Before we get into choosing a brand font, you need to understand the character traits of each font category. If you are not a fan of typography, you may not be familiar with the idea of font categories. But they can be a good starting point in your search for the perfect brand fonts. Font categories are classifications that help designers select, combine, and identify fonts. Each category has its own unique characteristics, known as font psychology. So understanding them is critical to finding the right fonts for your brand personality. They will help you narrow down your search and find the right feel for your brand.
In general, there are six classifications of fonts from which to choose. Each offers unique characteristics that can help convey a brand's personality.
Serif Fonts - Serif fonts are timeless classics, traditional and sophisticated. These fonts evoke feelings of history, tradition, honesty, and integrity. A serif logo font is appropriate for brands that exude seriousness and tradition.
Sans Serif Fonts - Sans-serif fonts are also much simpler in form than serif fonts. These fonts are easy to read and modern and work well with most shapes and designs in your branding. Use this font for logos that are more minimalist and straightforward. Sans-serif fonts are trending and are a good choice for online brands because of their clear readability on screen.
Slab Serif Fonts - a special type of serif font that features larger, more blocky serifs. This makes them look a bit more rugged, bold, and quirky than traditional serif fonts. They add an old-fashioned, almost nerdy charm to a project or brand. They need to be used judiciously and are generally better suited for logos and headers than for longer text, but are still pleasing to the eyes.
Script Fonts - Script fonts are intuitive, cursive, formal, elegant, and feminine. But be careful. Resizing logos can often cause readability issues. Ideally, logos in this font should be short to maintain readability. These fonts are basically playful, but they are not suitable for every brand. When using a font for your logo, make sure it fits the feel your brand wants to convey.
Display fonts or decorative fonts - These are highly stylized fonts that evoke very special feelings in the reader. You should always be careful when using decorative or display fonts. Many companies design their own fonts to stand out. Display fonts or decorative fonts come in all sorts of variations and are unique. A memorable logo font can help distinguish your brand and resonate with your target audience.
Handwritten fonts - Handwritten fonts differ from script fonts in that they use a more natural writing style. There are a number of handwriting styles, so this font can be very broad. They are considered artistic, playful, and casual. They are popular with independent labels and businesses such as cafes or breweries.
Now that you know the classification of fonts, we can turn to how to choose the right font for your brand.
Choosing your brand's font is one of the most important marketing decisions you'll ever make. And a brand logo is highly dependent on the font you choose. You have endless options when it comes to developing your brand.
To make sure you select the right fonts, follow these steps.
Ø First, you need to determine the personality of your brand. You should consider whether your brand is sophisticated or casual, serious or playful. Do you want to emphasize tradition and heritage or portray yourself as an innovator? These factors will influence your brand personality and the font you choose for your logo. If you are a financial firm, it may not be appropriate to use a highly decorative font that suggests artistry rather than seriousness. If you do wedding photography, you should use a font that is more romantic. Lately, brands have been moving to more classic fonts that can be boring, but never run the risk of scaring away a potential client.
Ø Consider who will buy your products. If you know that your target audience prefers to shop in classy boutiques, you can choose an elegant font that appeals to their upscale sensibilities. If the target audience for your products is younger children, a fun and friendly logo font might be the right choice.
Ø Make sure your brand fonts are legible. If your audience can not see the text in your marketing graphics at first glance, they will not bother to understand it. That's why it's important that you choose legible fonts. They make the text in your design look visually appealing while conveying the main message that appeals to your audience.
Ø You should not choose more than 2-3 fonts for your brand, although a single font is often better. To create a strong contrast between fonts, you can also use two different fonts that have some similarities. For example, serif fonts have small margins at the ends of each character, while sans-serif fonts do not. Combine the two to create enough contrast to stand out from the noise, yet be within the safe limits of being outrageous.
Ø Choose fonts that are flexible. In addition to the logo, you can use your brand fonts to design marketing materials such as flyers, posters, business cards, brochures, and more. Remember that the fonts you choose now will be used for years to come. So make sure your fonts are flexible enough to be used for all your marketing graphics.
Ø Consider the typographic hierarchy. A typographic visual hierarchy refers to how letters are displayed and where they most effectively attract the viewer's eye. When choosing a few fonts for your brand, pay attention to how they look together. You want the font for your headings to match the subheadings and vice versa. Determine which font to use for display and which font to use for body text. Swap styles to see which one has the best structural layout.
Ø Explore typography. Study the anatomy of letterforms, how to distinguish different fonts, and how different font shapes or styles can evoke certain feelings. All this information will help you make your final choice.
The most important rule is to choose fonts that are legible and clear. They do not tire the eyes even after prolonged reading. Choose fonts that look timeless and classic. Do not choose fonts that are closely associated with another brand - just because someone copied the Disney font and offered it for free download does not mean it's a good idea or even legal to use it. Make it unique and different from other brands.
Now that you have a better idea of which fonts are best for your brand, it will be easier to create a clear style guide to ensure your company's marketing remains cohesive across all platforms.
Above we discussed different types of fonts and how to choose fonts for your brand. It is questionable how you want to get your fonts and where you can download them.
There are some font libraries that offer free open-source fonts:
Free fonts do not mean you have to pay regularly, but they do mean you get high-quality fonts. While free font libraries are convenient, they usually offer a limited selection of fonts, and those fonts may only be available in a few styles (like Bold or Italic). It can be difficult to find font families with different weights and styles (such as Light, Regular, Semibold, Bold, and more). Most of the free fonts available on the Internet come with restricted licenses, meaning you can only use them for personal projects. However, there are also websites that offer free fonts with commercial licenses. Check the license for each font you download before using it for your projects.
Paid fonts have a unique style and design element and cannot be considered common. Paid fonts do not cause licensing issues, but may have usage restrictions or additional fees.
Font libraries offer paid licenses for fonts, including:
Adobe Fonts (formerly Typekit)
These libraries give you access to many more options, but can be expensive. Most paid font libraries charge individual fees for each type of font license. So if you want to use your new font on the web, in a mobile app, and for print, you'll likely have to pay for three separate font licenses. Whether you choose free or paid fonts is up to you, but keep in mind where your branded fonts will be used when making your decision.
Did you know that it takes people 17 milliseconds to form an opinion when they see your brand? That means you do not have a second chance to make a first impression.
Rather than choosing fonts randomly and leaving things to chance, the wise thing to do would be to consult with a branding agency or consultant and let them come up with tailored suggestions based on your inputs about the business and your target audience.