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How to choose the right font for your brand

How to choose the right font for your brand

Building an effective brand identity is not always an easy task. Your logo design, brand messaging, brand colours, and brand fonts should all come together to tell the story of your brand.

In this blog post, we will help you choose the right font for your brand.

Firstly, let’s consider… what is a perfect brand font? To put it simply, any font choice needs to be:

  • unique & memorable
  • versatile
  • able to work on every platform
  • able to communicate your brand personality with ease.

Get to know your brand personality

Every brand identity needs a well-defined brand personality. A clear brand personality will be what your customers relate to, connect to and remember you for. Having a brand story can also help with this process. 

It may also be worth considering if your current brand has the right personality. If it doesn’t, it might be time for a rebrand.

All of the components of your brand – your brand voice, brand colour scheme, logo design, and brand fonts – should align with and communicate your brand personality. 

If your brand personality isn’t already well-defined, spend some time thinking about how you’d like your brand to be perceived before you try to find your brand fonts. 

Different font styles have different connotations and evoke different feelings, so choosing a brand font before you’ve defined your brand’s personality may not be productive!

Understand the personality traits of each font style

If you’re not a typography nerd, you might not be familiar with the idea of font styles. But they can be a good place to start your search for the perfect brand fonts.

Each style has its own individual traits (this is sometimes referred to as font psychology), so getting your head around these styles is critical for finding the right fonts for your brand personality. 

They’ll help you narrow down your search and hone in on the right feel for your brand. To sum this up, here are the personality traits of the 5 top font styles:

  • Serif fonts are classic, traditional, and trustworthy
  • Sans-serif fonts are modern, minimal, and clean
  • Script fonts are elegant and unique
  • Handwritten fonts are informal and artistic
  • Decorative fonts are stylised, distinctive, and dramatic

Most brands will likely need a Serif or Sans-serif font type for their brand font, so we’ll focus on these two.

Serif fonts

If you’re going for a traditional look and feel in your designs, you’re definitely going to want to go the serif route. Serif fonts are a great choice for more traditional businesses (like law practices, financial firms, or insurance companies) and for more corporate-leaning designs (like marketing brochures)

Because serif fonts are the original font style, we generally perceive them as classic, traditional, and trustworthy.

Sans-serif fonts

Sans-serif fonts didn’t emerge until the 19th century – much more recently than the traditional serif fonts, so we tend to perceive them as more modern.

Sans-serif fonts are also simpler in form than serif fonts, so they tend to give a sense of minimalism and cleanliness. These are good for businesses who don’t need such a corporate image.

Know your budget and licensing requirements

Before you get serious about picking your brand fonts, you should think about how you’re going to source your fonts.

Some font libraries offer free, open-source fonts, including:

While convenient, free font libraries tend to offer a limited selection of fonts, and these fonts might only come in a few different styles (like bold or italic). 

It might be hard to find font families with a range of different font weights and styles (like light, regular, semibold, bold, and more).

Pick brand fonts that match your brand personality

Once you’re familiar with your brand personality and you’ve got a handle on the different font styles, you should be ready to try out some fonts for your brand image.

But the font styles we reviewed above don’t really tell the whole story when it comes to font personalities. There’s a ton of variation within each font style that impacts the vibe of each font. How you pair the fonts also plays a huge role too!

Some font pairings that work for one brand personality, may work differently for another brand..

For example, let’s say we pair a bold serif header with a nondescript sans-serif subheader, for an approachable yet trustworthy feel.

The contrast between serif and sans-serif styles makes them a natural pairing, allowing you to balance the modern traits of the sans-serif font with the trustworthy vibe of the serif font.

Here’s some other ideas on how to match a font style with your brand personality:

  • Use a single, minimal sans-serif font for a modern, professional look
  • Use thin, stylised, sans-serif fonts for a high-end, elegant feel
  • Use thick, rounded sans-serif fonts for a young, friendly feel
  • Use a single traditional serif font for a conservative, trustworthy feel

Make sure your brand fonts meet three basic requirements

After you’ve chosen one or two brand fonts that align with your brand personality, there are a few final checks you should do before pitching them to your client or manager.

Brand fonts must be flexible

Considering you’re probably going to be stuck with these fonts for years to come, you’ll need to make sure your brand fonts work well for every medium (including print, web, and mobile).

Brand fonts should have multiple font weights

Multiple font weights (i.e. light, regular, semibold, and bold) are critical for building a clear text hierarchy, which should be specified in your brand style guidelines.

You’ll need to use the different font weights to differentiate between headers, subheaders, body text, callouts, and quotes in both print and online media.

Brand fonts must be versatile

Finally, brand fonts must be legible. It should be easy to read and understand any text styled in your brand fonts. This includes uppercase or lowercase, large or small, numbers or letters.

Conclusion

Much like any other brand design challenge, picking brand fonts is all about finding those that match your brand personality (and making sure they’ll work for anything you throw at them). The fonts you choose will have a big impact on the appearance of your brand, so getting them right first time is critical.

Let's all get creative together

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