Using the Right Typography for Your Brand
Imagine for a moment that a company is a person. What kind of personality would they have? Is this person formal and always wearing a suit? Do they like to work hard? Or is this person easy going and wearing flip flops? How people communicate to others and the clothes they wear develops a personality. It affects how people see us.
In order to stand out, your brand needs to be dressed appropriately with the right typography. This is where typefaces come in. A typeface (or font-family) is a set of fonts that match the same design style. The most commonly known typefaces are Serif, Sans Serif, Slab Serif, Script, and Monospaced. Let’s go through some company examples and explore styles that might work for them.
Many local cafes want to show off their handmade products, quality local ingredients, and classy environment. What typeface would a local cafe pick for their brand? Some serif fonts might work well due to their elegant curves that appear on the letters. To show the distinction, take a look at the example below and how the “E” will have extra points on the ends.
The most well known example of a serif font is Times New Roman. According to typewolf.com, some of the most trending serif fonts used today are Caslon, Garamond, and Freight Text. These fonts are gaining popularity due to their readability and elegant look. Take a look at the example below of a serif font and notice the style of each letter.
Of course, one typeface does not fit all. If a serif font doesn’t give the look that matches the cafe’s creative brand, then there are more typefaces that would work. For example, a script typeface (or handwritten typeface) could convey the cafe’s handmade approach- as shown below.
This example uses a script typeface called Vulturemotor. The letters are slightly faded to give a historic look to the text. Font-types like this can create the feeling that a brand has been around for a long time and will continue to be in the marketplace. Handwritten styles can work well for a brand that specializes in handmade products.
This example will explore what typeface could work for a tech company that wants to show expertise in design and innovation. Today, many brands use a sans serif font due to their minimalist look and readability on screens. Minimalism is a trending style for tech companies that want to convey efficiency or sleekness. Apple is a perfect example of this minimalist approach. Apple uses a sans serif font called SF Pro Display for their products and web copy. Their style can be described as clean and simple.
Since Apple’s products are streamlined and modern, they picked a font that reflects this. There are not any unnecessary character accents or color styles. Imagine if Apple used a handwriting font style; would people still feel the same way about Apple’s brand?
Common examples of the sans serif typeface are Helvetica, Lato, Futura, and Gotham. Here at Giant Leap we used a sans serif font called VisbyCF Extra for our logo, shown below. We want to convey that we are a modern agency that’s ready for whatever is next in marketing, web design, social media, and production.
Since we work mainly in a digital medium, choosing a sans serif font was an obvious choice for screen readability and overall personality.
Many companies have changed their look from a serif to a sans serif logo to match the current times and their evolving personality. A great example of this is Google’s typeface change from serif to sans serif.
Google has been around since 1998, and while their old logo may have fit the design style for the late 90’s and 2000’s, they had to adapt as time and design trends moved on. Google has consistently grown beyond a search engine, now offering services like web hosting, data storage, and document creation. In order to align their design with their growth, Google used their same colors but with a improved sans serif font.
Non Profit Organization
This can be a wildcard in your design when choosing a typeface for a non profit or specialty organization. Here it’s crucial to identify your audience. A question you should ask yourself is “How do I get my targeted audience to trust us?” The answer all depends on what your organization’s end goal is. Let’s review some examples of this.
The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals does great work making kids dreams come true and is trusted by parents, too. The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals uses a rounded, childlike/youthful sans serif style with mixed font weights. The text is accompanied with a hot air balloon which can show that the company will go to any height to help a child in need.
In the next example we have the old and proud Boy Scouts of America. Used with the American flag colors, this serif font portrays tradition and order. The text is accompanied with the Fleur-de-lis and American Bald Eagle to complete the formal look of the organization.
A non-profit organization typography should be pleasing, memorable, distinctive, timeless, and scaleable. But most of all, they should communicate the great qualities of the brand.
It may seem like a lot of tough decisions picking a typeface, but this is a very exciting part of watching your brand grow into something more than just a name. Always keep in mind these few tips:
- Identify your audience and know what type of clients your brand wants to attract.
- Understand your own brand goals and the qualities you have.
- Make sure your text is readable for everyone.
By having the right typography, you can communicate faster, build trust through a great first impression, and show off your brand’s personality.