Welcome to the wonderful world of typography, where a font is not just a font, but an essential component of your brand identity. The font chosen for your brand can make a significant difference in whether it is remembered or forgotten. It’s the tool that can help you communicate the personality of your brand and the values you stand for. So, how do you choose the right leading typography for your brand?
First of all, there’s a common misconception font and typeface are one and the same. People do tend to use it interchangeably, but typeface and font have different meanings. To make things easier for the reader, we’ll however be using the terms font and typeface interchangeably.
In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of leading typography, typefaces styles, branding typefaces, and typeface style guides. We’ll guide you through the process of choosing the perfect brand font to create a strong and memorable brand identity.
So now, let’s start with the basics.
Typography is the art of arranging typefaces in a way that makes them legible, readable, and appealing. Hence it’s the science of choosing the right typeface, typeface size, typeface color, and line spacing to ensure that your text is easy to read and visually appealing.
How do you get that right? Let’s find out.
Typefaces styles, which we commonly refer to as fonts as discussed earlier are the variations of a typeface, such as bold, italic, light, and regular. When selecting a font for your brand, it’s important to consider the personality of your brand and what message you want to communicate to your audience. For example, while designing for a tech startup, a bold and modern typeface is perfect. But a luxury brand should go for a classic and elegant typeface.
When establishing a brand, you choose specific fonts or typefaces to represent it. All marketing materials, including logos, websites, social media graphics, and print materials consistently utilize these branding typefaces. Choosing a consistent branding typeface is crucial to creating a cohesive and recognizable brand identity.
When selecting a branding font, consider the readability, legibility, and scalability of the typeface. You want your branding font to be easily recognizable in all sizes and mediums, and to convey the personality and values of your brand.
A typeface style guide is a document that outlines the specific usage guidelines for a brand’s typefaces. It includes details such as the typeface family, fonts, sizes, colors, and usage rules for each typeface. Having a typeface style guide ensures consistency in branding and helps everyone who works with the brand to use the correct typefaces.
Serif Typefaces: Serif typefaces have small lines or flourishes at the end of each letter. Luxury brands or companies in the finance and legal industries often use serif typefaces. This is because they can communicate a sense of history and tradition. Print materials like magazines, books, and newspapers use these serif typefaces.
Sans-Serif Typefaces: Sans-serif typefaces don’t have small lines or flourishes at the end of each letter. They are viewed as modern, clean, and simple, making them a popular choice for tech companies or startups looking to convey a sense of innovation and forward-thinking. Designers use Sans-serif typefaces for digital materials, such as websites often as they tend to be more legible on screens.
Script Typefaces: Script typefaces look like handwriting or calligraphy, with elegant and flowing lines. They can convey a sense of creativity, and luxury making them a popular choice for brands in the beauty and fashion industries. However, readers find it difficult to read script typeface in small sizes, so they use them for headlines or logos.
Display Typefaces: Display typefaces grab attention and make a statement. They can be bold, and playful, and are a popular choice for brands who portray fun or creativity. Display typefaces are typically used for headlines or logos, as they can be difficult to read in longer passages.
Monospace Typefaces: Monospace typefaces have the same width for each letter, making them look more mechanical and uniform than other typefaces. Professionals often use them in programming or coding, as the consistent width can make it easier to read and edit code. You can use monospace typefaces to convey a sense of simplicity or minimalism.
Always choose typefaces that add value to your brand. Different typefaces can communicate different moods and emotions, so it’s important to choose one that reflects your brand’s personality and values.
For example, if your brand aims to convey luxury or elegance, you may consider using a typeface like Baskerville. Baskerville is a serif typeface that has a classic, sophisticated look and feel, and it’s clean lines and elegant proportions can communicate a sense of luxury and refinement.
You’ll want to choose a typeface that looks good in a range of sizes and mediums, from billboards to websites. A typeface that is legible will help ensure that your message is conveyed effectively. Their scalability will allow your design to be used in a range of sizes. Versatility will enable your typeface to be used across different mediums, from print to digital.
One example of a typeface that meets these criteria is Helvetica. Designers have used Helvetica, a sans-serif typeface in various contexts for over 60 years. Its simplicity and clean lines make it highly legible, and it is easily scalable without losing its clarity. Moreover, it is incredibly versatile, making it an excellent choice for a range of design applications, from logos to body text.
Does the design go hand in hand with the brand’s visuals, content type, and aesthetics? Check that the typeface and fonts you use are in harmony with the brand’s overall content and tone of voice.
What we mean to say is that, if you’re designing for a children’s platform which is heavy on visual depth, the design would be cute, bright, and colorful, so you’d have to choose a typeface that goes with that particular aesthetic. Here usually simple fonts like Sassoon Primary and Futura work best with large and bold font styles for easier readability. You can read more about what typefaces suit children here.
Check your typeface’s relevance and compatibility before applying it to your design for your brand font. Also, since you need to combine different typefaces for visual hierarchy, experiment with different variations before settling on the perfect pairing that works for your brand’s design. Pairing typefaces can be tricky, as certain combinations can clash and create a jarring visual effect. Here is an example of a typeface pairing that does not go well together:
Comic Sans and Times New Roman: Comic Sans is a playful, whimsical typeface. In designs aimed at children or for informal purposes, designers often use comic sans. Times New Roman, on the other hand, is a classic and formal serif typeface that is commonly used in academic or professional settings. Pairing these two typefaces can create a jarring contrast in tone and style, as they are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
You can customize existing leading typography or even create a unique font that is exclusive to your brand. This can set your brand apart from others and create a distinguished identity for it.
For example, Netflix has its own style of cinematic typeface. They designed Netflix Sans to have it stand out on a screen. Interestingly, there is a small curve at the top of the lowercase “t” that draws reference from the early CinemaScope lens.
While rebranding, we also came up with a custom-designed typeface for the redesigned logo. You can check it out here.
Safety is one of the most important factors to take into account while designing a website. You should consult web catalogs to find a secure typeface. Look at Adobe Typekit or Google Fonts, since they’re reliable and accounted for.
Following are 5 popular Adobe and Google fonts that are used widely across products and websites:
Typeface trends can be a great way to stay up to date with the latest design trends and make your brand feel fresh and modern. According to Looka’s blog, some of the predicted typeface trends for 2023 include display serifs, variable typefaces, geometric sans-serifs, serif revival, and handwritten and brush scripts. These typefaces can add elegance, flexibility, modernity, and personalization to your brand’s typography.
However, keep in mind that trends can blow off as quickly as they gain popularity, so don’t just use typefaces for your brand which are trending right now.
In conclusion, choosing the right brand font is a crucial step in creating a successful branding strategy. Remember to consider your brand personality, typeface style, branding typefaces, and typeface style guide when making your decision. With the right typeface, your brand can communicate its message clearly and effectively to your audience and create a lasting impression that will stay with them long after they have interacted with your brand.