visuals, the text and the brand’s objectives – for instance, appealing to mature audiences that value tradition and excellence.
Here are 4 things to consider as you make your font choices.
1. Serif or sans serif
Serif fonts are perfect for businesses that consider themselves traditional and respectable – a serif font will connect the brand message to the value of experience and excellence that stem from a long tradition.
Serif fonts all contain serifs, or small projections on the ends of letters in certain typefaces.
Sans serif fonts, on the other hand, do not contain serifs. This is what lends them their more modern look. These fonts best serve brands that want to look modern, but at the same time stable and objective.
Some typefaces, like Century Gothic, are considered chic – others will give a clean and professional look to the logo and brand communications.
2. Font readability
When going for sans serif font, remember that it can be tricky if what you’re planning to write is a long body text.
Jessica Hische, a well-known typeface designer, developed a test to check whether the font can negatively impact readability – type the upper case ‘I’, a lower case ‘l’ and the number 1. If you can tell the difference between the three forms, you’re on the safe side.
3. Other fonts to choose from
♦ Script fonts
Handwritten or cursive typefaces that can communicate various values, from creativity to elegance
Pros: Convey an emotion – a sense of informality and spontaneity.
Cons: Challenging when it comes to readability
♦ Modern typefaces
Includes Futura and Century Gothic; express a strong progressive orientation of the brand
Pros: These modern fonts are often chic and stylish – perfect for adding a touch of elegance to your brand.
Cons: Not a neutral font; implicates a brands’ progressive orientation
♦ Display fonts
There are some great examples of resonating logos using display typefaces–think Disney or Cadbury.
Pros: They can be characteristic, funny and unique – perfect for logos.
Cons: They’re usually quite large and should be used carefully in every brand communication design.
♦ Novelty typefaces
From Jokerman and Matisse to Valencia and Spaceage Round, novelty fonts can create a playful mood, but should be used with caution.
Pros: Perfect for logos, playful mood
Cons: Not suitable for long body texts due to readability issues
4. Consider the x-height
A font’s x-height basically denotes the height of lower case letter relative to the upper case letter. This factor needs to be recognized, especially if you’re planning to write a copy for both web and print.
A font with a small x-height will be smaller and harder to read. Choosing one with a regular x-height can improve the readability of your text, helping your brand message reach more people.
It’s all in the details
Even if they seem a minor detail, fonts are a powerful visual element that can make or break your brand message.
Using them with expertise, you can easily convey a certain mood, personality and atmosphere to be associated with your brand’s logo and communications. Fonts, when used strategically, can ultimately help you attract and engage your target audience.
What are your go-to fonts? What about a font that makes your skin crawl? Leave them in the comments!
Monique Craig is a passionate blogger and marketing specialist who works for Oneflare, an online marketplace which connects customers with local service providers.
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