How to choose the perfect brand fonts

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How To Choose The Perfect Brand Fonts

Branding

There are a lot of things I love about what I do, but one of my favorites parts of the process is choosing brand fonts. Like colors, fonts have their very own psychology.

To read about color psychology and how to choose the perfect color palette for your brand you can read the post here.

One of the things I love most about choosing brand fonts is that they tell a story without actually spelling it out. Changing just one font can change the entire look and feel of a brand. They truly speak volumes about your brand.

To understand how to choose the right brand fonts you need to understand the basics. Fair warning: this post is a little long but choked full of great information and plenty of visuals to help you out.

 

 

Font Styles & Their Attributes

Before you start picking your brand fonts let’s start with a look at each of the 4 font styles and some of their attributes, or characteristics, and how they communicated beyond the words on a page.

 

Anatomy of a serif font

Serif

 The serif font style is probably the most iconic font style. Times New Roman is probably the most well-known serif font thanks to Microsoft Word and it using Times as it’s default font choice.

 You can probably tell that a serif font features bracketed feet at the end of each letter. These little feet are called… serifs. But serif fonts also feature a few other attributes like varying stroke widths and details on the terminals.

 Serif fonts, when used in branding, are seen as classic, sophisticated, and luxurious. It’s because of these attributes that serif fonts are a favorite among fashion magazines and luxury brands like Rolex.

 

Anatomy of a san serif font

San Serif

San serif literally translates to without serif with means it doesn’t have those cute little bracketed feet at the end of each letter. San serif fonts also feature a consistent stroke width for all letter.

San serif fonts have become popular in branding over the last few years because of their modern and minimal qualities. San Serif fonts have become a popular choice for text on websites because of it easy readability.

Anatomy of a slab serif font

Slab Serif

By now you’ve probably realized font types don’t have the most creative names on the planet. You can probably guess that slab serif fonts are a font with slab-like serifs at the end of the letters. You can see in the example that the serifs are block like feet versus the bracketed version on a regular serif font.

Another interesting feature of the slab serif is that the stoke width, like a san serif font, is consistent. This mix of features gives the slab serif font an air of confidence, solidity, and bold attitude.

Anatomy of a script font

Script

From flowing to handwritten script fonts run a gamut of individual styles, but they all feature the flourishes and fluid strokes that give these fonts their signature look (pun intended).

Script fonts give a brand a feminine, creative, and elegant look. These fonts can be hard to read so stay clear of using them for your body copy or heading text, but in logos and design elements, they can give your brand a little extra oomph.

 

Brand Font Styling

I know it may seem daunting but there’s more to consider than just with typeface you choose when it comes to brand fonts. There are also styling options to take into account.

Brand fonts stying with different weights

Font Weight

Depending on the font you may have the option to use a light, medium or bold version of the typeface.

 

Light font styling means you width if the strokes are decreased. This will give your font a more delicate look.

Medium, sometimes called regular, is the normal or slight thickening of the font strokes. This will give your text a clean look and feel

Bold is a vast thickening of the strokes and creates a powerful and attention-grabbing effect to your text.

By varying the weight of your font weight you can create contrasting effects to your test. You can bring attention to thought and ideas and break up large areas of text.

Brand Font Styling

Font Case

Changing your font “case” can be an easy way to differentiate text.

Lowercase: all lowercase letters can make your brand fonts seem playful and fun.

Uppercase: all uppercase letters can make your brand fonts appear bold and classic.

 

Brand Font Pairing Do's And Don'ts

Pairing Brand Fonts Like Pro

When you start to play with your brand fonts I recommend starting with a breakdown of all the fonts you’re going to need.

You’re going to need fonts for:

  • Your logo

  • Your tag line

  • Header 1 text

  • Sub Header text

  • body text

 

Here are some do’s and don’t for pairing fonts:

 

Do

Mix Bold And Script Text

This font pairing is a match made in heaven. The mix of a bold font and script font compliment each other nicely drawing attention.

 

Use Different Weight Of The Same Font

There are a lot of fonts out there that offer a variety of different styling options. Pairing a bold or semi bold with a light or italic version f the same font keeps things easy but still interesting.

 

Mix Tall With Short, Or Skinny With Fat

One of my favorite ways to pair fonts is to mix weights and heights together. A tall font and a short fonts together or skinny and fat together are a great way to tell an unwritten story with your fonts.

 

 

Don’ts

Mix Serif With Slab Serif

A serif font and a slab serif font are very similar in look and feel. I recommend choosing one or the other for your brand based on the overall brand feelings. Mixing them together can end up looking muddled.

 

Mix Script Fonts

Besides being difficult to read sometimes two script fonts make it difficult to differentiate between ideas. So a logo with a business name in a script should not be paired with a script tagline. Same with heading in your blog posts.

 

Fonts That Are Hard To Read

This one should be self explanatory. You don’t want to leave your audience scratching their heads wondering what on Earth the font says.

 

Comic Sans

This one is king of a running joke in the design world, but please never use comic sans as a brand font. Just don’t do it.

Brand Fonts Cheat Sheet

That is a lot of information, I know. But hopefully, it helps you understand the psychology behind branding fonts and how to mix and match them to get the desired emotional reactions from your audience.

 

If you have any questions drop them down below.

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