HOW TO STAY ON BRAND: FONTS
Let’s jump right in … When you use inconsistent fonts for your brand designs (social media graphics, packaging, website, postcards, etc), you are decreasing brand awareness and reducing your perceived quality as a business.
For my designers, I know you are wondering “why are they not using the word - typeface or typography?”
We have found that the term font is what all clients, no matter their design proficiency, can understand. So we will use the term “font,” but most often you will see the word “typeface” when talking about fonts in branding.
LET'S ANSWER THE TOP 5 QUESTIONS OUR CLIENTS ASK ABOUT FONTS:
What are the main categories of fonts?
Serif - a serif is a small line or stroke regularly attached to the end of a larger stroke in a letter or symbol. Serif fonts have been considered traditional but based on their line thickness and scale, they can feel modern.
Sans Serif - “sans” means without, thus a sans serif font is a letter or symbol that has no additional strokes on the ends. A sans serif font is often used for clean and modern looks. It is legible and is great for paragraph text.
Script - a script font can vary greatly from ornate, fancy, and embellished to simple with slight curves. A script is great for accent fonts in a brand.
Handwritten - a handwritten font is usually a little more casual than a script. It can have the curve and connections like a script, but can also be disconnected letters. Handwritten fonts add personality to a brand.
How many fonts should you have for your brand?
When we develop a brand, we include 2-3 fonts. When you only have one font for your brand, graphics begin to look flat and it's hard to draw attention to key information when it all looks the same. On the other extreme, we see people use too many fonts for their brand. They add in fonts as they design each social media graphic or add a new page to their website or design a new brochure. There are times to include an additional accent font for special events or campaigns but normally stick to your 2-3 brand fonts.
Don’t get distracted - stay on brand!
What are font pairings and why do they matter?
A font pairing is when we choose 2-3 fonts that compliment each other and should be used together in a logo or design. If you use one font for all text in your designs, it can feel boring and monotonous. The eye has nowhere to focus. Different fonts, weights (bold vs thin), and sizes can help prioritize information.
Here are two examples of pairing fonts:
1. If your font for your logo and titles is an all caps serif font, you might add a clean san serif font for the tag line and paragraph text.
2. If you have a script or handwritten font, you might pair a serif or san serif with it to balance it out.
There is an art to pairing fonts that complement and don’t compete.
Ask a graphic designer or brand designer to help you!
How do I use fonts for my brand?
Not all of your fonts should be used equally. When you work with a designer, they will tell you which fonts are for titles/headings, paragraph text, or accent text. When we brand a client, we share the font names on their branding board and share the ttf or otf font files so they can download and install them.
When you receive a font file, you will download it to your computer and then install it in your Font Book
(for Mac users). Here is a tutorial we share with clients.
There are many free fonts available, but there are
also fonts that you need to purchase and receive permission to use.
You can find free fonts from websites like dafont.com.
We purchase fonts when necessary through Creative Market.
We also have access to an extensive library through Adobe Fonts because we use the Adobe software for graphic design.
How do I stay on brand when I can only use default fonts (Arial, Times, etc)?
For certain programs, you can only use their default fonts. (Google docs, HTMLSig email signature generator, email marketing platforms, etc.). In these cases, we recommend looking for the type of font that aligns with your brand fonts. For example if you use an all caps serif font for your main font, look for a serif font that is similar and type your headings in all caps. If you use a bold sans serif font, look for a sans serif font and make it bold. It won’t be exact but it will be close to have the same feel.
Some programs like Canva, Wix, and Flodesk will allow
you to upload your font files so that you can easily stay on brand!
If you need help defining your brand fonts, contact Eloise to see if
we are the right fit for you! You can see more of our work here.
If this blog post was helpful, share with others or pin to Pinterest.