When it comes to branding your business, fonts and typography are just as important to your brand identity as a logo or colour scheme. Whether you’re starting from scratch or you’re redefining your brand guidelines, choosing the right typeface to suit your business is a key part of the branding process.
Who is my audience?
In order to choose an appropriate font for your business, it’s important to consider who you want to see it. Your brand should be influenced by who you are as a business and who your target audience are, and that applies to your typeface too.
For example, just because you’ve found a fun font online, doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for your welding company. If you’re a corporate, professional business, you probably shouldn’t use Comic Sans – however – if you own a petting zoo, you probably have a little more wiggle-room to get funky with your font.
Is it readable?
I know what you’re thinking, this should be a given, right? However, when it comes to choosing the right font and format, it’s easy to ignore simple reading principles in favour of flashy design. Too often people make the mistake of justifying all their text (in brochures, websites, etc) without considering how it impacts the viewers ability to read.
Not only does overly designed text or fanciful fonts make your content difficult to read, it also excludes people with poor sight or reading difficulties, such as dyslexia. Accessibility is important in all industries, but it’s important to keep coming back to your audience and considering what they’d like to see.
Is it accessible?
When branding your business, it’s important to make sure that the typeface you choose is widely available. If you need every member of staff to be able to use your font, you’ll have to consider whether it’s readily available on PCs or Macs, whether it works online, and what kind of license you might need.
For example, Avenir is popular body text font for its simple, easy-to-read, contemporary look, however, while Avenir is available as standard on Mac computers, it will set you back £255 on MyFonts for the entire font family if you’re using PCs!
Do you need to get a license?
Most fonts will require a license; even it’s readily available on your computer, this kind of ‘Desktop license’ doesn’t necessarily cover you for your website or printed marketing materials.
It’s important to make sure you have commercial rights to use the font in your branding – especially if you’re using it as part of your logo. Trying to download bootleg copies of fonts or purchasing the wrong license can lead to trouble down the line. You can read Monotype’s licensing guide here.
Does it allow for good design?
Last, but certainly not least, branding your business is about effective design and communication; so, it’s important that your font, or fonts, allow for great design choices.
A basic rule of design is using hierarchy to highlight which piece of information is the most important. This means using bolder, bigger font styles for titles and easy-to-read type for large pieces of writing. With this in mind, it’s ideal to choose a font with a large family. This means it has bold and italic options, and maybe a few extra weights for special titles and text.
You can always choose extra fonts for unique pieces of text, like reviews and quotes, as long as they’re still appropriate for your brand and accessible to your audience.
How do I get started?
We’re branding experts – we love taking a business and developing brilliant visual communication tools for you to use. Why not ask us what we would do with your brand? You can contact us here.
We put together brand guidelines for our client, Cambrian Packaging – why not take a look?