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  • Writer's pictureIan Morris

Typography series: Choosing the right font for your brand

Picture of a selector with different choices of font

Choosing the the right font can form the cornerstone of a brand, changing the way we feel, view and trust what we see. It shouldn’t be overlooked. With the oldest fonts going back over 250 years and new ones appearing all the time, there’s a font out there to reflect your brand personality, enhance your brand story and support the rest of your logo.

In this typography series, we understand what makes the selection of typography crucial. We explain how fonts help us to process information and how they change perceptions.

Font choice to evoke emotion

We know humans have emotional responses to colour. Reacting to a font might seem far-fetched but studies show that when we’re reading it’s not just the language used that’s important, it’s the look of the letter.

In 2016, printers Solopress did a study of 1,000 people in the UK to see which fonts they recognised and how they made them feel. Arial was the most recognised with 1/3 of people asked being able to identify it.

When asked about which font they trusted, New Times Roman came out top. Many academic publications use it and it was created for the Times newspaper, which could be why it evoked trust from the respondents.

With fonts being familiar and having traits like feeling trustworthy, it reinforces the work done by the name, icon, colours and all the other brand aspects.

Some brands have used a font to create a style that is synonymous with them.

For example, Coca-cola has distinguished a swirly style that they’ve perfected over 100 years. It’s such an intrinsic part of the brand that it’s unimaginable what it would be like with anything but its world renowned logo. In 2018, it updated its font slightly by introducing its own customised font and in doing so avoiding the cost of such high usage.

Is big always better?

When deciding on a font for your logo there’s a further decision needed on whether it’s in upper of lower case. Upper case logos show authority but if not properly used, it can be harsh and abrupt. Lower case offers a softer, more playful option but could look weak or unprofessional in the wrong circumstance.

The weight (thickness) of a font can also play a part in this. Each type of font will have a range of weights, vastly changing the look and feel of the letters. Lighter versions can give a delicate feel providing a feeling of movement and flow whereas heavier weights bring boldness and give structure.

The varied look of different cases and weightings of font can be shown in the case of the popular Helvetica. Companies like BMW and 3M use it in a bold manner. For BMW, it reflects the brands high status and 3M strength and durability. This is different to Lufthansa and the New York subway, both of these are tasked with helping transport passengers safely to their destination, which have a softer and more approachable feel.

Fonts that connect with your audience

A brand often has a number of audience types it needs to connect with. Sometimes it will need to have additional fonts in reserve for times when the main font can’t convey the messaging effectively.

A softer font, maybe a handwritten style, can be effective if you need a soft, personal touch. MailChimp’s logo font gives a flowing and connected feel, perfectly connected to their friendly, easy-to-use ethos.

If your audience is young, old or has any visual impairment, readability could be an issue. Here choosing a clear and accessible font will mean you can clearly communicate with them. Strong bold fonts are more applicable than decorative ones.

Need some help?

There are many things to consider with a font whether it be in your logo or your day to day use. All Threerooms brands are created with carefully crafted logos and considered fonts.

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An award-winning branding agency, Threerooms has spent over 15 years making brands stronger and businesses more successful. Whether modernising brands with meaning or crafting effective marketing campaigns, our amazing team is focused on delivering brand transformation while providing exceptional customer service.

Want to work together? Get in touch today.

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