Once the vision of your business has been set, one important task that you’ll have to decide on is which font will be the best fit for your brand. In this article we discuss the topic of Choosing the Best Fonts for Your Brand.
It can be daunting and overwhelming to narrow the selection down to the perfect few which will become your brand and business’s identity.
Big brands such as Coca-Cola, Google, and Intel have customized their fonts. This has set them apart from their competitors and become a memorable brand look.
But these major brands went through changes throughout the years and this was reflected in changes to their brand fonts.
It’s not surprising that business owners may want to attain the success that these big names have achieved. That’s why choosing your brand font is one of the more crucial decisions you’ll have to make.
Steps in Choosing the Best Brand Fonts
If you’re lost or unsure how to choose the best font for your brand, here’s some points to guide you:.
Step 1: Determine Your Brand Fonts’ Function
For the first step, learn the function of your brand fonts. Will they be used only for digital media and websites? Does your business produce and sell physical products where you’ll be using your brand fonts?
You need to determine where and how you’ll be using your brand fonts.
There are different font types that you should know about.
This font type is popular with traditional media brands. It gives the image of reliability, honesty, authority, and integrity.
Most major fashion brands such as Giorgio Armani and Gucci use this font.
Sans serif is more of the elegant, modern, and clean font type often used by technology and sports brands. Some notable brands that use sans serif are Nike and Google.
Slab serif is similar to serif. The difference would be the heavy strokes.
Brands such as Sony and Volvo use slab serifs in their logos.
Script fonts tend to give off a feminine or informal image.
Typical script typefaces have strokes that connect the letters.
Some typefaces aren’t legible and are not suitable for long written texts.
Handwriting fonts are modeled from the natural handwriting of people. Often, they’re uneven and give a relaxed and friendly personality to a brand.
These types of fonts form the base of different typefaces which are the designs of the text we see. Don’t get confused between fonts and typefaces.
Each font type has a meaning and will give off a different message for your brand. It’s important to choose the best font that will serve its function.
The aesthetic appeal is also essential. Try to find the perfect balance between function and aesthetic when choosing the best font for your brand.
Step 2: Know Your Brand’s Identity and Personality
Your brand’s identity and personality must be taken into account when choosing fonts. Can you imagine a brand focusing on children’s’ needs to use Gothic font typefaces?
It would probably suit a horror book cover but not a brand selling children’s products.
That’s why having an in-depth understanding of the personality of your brand is crucial.
If your brand aims to send a message of success, reliability, and accomplishment, it has an authoritative personality. IBM, Apple, and Amazon have this brand personality.
Brands that focus on elegance have sophisticated and prestigious personalities. An example is Tiffany & Co.
Fun and Exciting
Fun and exciting brands are also associated with youthfulness and optimism. Most children’s toy brands have this type of personality.
A sincere and thoughtful personality is usually for family-oriented and client-focused brands. The brand look seeks to convey empathy; make it more relatable to its target audience.
Rough and Rugged
Sporty and outdoor-related brands have a rough and rugged personality. These brands also send a message of strength and purpose.
You don’t need to stick to one personality. This will depend on your brand’s goals. Let’s take the New York Yankees logo as an example. Instead of sans serif, they used a type of script font.
The Yankees have been defined by their wins and their journey. This gave them a heroic brand personality and the elegant and stylish script font fits them well.
The script font paired with elements of baseball in their logo allows their fun and sporty side to show.
Knowing your brand’s true identity and personality may take some time. So you should be ready for an overhaul on your brand’s look including fonts at some point in the future.
Step 3: Find the Best Source
The next thing to consider will be your sources. For brand fonts, you don’t want to go to the conventional typefaces.
For written content, going with Arial or Georgia might be better since they’re legible and free. For other uses like your logo, email newsletters, and infographics that would need more in-depth designing, it’s a good idea to get specialized fonts.
There are different sources of fonts depending on your budget:
- Websites that offer fonts that are free for commercial use
- Websites that sell fonts for commercial use
- Freelance font developers and designers that create personalized fonts
- Companies that offer font design services
If you’re on a budget, you can opt for free fonts for commercial use. This will save you from any future lawsuits.
