What your font choice says about your brand.
At Deearo Marketing, we often talk about brand consistency. You can see our previous blogs about using a consistent tone of voice across all written content connected to your business here, or one about brand transparency here. Today, we want to explain a small facet of brand consistency which is to do with the aesthetics of the written word. The font.
It’s often been said that it’s not just what you say, but how you say it in marketing and especially when it comes to written content, which lacks the intonation or expression of the speaker to guide its meaning. All this is important to consider, to ensure everything to do with your company is aligned and aimed at the same audience, but did you know that the font in which you type also has an impact on how those words are perceived? The font you choose matters and communicates a purpose behind the words. Most people are unconscious of this while reading, but quite a science has been made of finding out what fonts say subliminally to a reader.
Firstly, it’s super important that we stress we’re not suggesting that you write in several different fonts to set the tone for every sentence. Consistency is key as always in marketing. You only need two fonts. One for titles and one for content. That’s it. Just two. If you use the same fonts across your website, marketing materials and any other online content, then viola! You are consistent. But which fonts do you use? That part is harder.
It mostly depends on what your brand image is, or what you want it to be. The font along with other visual elements such as colours and images, controls the impression the reader will have about your company. Let’s make it a good impression. The IFOD explains that “fonts are an important part of written communication. According to typographer Rick Pynor, they ‘express a mood and atmosphere – they give words a certain coloring.’”
It makes sense, because if you compare two brands such as The Times newspaper and, say Innocent juices and smoothies, the fonts for the two logos are very different. The Times’ font implies that they are a trustworthy business with a no-nonsense product and black and white judgement. The serif appearance suggests a historic institution, and a serious one at that. Whatever you think of the actual newspaper, that’s what the font says. Innocent on the other hand hints at the brand’s whimsical and cheeky nature in their use of colours and child-like font in their logo. The sans-serif text indicates that the company is modern and contemporary.
They are both well chosen fonts for their brand. They communicate the impression they wish to project. Although we are rarely aware of it, fonts say all sorts to us as consumers that we don’t even register. Perhaps if The Times had the Innocent smoothie font, fewer people would choose it. Who knows? There must be thousands of fonts in the world, so we’re not going to go through them all, but we have put together a few examples of commonly used fonts with an aim to explain what they say to the reader.
Times New Roman:
This is a classic font, commonly used in publications and printing. Most Writers are told to write only in Times New Roman. It is easy to read for a start, but it’s not appropriate for everything. The IFOD advises that “serif fonts are elegant and classic as well as traditional and conservative.” If you want “traditional and conservative” to be what people expect from your brand, you could do worse that this font.
Arial is a modern, sleek and unpretentious sans-serif (without flourishes) font. It’s sensible for a contemporary impression, there are several options for the typeface including Arial Black, Arial Nova and Arial Narrow so there are plenty of options.
This is a classic sans-serif font with lots of potential. The letters are tall but not hard for the eye to follow. It’s just the right side of professional without seeming cold and detached.
This is a very specific font with an industrial or military feel. Not one for use on a beauty salon’s website perhaps. It could be stylistically right for a paintballing centre though. Harder for the eye to read, it’s not suited to long blocks of text.
This has a sort of country homemaker feel to it. It’s old and new all at once and not too formal.
This is the other end of the spectrum for sure. Hard to read, and a tad niche. This is supposed to emulate calligraphy-type handwriting. Delicate and feminine, there are a number of suitable uses for it including luxury beauty products or baked goods.
This looks more like a film script, or a document written on a typewriter. It could be just right if you want something a bit different, but clear with a touch of vintage.
We could go on, but you get the idea. Our point is that before you publish or post any written content connected to your business, check the font. Ask yourself what it suggests about your brand and is that what you want it to suggest? If not change it. You’ll find dozens of fonts and typefaces on word or adobe or whatever typing software you use. Browse the list and if you’re not sure, get a second opinion.
At Deearo, we always specify the appropriate font for titles and for text in our brand map. We understand that fonts are just another form of written communication and that making sure your font aligns with your brand identity is key. If you need any help figuring out what fonts are right for your business or have any other marketing queries, get in touch with us here and we’ll succeed together.