You can describe typography as what language looks like, and since branding relies heavily on visual appeal, no business should ever underestimate the importance of choosing the right fonts. Just like the colours and the written style you use to represent your brand both online and offline, the fonts you choose will become a distinct part of your branding. Typically, you’ll be choosing a font when you design your brand’s logo and, at this point, you should take into account the important considerations involved in this decision. After all, as is the case with colour schemes, people experience different emotional reactions then they see certain fonts.
In typography, a serif refers to the small decorative strikes and other attachments on letters. Undoubtedly the most common serif font in use today is Times New Roman, a web-safe font supported by almost every device and browser. Serif fonts tend to conjure up an image of the traditional, respectable and reliable, making them a favourite for businesses such as law firms and educational organizations. Other popular serif typefaces include Baskerville and Georgia.
Sans Serif Fonts
Sans serif fonts do not feature the decorative elements of serif fonts, instead leading to a cleaner and more modern look. When it comes to reading large amounts of text, many people prefer sans serif fonts, while more decorative fonts tend to be better suited for use in titles and logos. The most common sans serif font is Arial, which is used on the majority of websites. However, while these fonts are ideal for general use, they often don’t allow for much creativity and uniqueness in logos.
Script fonts should never be used for general writing, but are often ideal for logos and titles due to their elegant and creative appearance. Script fonts form an extremely diverse range of typefaces designed to look more like elegantly handwritten text than printed content. Businesses such as upmarket hotels and restaurants often rely on script fonts for their branding. Edwardian and Bickham Script are among the most popular. However, script fonts such as those designed to mimic everyday handwritten text tend to give a far more informal impression.
Monospaced fonts, of which Courier is the most popular, consist of characters that all occupy exactly the same amount of horizontal space. As such, they resemble the output from a traditional typewriter or a typical command-line operating environment. Courier, among other monospaced fonts, tend to look retro these days, and their use in branding should be approached with care. In some cases, it can make a company’s branding look outdated and kitsch.
Display fonts include a wide range of unique typefaces, so it’s not really possible to apply any general rules to them. However, they do tend to provide a more unique and diverse appearance, giving brands the opportunity to emphasise their creativity. Some display fonts, such as Cooper, have an amusing and almost childish appearance while others, like Valencia, conjure up an expressive and artistic image. Another modern display font is Century Gothic, a favourite among chic establishments such as modern boutique stores and restaurants.
Perhaps the best way to decide which font is best for branding your particular company is to see what your most successful competitors are doing. However, what works for one business might not necessarily work for you, since every company should have its own distinct voice and branding. To give a couple of examples, the LinkedIn logo sets the standard for professionalism with its sans serif logo, while Disney uses a fun display font to appeal to children.