By Simon Droog — a Dutch self-taught brand and graphic designer
Your choice of typography (typefaces and fonts) has a huge influence on how your brand is perceived.
Did you realise that?
I for one didn't know that about typography before I became a graphic designer.
Typography is an integral part of your branding.
Typography, typefaces and fonts have the ability to touch us. They can evoke certain feelings and emotions. The typeface a brand uses can for example give you a formal feel or the complete opposite — a casual one.
Just with a typeface alone.
Take Disney for example:
What kind of feel does the Disney logotype give you?
I bet you don't get a serious feel from the logo. Right?
It probably gives you a feel of fun...
...and that's definitely intentional.
As you can see, a typeface can already say a lot about a brand.
"The secret of type is
that it speaks."
— Paul Claudel, French poet
NB. In this article I talk about typography, typefaces and fonts. I can imagine that all this can be a little confusing (if you’re not a graphic designer). If that's the case, no worries. Let’s get that out of the way first. If not, then just skip ahead.
What is the difference between typography, typefaces and fonts?
TYPOGRAPHY, TYPEFACES AND FONTS
Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point sizes, line lengths, line-spacing (leading), and letter-spacing (tracking), and adjusting the space between pairs of letters (kerning). The term typography is also applied to the style, arrangement, and appearance of the letters, numbers, and symbols created by the process.
— Source: Typography on Wikipedia
In typography, a typeface (also known as font family) is a set of one or more fonts each composed of glyphs that share common design features. Each font of a typeface has a specific weight, style, condensation, width, slant, italicization, ornamentation, and designer or foundry (and formerly size, in metal fonts).
— Source: Typeface on Wikipedia
In typesetting, a font is a particular size, weight and style of a typeface. Each font was a matched set of type, one piece (called a "sort") for each glyph, and a typeface consisting of a range of fonts that shared an overall design.
— Source: Font on Wikipedia
7 WAYS A TYPEFACE CAN TOUCH YOU
I'd like to show you 7 examples of how a typeface can touch you. I've selected 14 typefaces to give you an idea of what they can do:
— 7 examples of how a typeface can touch you.
CHOOSE YOUR OWN TYPOGRAPHY
Choosing the typography for your own brand is no simple task. It takes careful consideration. You start by figuring out what kind of look & feel you want your brand to represent and what kind of clients you want to attract — a certain feel usually attracts a certain client.
"Type is branding*.
*More [people] should understand what an opportunity that is."
— Elizabeth Carey Smith, Brightcut - The Letter Office
Here's a two step process to help you choose your own typography:
1. DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE
Choose carefully — What is the goal of your business? What do you want your brand to represent? What kind of look & feel do you want your brand to express? Or what is appealing to the audience you're trying to attract? Ask yourself these kind of questions. They help you decide which typefaces to go with. Then pick a typeface that fits your goal and suits your audience.
2. SIMPLICITY IS KEY
Keep it simple — If you’re not a designer and you feel choosing a typeface is challenging enough, I’d stick to 2 typefaces max. One for your body copy (the big chunks of text) and one for headlines and subheads.
I also have three articles with some other great examples and practical tips:
- Build Your Brand: How to Choose The Right Fonts — some amazing use of typography
- Fontpair.co — a great tool for Google Font pairing
- What’s Your Type? The 5-Step Guide to Finding the Right Font — a practical how-to guide
Typography can do a lot for your brand. I hope I've been able to help you realise that after reading the article.
Have you been able to find a typeface to represent your brand?
I'd love to hear your ideas. Just post your ideas in the comments below and I'll give feedback on your ideas, plus I'll send you a suggestion for an alternative typeface if you feel you haven't been able to get the right feel just yet. Free of charge.
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