Updated: Mar 20, 2020
The beauty of type lies in its utility; prettiness without readability serves neither author nor reader." - James Felici
In my last blog post on brand books I covered brand colors. This blog post covers the complex world of fonts, and science shows that yes, your font matters. And most definitely, being able to read it matters. And what the font?! It's actually called typeface? Yup, but whatever. I'll be applying the words interchangably throughout this post.
I'm really into data supporting decisions, and the decision to take time to think about your typeface and choosing one that makes sense with your product is supported with studies dating back to the 1930s. In a more recent study from this millennia, researches in the UK proved that people choose products based on the perceived appropriateness of the font related to the industry, even more so than the name of your business!
STEP 15: WHAT THE FONT?!
According to my very quick Google search, there are no more than 260,000 fonts to choose from. So, no worries. It's easy to choose with so few options. Like choosing your colors, think about how you want your customers to feel. For example, a 2006 study at Wichita State University's Software Usability Research Laboratory found that san serif typefaces, such as Arial, Calibri, Century Gothic, among others, are associated with an all-purpose personality while serif fonts, like Times New Roman are thought of as more traditional. Script or handwritten fonts align with creative and funny personalities. So, with that, choose your font!
STEP 16: WRITE DOWN YOUR FONT
Like everything else in your brand book, document and explain your creative decisions. Reveal your creative genius with clarity.
STEP 17: MORE FONTS?!
In addition to choosing your general font, the next step is to choose associated fonts to use for specific purposes, such as headlines, body copy, and more. This can be as simple as choosing the bold or semi bold version of your general font. Also, if your main font is a san serif font, you may want to consider a complementary serif font for text heavy printed materials, such as case studies and reports. Serif fonts are easier to read in print because the letters are more distinct and easier for our brains to recognize.
STEP 18: SPACING
Spacing between characters (kerning) can dramatically change the feeling of your typeface. Consider your options and try them out to achieve your desired effect. Explain with details how to get that distinctive look you want. Also consider leading (the space between lines).
If you need more guidance on determining your brand personality to choose your font check out these previous posts. Judge a Brand Book by its Cover and Get to Know Yourself and Sound It Out. Need more help, feel free to contact me!
I am obsessed with making brands clear by developing identities that inspire your customers, staff, your friends, your mom (if she fits into who you are trying to work with.) It's fun, refreshing, and invigorating to work with new clients.
I know that branding doesn't float everyone's boat, and as a new or small business owner, you have a lot to do. I can help you create the calm in the chaos. Message me here.
My next post will cover imagery!
Until then….Be Consistent. Be Clear. Be seen.