Is Your Font Conveying Your Brand The Way You Think?

Posted June 6, 2022 by Diego Escala

A lot of time and energy goes into creating a company’s brand — from its mission statement to the logo treatment and color palette. But a somewhat underappreciated part of brand creation seems to be the font selection, as evident from the literal hundreds of Helvetica logos you see on a daily basis. I’m not trying to harp on Helvetica as a font; I’m legally required to like it as a designer, but c’mon guys I know we can do better.

For example, do you go for a serif or sans-serif font? And what even are those? Serif fonts refer to those little “feet” that stick out from the lettering; you’ve likely seen them on law office signs or used in newspapers. Sans serif is exactly that: fonts that don’t have those extended bits protruding from them. A typical serifed font you’ve seen (and likely used if you typed a Word doc in the last 20 years) is Times New Roman. Serifed fonts like that have an almost old-timey, traditional look to them and work great if you want your brand to convey a more serious image to customers. If you’re opening up a hip new ice cream shop downtown, you might want to stay away from serif fonts.

Sans-serif fonts, however, are great for giving your brand a more modern look to it and are usually in the family where you’ll find the more uniquely styled fonts. One sans-serif font I particularly like a lot is Lemon Milk; it’s a font that sticks out with its sharp, more pointed letters. If you want your company to radiate a more youthful, modern vibe, then a sans-serif typeface would definitely be the ideal pick.

There’s also slab-serif, script or handwritten typefaces to choose from, and while all these types seem overwhelming, I’m sure you’ll quickly start to gravitate toward one or two when you think about what you want your font to say about your brand. Of course, you don’t always have to stay locked in to one of these types. If your company has been around for a time, swapping to a new typeface might introduce a much needed refresh to your brand. Google famously had a serif typeface for nearly 20 years until it changed to a sans-serif typeface. It was still recognizably Google, but the new look felt like a fresh facelift.

And while all of that is important, also remember to pick something that’s accessible. You don’t want your font to look fine on a computer screen, but on print it looks funky. And be sure to stay away from the particularly wacky fonts that might make your logo illegible. Kia’s new logo is an example of that, whereas the old logo was definitely dated and in need of a refresh, the new one comes off as confusing to read with it almost looking like it says “KN” instead of “KIA.” You don’t want to repeat that mistake.

So the next time you’re looking to create a company, or maybe give your current one a refresh, maybe take some time to see if the font you selected is properly conveying your message instead of picking the first font you see.

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