The top ten ways to make your business typeface rock
Written on the 2 October 2015 by Snap Marketing
Whether you call them fonts, typefaces or typestyles, what you choose for your business speaks volumes about what you stand for.
Like colours, there is a psychology behind fonts. Your choice (or rather, the choice of your graphic designers signed off by you and your other stakeholders) should reflect the intentions of your company.
To be clear it's not about what fonts you LIKE (or don't like) it's about what is appropriate. What sets you apart. Whether you run a conservative accounting firm or a fashion boutique, it's part of the personality of your business.
Why is choosing the right typeface important?
Even if you don't know much about typography, you might be surprised at how influential it can be, without you being aware of it. Whether you view a letterhead, a brochure, a shop sign, or website featuring a specific business, the style of the typography will provide critical information about that company, positive, negative, or neutral.
The same applies to your clients and customers when they see your business associated with, say, a clean, modern font it will inform them that you likely to be a contemporary, forward thinking organisation. Equally, an old fashioned, fussy font might suggest your business is out of touch and unaware of the latest ideas.
What do you need to know about fonts?
At the very least, you need to understand something about the different types of fonts available serif vs. san serif, bold vs. thin, modern vs. traditional. Please no Comic Sans at all costs unless you're a stand up comedian, or perhaps a freelance clown. When you're looking at the subtler aspects of type, here are some basic tips to make it work for your business:
1. Don't copy your competitor. To begin with, if you're copying them, they've done it first, so you are risking their brand being mistaken for yours. It happens all the time.
2. Do your research. While you don't want to copy your rivals, it's a good idea to discover what typography successful companies choose. It will be highly informative and help you decide what kind of font your business might choose.
3. Don't take risks. Choosing an unusual font can often look 'tricky', and be less adaptable than a classic, proven font. Unless you're a type expert, you are on safer ground with a font that won't quickly date or appear to 'try too hard.'
4. Know your weights. Every font comes in different 'weights' usually (but not limited to) light, medium and bold. Be aware that 'bold' doesn't mean simply 'bolding' it as you would in a Word document. The key is to select the correct weight for any situation.
5. Know your family. You may choose one or two fonts, however most fonts have a large 'family', each one being used for a different reason. Try to avoid fonts that don't leave you plenty of options. It's also fine to choose two fonts together, as long as they are complimentary.
6. Colour me in. Black isn't the only choice. When you are establishing the 'look' of your business, you should also consider a colour palette that will represent you accurately. Generally, colour works best for logos and headline statements. Using colour for the copy or text can often look fussy and affect legibility.
7. Be easy on the eye. If your font is too 'fussy,' or your line spacing is poor, it will make any communication hard for the viewer to read. Good typography is always legible, whatever the medium.
8. Size matters. The size and weight of fonts have to work in harmony. For example, a headline might work best if two different sizes are chosen the larger font can emphasise the key points you want to make.
9. Web friendly fonts. Many fonts don't work well on the internet, so make sure you choose one that does. Also, remember that websites should work on mobile devices and your chosen font and font sizes should be able to adapt readily.
10. Seek professional help. Graphic designers are trained to understand typography and will know how to select the most suitable fonts for your business. Their expertise will be money well spent and ensure your company will look totally professional.
A final note
There's a lot to learn about typefaces and it helps to do your homework before you commit to any fonts that will represent you. No, you won't become an expert overnight, but you will be able to understand more about the rights and wrongs that can be made in the complex the world of typography.
Hopefully your knowledge will also help you brief your graphic designer and understand what they are saying when they make recommendations!