Fonts are the crux of the document or design in which it is to be used. A complete knowledge about the font type, its importance and its applicability is a must for every designer as each font type is not meant for every business house. Readability is not the only feature that you as a designer must think of while choosing a font type. You must also check whether the font type that you have chosen is in sync with the business type of your client or not. And, what would be its impact on the people who would not just read it in a single breath, but read it on an emotional and personal level.
Apart from the visual images that you use in your branding, fonts are also equally significant in explaining what your brand is, what it does, and how it is beneficial for its audience. If you end up finalising a wrong font type, it can be inimical for your business objectives. Thus, a correct font type for an organization is the one that defines the brand’ industry, business type, and which is easily understandable to the public.
The definition of a perfect font type for a brand is the one that is unique and memorable, compatible on all platforms, legible, and that clearly demonstrates the personality of your brand. By looking at the brand name of a company written in Comic sans font we can instantly denote that the brand is young, playful and fun. Whereas, on seeing a text in Times New Roman font type we get a feeling that the brand is a serious or an old one. Our mind-set as well as mood changes per the font type we see around us. If we read a newspaper in a funny or disturbing font type, our interest to read it would be lost as it makes reading a difficult task. This article would help you understand the types of font that suits the industry in which it is being used, how those fonts are selected to meet the business values and how to combine two or more fonts and use it for one particular business or industry.
Understanding the Impressions of a Brand through its Fonts
Just like people mix and match different clothes to put on the best outwear outfit, fonts play the same role in designing. A good mix of appropriate and relevant fonts makes a design meaningful. Fonts can drastically affect viewer’s thinking process followed by subsequent action. Fonts can be The Call-To-Action (CTA) key for the customers. Choosing a certain type of font or finalizing a set of font pairing can be influenced by trend effect prevailing in the industry to which your organization belongs to. But, organizations can choose to move differently and portray itself in a distinct manner.
The special quality about trends is that they are neither industry specific nor constant as they do not follow any pre-defined rule book. But, saying this we do not mean certain style of fonts that are particularly associated with emotional traits. For instance, multiple geometric fonts in equal proportions mean purity, simplicity and cleanliness, which many technological brands are trying to imply in their branding strategy. On the contrary, leading fashion houses have never fading love for high in contrast modern fonts that include bracketed serifs, a smooth arch like curve, and a stylish hairline strokes, showcasing a perennial style. Right font not only gives words to a brand name of an organization, but it also lends a vocal cord to the brand to speak on its behalf. This renders a personality to the business of its own.
7 Basic Font Classifications for Your Brand
Mainly, a company requires at least 3 types of fonts. First, that matches your brand’s overall beauty. Second, a powerful secondary font, and lastly a clear body copy font. Each font type has its own strengths and weaknesses that make them suitable for some business type and not for all. Before a person go through the whole branding concept of the company, its font type will impart a message to him. Thus, to make this receipt a successful one as intended by the company correct font type is a must. So, read about the common 7 font groups below, and learn which group is suitable for your business type.
1. Serif: Originated in the 15th Century, Serif font is the oldest font type in the category. As Serif fonts are the originals and the first to be designed, they are seen as traditional, trustworthy and classic type. This font type is named so because of a feet type stretch at the top and bottom of each letter. Businesses who want to be seen as a timeless and sophisticated brand should use Serif font type. For example, Vogue, HSBC, Time Magazine, etc. From many centuries, Serif fonts are the favourite font type for printing houses. It consists of some extra details on the letters, mainly on their head and tail, commonly referred to as tags or flags. This font has all the qualities of an old man in the family trees i.e. dependability, neutrality, reliability, conventionality, etc. Names of a few popular Serif fonts are:
2. Sans-serif: With emergence in the 19th Century, Sans-serif font type is considered as a modern font compared to its ancestral font Serif. The term “Sans-serif” means ‘without serif’, and it showcases more simplicity than Serif font that makes its viewers look at it as a minimal and clean font type. In recent times, Bold Sans-serif font has been adopted by world’s leading tech companies, like Google, Facebook, Netflix, etc., because of its easy readability, straight forwardness, futuristic, contemporary, etc., features. Unlike Serif fonts, Sans-serif does not have any flags or tags on the letter’s head or tail. Initially, it found its place as headlines in printing agencies along with Serif fonts that were used for body texts. Companies that are easily approachable and interactive love to use this type of font in their branding. Names of a few popular Serif fonts are:
3. Slab serif: Known as a special type of Serif fonts, Slab serifs are larger and heavier in size. In contrast to the traditional serifs, they look much bolder, rugged and unconventional. Organizations that do not compromise with their production quality, evident from their long history of successful business and wants to continue portraying itself in the same way use this font to promote their brand. Letters in Slab serif font are bolder at bottom are mainly meant to be used on posters, billboards and other outdoor advertisement mediums that are visible even from a distance. Companies can use Slab serif font in their titles or headlines to give a retro vintage look to your brand name. Such fonts are mainly used by electronics, automobile, restaurant and marketing/media companies. Few such examples are Sony, Honda, Volvo, etc.
