Though it might seem simple, the typeface you choose for your brand has a bit impact on the way your brand is perceived by the public and prospective clients. With so many options to choose from, how do you find your brand’s perfect font?
Whether you’re creating custom business cards or preparing for a trade show, you’ll want to know exactly which fonts reflect your brand’s message and tone. The perfect font helps your brand stand out from the competition, and it’s easy to read. This is a balance of both function and style, so pay close attention to this guide to finding the perfect font no matter your brand.
Why Do Fonts Matter?
First, why exactly do fonts matter so much in the first place? Fonts are such a part of branding that they usually go unnoticed, so why spend so much time crafting this part of your design?
In short, fonts help us communicate different things. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a font is priceless.
According to science, using Times New Roman, Arial, and Cambria help you reach stable, secure people. On the other hand, Impact and Georgia help your brand reach assertive people. The perfect font can even help your brand appear more professional and legitimate (we’re looking at you Baskerville!).
In short, fonts have a lot of impact that runs deep. The way words appear on your materials, whether it’s on a sticker or flier, affects the way your message comes across. Now, let’s talk about how to find the right font for your brand.
Readability Comes First
A lot of business owners get really excited when choosing their fonts, and they might make the mistake of overlooking function. When referring to text, function always means readability.
You’ll want to choose fonts you can use consistently. If you’re swapping fonts all the time, you’re sending different messages and that’s just confusing.
Because this is a font (or several fonts) that you’ll be committing to, make sure it’s easy to read. Ensure you can read the text easily on all types of communications, including digital, print, and so on.
Create a Brand Identity
Your brand identity is key to finding the perfect font. Since it’s not always easy to define your brand personality or identity, try to nail down your essence to 3-4 key adjectives.
For example, if you’re an eco-friendly clothing brand, you might choose the adjectives sustainably, friendly, and approachable. Before you choose the perfect font, you need to know how you want your brand to be perceived. Your font(s) will help you communicate this clearly.
Understand Different Font Classifications
When it comes to the nitty-gritty of understanding fonts, you don’t need to know hundreds upon thousands off the top of your head. However, it’s a good idea to understand the 6 basic font classifications and the message they send. Here’s a simple cheat sheet:
Serif: Classic, traditional, and trustworthy
Sans-serif: Modern and minimal
Slab serif: Bold and confident
Script: Elegant and creative
Handwritten: Informal and artistic
Decorative: Dramatic, stylized, and bold
Let’s look at an example to understand how this works in practice. Time Magazine, a trusted news source, uses a Serif font to communicate this this is a magazine that’s classic and timeless. On the other hand, Lego features a decorative font, showing how it’s a fun, creative company.
Review Budget and Licencing
Last but not least, review your branding budget and licensing requirements. All fonts need to be sourced, especially if you plan to use them commercially (ie. for your business).
You can use free, open-source fonts you find on Google Fonts and Font Squirrel, but other fonts will need to be purchased with the correct license. Otherwise, you can find paid fonts on Creative Market and other private marketplaces.
It’s common to choose 1-3 perfect fonts for your brand. Consider the types of promotional materials and branding tools you’ll need and go from there.
Discover the Perfect Font for Your Brand
Your brand communicates something to your audience. When you put thought into your design, you make sure you find the perfect audience with less effort.
The perfect font is easy to read, stands out, and matches your brand’s personality. Like any aspect of brand design, take your time to make sure you’re creating something that truly relates to your audience.