By Dana Koman
Typography and branding, although not mutually exclusive, go together like beans and rice. They just work. Finding or creating the right typography helps define your brand and could propel your company forward. But what is typography and how do you make it work for you?
Typography is, simply, the art of arranging fonts into something creative. A Google search suggests there are more than 24,000 different styles of fonts in the world. After learning this staggering fact, we asked ourselves, “how could new brands possibly know which is the correct font to use?” Here are our suggestions to begin the typography process.
Personality is key. Think about the personality of your company? What story are you trying to tell? Is your brand high-end sophistication or more relaxed? The little nuances in design communicate a lot of things to consumers. For example, Serif font is more traditional but San-Serif is more modern. The personality of your brand shines through your selection of typography. It’s one of the first things people see and it’s important to make a lasting impression.
Consistency across the board. You only want one or two fonts to represent your brand for the long term. Once selected, build the font into your brand standards. By limiting the fonts, you simplify communication and production. For example, if two different people were creating a PowerPoint, they’ll know right away what fonts to use. As your brand grows, so does your font’s representation. Your brand will be recognizable because of consistency. By choosing a font that you know you’ll use for a long time, you’ll advance with the best foot forward.
The road less traveled. From a branding standpoint, designers know that Helvetica is a perfectly designed font. It’s hard to mess up. It’s so well designed, in fact, that designers utilize the font too often. Sometimes, it’s appropriate because it’s considered by many as the pinnacle of all fonts. But when you’re building a brand, the character of your font reflects its uniqueness and it may be beneficial to choose something that’s considered more “out of the box.”
Allow yourself time to explore different variations of typography. Create a multitude of word-based designs until you find the one that truly speaks to your brand. You may surprise yourself with the creative process and its results.
After researching the art of typography, we discovered that more commonly used fonts, Times New Roman and Papyrus, are now considered “boring and cliché” among designers. In fact, the most expensive movie to produce to date, “Avatar,” received flak from digit-heads for using Papyrus for its credits and Na’vi translations instead of something a bit more creative or original.
Many of the 24,000-plus fonts available online are free to download and add to your word processing database. Before downloading, research the source to avoid malware.