Names of a few popular Serif fonts are:
4. Script Fonts: Known to make the text look unique and elegant, Script fonts consists of cursive letters that gets connected to each other through character strokes. This continuity gives them an uninterrupted flow. Like, every human has its own writing style, each Script font are different from one another, imparting a unique identity to each. Script fonts are a part of decorative fonts as it gives a creative and carefree look of the brand. Companies that are into creative business, like social media companies, baby products manufacturers, automobile, etc., use script fonts. For example, Instagram, Johnson & Johnson, Ford, etc. Even brands that want to connect to its target audience on an emotional level can use this font type. The script fonts that have more curves represent feminism, which women oriented brands can use to their advantage.
Script fonts are further divided into two categories i.e. casual and formal. Formal script fonts have big curls called swashes and prevalent in invitation business, book covers and other traditional designing work.
Casual script curves have least smashes and curves, depicting a simple and modern look. Casual script fonts are an ideal choice for designing business logos, posters, banners, postcards, visiting cards, website headers, brochure headers, and more. Names of a few popular Serif fonts are:
5. Handwritten Fonts: Similar to the literal meaning of the word “Handwritten”, this font type gives a feeling upon seeing that they are actually hand written. Being a recent addition to the font world, it is drastically different from the traditional Serif fonts and includes few weird letterforms as well. Whoever sees a text in this font gets a personal feeling on seeing it. It is best for business houses who want to show themselves as informal, young, playful, approachable and funky. Handwritten fonts are even famous in entertainment industry and cafes. For example, Disney, John Hancock, the Coffee Shop, etc. Few handwritten fonts have less symbols and punctuations that make them suitable for headlines in print industry. Names of a few popular Serif fonts are:
6. Decorative Fonts: Decorative fonts are supposed to make a text look distinctive, stylized and dramatic. These are the most diverse and broad group of fonts among all the categories. If a brand requires a highly stylized presentation they can use Decorative fonts that include fonts of unique forms, proportions or shapes.
Companies who want to make their brand memorable and lost lasting in a person’s mind can blindly use Decorative fonts. For example, IBM, Lego, to name a few. Fonts under this type are all different from one another, but their personality traits, like intriguing, flamboyant or fun joins them together. Names of a few popular Serif fonts are:
7. Modern Fonts: Born in the 18th Century, Modern font types are said to be attractive and structured. Modern fonts stress more vertically and can be perceived as a resolute and sometimes cold due to zero inclination. Also, known as Didone, the letters under these fonts have no slants. Features that modern fonts express are intelligence, smartness, elegance, and determination. Companies, like Red Bull, Calvin Klein and more have used this font type in their logos.
Names of a few popular Serif fonts are:
Thus, by now you must have understood that a font type is not associated to any particular industry. Selection of a font type completely depends on the business type and how a business owner wants his brand to get marketed and advertised. If you being a designer choose a wrong combination of fonts, the whole design would be like a failed marriage that dies a gruesome death at the end. So, in order to save your brand and the business from inviting a suicidal death, you must select a font type that clearly suits your industry, meets your business objectives and is easily understandable to the target audience. Fonts might play a small part in your branding process, but is sure to create a big impact on your business growth and development. Now, whether you want this impact to be favourable or unfavourable is completely up to you or your graphic designer.