Is Font Important?
There are 100,000 types of font and counting. That might sound like a pretty high number, but it makes sense when you think about it. Fonts are used in practically everything we see – stores, signs, websites, license plates, you name it.
The importance of fonts goes largely unrecognized, but they have the power to make and break brands. If a brand doesn’t style their fonts in the correct way, they can send consumers running. But if a brand uses their fonts to create a highly stylized and impactful design, drawing consumer interest will be simple.
The key is to choose fonts that match your brand in both functionality and aesthetic. So here is everything you need to know to choose the right fonts for your brand.
Main Types of Font
There are five types of font that are used most often and are most recognizable for their unique characteristics. They are
- Serif – Classic looking fonts like Times New Roman, used most often for long copy due to readability, distinguished by the little ‘feet’ coming off of the letters
- Sans Serif – Sleek looking fonts without ‘feet’ on the letters, straight up and down text like Arial with no marks of stylization, also used for long copy
- Slab – Antique looking fonts, can be stylized like type writer font, such as American Typewriter, should not be used for a lot of copy due to difficult readability
- Script – Fancy and elegant looking fonts that looks like cursive, such as Snell Roundhand, should not be used for long copy due to extremely difficult readability
- Decorative – Highly stylized unique fonts, should only be used for logos and never for copy, fonts like Zapfino
Out of these five types of fonts, you will need to choose a font for your logo, a secondary font for other headings, and a main font for body copy. Mainly reserve Slab, Script, and Decorative fonts for logos, since they are dramatic statement-makers.
What You Need to Know About Using Fonts for Your Brand
Before a consumer reads any of your words, the font they see is just an image. Consumers perceive and from judgements about what they see in mere milliseconds. So that means that they will have an instant gut reaction to your brand’s typography.
Many other products and typefaces clutter store shelves and online store pages. So make sure you choose font styles that cut through the noise and speak to the consumer before they even read your words.
Along with instantaneous reactions, people have an emotional response to type. Certain styles can evoke feelings of trust, romance, etc. so the mood and emotion of the business should match the type they use.
Simon Garfield, author of “Just My Type” says that font “changes the emotion of what we say. We use it to express our individuality. If we all used the same thing, what a boring place we’d be in.”
Once consumers actually begin to read your copy, a good font will quietly fade to the background. Fonts should be pleasant in an unconscious way – they should please the consumers eyes but blend in so the consumer is seeing the message itself and not the font. It should never distract from or overwhelm the product message.
Since your fonts will be communicating important messages to consumers, this message should be delivered in a clear and concise manner. Type face should be easy to read and shouldn’t wear on the eyes. This means that font is an appropriate size for reading (nothing smaller than 12 pt.), the font shows up well against the chosen background, and the reader doesn’t have to strain their eyes to look at the style of font .
This principle is about ordering your fonts to best communicate your message to the consumer. Typographic hierarchy is all about organization, which supports readability.
Copy and content that is organized provides a clear path for consumers to follow. A clear path leads them directly to the message you want to send. Breaking up your content and separating your logo or heading, subheadings, images, and copy makes it easier for consumers to look at, read, and digest.
Once you decide how to order your information, you will know which fonts will be going where. Logos, section headlines, and body copy will all have their respective places. Using this arrangement, you can figure out which font to make each piece of copy.
For cohesive packaging, choose to pair and combine fonts that contrast yet support each other. It can help to choose fonts that are in the same family but have different sizes or weights. It is all about what looks most balance. Using fonts that are too similar can cause the copy to blend together and create a messy blur. Using fonts that are too different can look odd, as if they were all jumbled together at random.
In relation to size, consumers are used to seeing small and minimalist font in association with higher priced or luxury products. To avoid making your brand seem cheap or low quality, avoid using large font throughout your brand and packaging. However, don’t feel like it can’t play around with size and test different options. Just make sure whatever size font you choose is still comfortably readable.
Along with size, bring symmetry into the overall packaging design by playing with spacing. Try different amounts of space between the logo font and copy font to determine which arrangement looks most comfortable to the eye. Also try adding more or less spacing between letters of copy to determine which amount of spacing adds balance and harmony to the overall design.
You might have to create many different font options and arrangements before you find the one that works best for your brand. Although it can be a process, consumers gravitate toward products with cohesive and balanced packaging, so it will pay off in the end. Ultimately, weigh your options and choose the font that gives your brand a voice to speak your consumers.