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Choosing A Typeface For Your Brand

Choosing A Typeface For Your Brand

Choosing a typeface can be daunting. We get it. There are literally millions to choose from. How can anyone possibly limit it down to just one?

Well, stress no more as we have put together a handy guide on picking a typeface which is split into just two sections;

  1. What tone are you trying to achieve?
  2. Is it legible?

However, before we dive into those two points, let's take it back a few steps to actually talk about the technical aspects. This may not seem relevant but it’s key to understand what is being talked about when it comes to your brand.

Font vs Typeface

Yes, they are different! It is a common misunderstanding that they mean the same thing when in fact they do not. A typeface is a group (or most commonly known as ‘family’) of the alphabet and any characters that have the same name. For example – Helvetica or Gotham. On the other hand, a font is a sub-section of that. So it refers to the style of the typeface. For example – Bold, Italic, Regular.

It is also worth noting that there are four main typeface styles –
1.     Serif
These letters have little ‘tails’ on the edge. (eg ‘Times New Roman’)
2.     Sans-Serif
These letters do not have ‘tails’ on the edge (eg ‘Calibri’)
3.     Handwritten
Just as it sounds – a typeface that looks like handwriting. (eg. ‘Lucinda Handwriting’)
4.     Decorative
These are completely original typefaces that are more extravagant and unique. (eg. Copperplate)
 Now that we’ve got that out the way, lets discuss our point from earlier. How do you choose a font? Lets break it down.

1.  What tone are you trying to achieve?

Each typeface has a different tone and style. We won’t go into detail here but as a rough guide;
·      Serif – Professional, formal, legible. Good for long passages of text.
·      Sans-serif- Professional but with a playful edge. Easy reading, good for digital.
·      Handwritten- Casual, can be illegible if used in large passages of text, quirky.
·      Decorative – Original, quirky, casual, childlike (sometimes), friendly, illegible if overused.

So it’s worth thinking about how you want your brand to be perceived. If you’re a children’s toy store you might want to be playful, casual and approachable, in which case a decorative font might be a good fit. However if you’re an up and coming solicitors you might want clean, professional, formal style. For this a serif font would be best. This is a really important step in the branding process, so don’t miss it out.

2.     Is your message legible? 

A decorative or handwritten typeface might sound like a good idea on paper, but it might not work in practice. It’s super important that your brand typeface is legible. We recommend only using Handwritten or Decorative typefaces for the logo. For anything else contrast it with a sans-serif or serif typeface for easy reading and getting the brand message across easily.

We hope this makes sense and that you now know a little bit more about choosing a typeface for your brand. If you’re still struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out to us hello@boldcolours.com and we will be happy to give you some advice.