If you have allotted some resources to develop a firm brand in the beginning, hiring professionals would be the best option for you.
When hiring a designer for your brand fonts, it’s best to find someone who will understand your brand’s personality and identity. Say that you need fonts for web design, you can hire a web design agency instead of only a font designer only.
If you need brand fonts for your logos, logo designers who will take the time to understand your brand and your needs would be more beneficial.
Some agencies specialize in web design for nonprofits; sharing a similar mission and points of view with their clients.
It will be worth it if you take the time to find the best sources for your brand fonts. Try not to rush the project.
Step 4: Feel Free to Be Creative
From steps 1 and 2, you already have an idea about brand personality and the meanings of different fonts. It’s easy to realize that some fonts would work well with certain personalities of brands.
Don’t constrain yourself. You’ll never know if you’ll become the next branding innovator.
Why not use a script font which is usually associated with femininity for your brand that promotes masculinity or ruggedness? You can work with a font designer that’s more than willing to transform your idea into reality.
You could also mix different fonts in your logo as long as they would work well. But, it’s important to still follow certain rules which are there for a reason.
If you don’t have the creative talent yourself, you can always get inspiration from other brands. But to stand out from your competitors, you’ll have to give your brand fonts the personal touch that will make you different and memorable.
Step 5: Assure Legibility and Flexibility
If your brand font isn’t legible, then don’t pursue it. If people can’t even read it properly, you’ll be sending the wrong message for your brand and it could have a potentially negative impact on your brand’s identity. . It certainly won’t be of service..
This will also depend on the usage of these fonts you choose. For example, in web design, standard fonts are the best to use. However, they could look different on the site visitors’ screens. So try to avoid handwritten or script fonts for these.
But you can always use your customized brand fonts for headers and labels as long as they are understandable.
When you’re going to use your brand font for product labels or design, take into account that they also need to be legible. For example, BIC Cristal, a popular ballpoint pen brand, uses a customized handwritten font in their logo. All their pens are printed with their logo and it’s legible despite their tiny size.
You should also take into consideration the value of flexibility for your brand fonts. It’s best to have an option to italicize and bolden your fonts when and if you choose.
Bic could’ve gone for a more dramatic handwritten typeface, yet they went for something that could be read even when reduced in size. This is why step 1 of this list shouldn’t be skipped.
Step 6: Choose from a Variety, then Decide
After going through steps 1 to 5, you probably already have a lot of ideas running through your head, but your choices will surely be narrowed down.
This is where the mood board will come in handy. Whether you choose to get free fonts from a site or hire a designer, try to get a variety of brand fonts from which you can select the fonts you will finally decide to use.
Your mood board should have all the design elements of your brand. From the color palette to your products and inspiration, it should all be there. Then, add your font choices to the board.
This will give you an idea of which fonts will work well with your overall design vision. For instance, not all san serif typefaces will work well with an education-focused brand.
Typefaces similar to Comic Sans have rounded and softer edges and strokes which gives a childish and fun personality to a brand. This would be perfect for education-focused brands that would target a younger audience. For college-level audiences, it’s best to go with typefaces like Century Gothic or Calibri that gives off a more business and authoritative personality.
Having variety will also give you a chance to get opinions from the right people involved in planning for your brand. With your final selections in mind, get as much input as you can and brainstorm ideas on what will work best.
Choose Fonts That Will Speak for Your Brand
Brand fonts are more than what meets the eye. They will define your brand and set it apart from the crowd. Choosing the wrong font could have a negative or limiting impact on your brand. So pick the perfect ones carefully.
A single person would have a difficult time doing this alone. You may need help from professionals and most especially, from the key people who are involved in the business.
Decisions can be affected by mood and emotions. It’s always a wise decision to make important, and creative, decisions when you’re in your best mood! So, when choosing your brand’s fonts, be at your best and make the best decision for your brand.
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Also published on Medium.