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Having a strong brand & website is what will see you apart from your competitors

Don't type at me in that tone!

Updated: Feb 19, 2023

Image of an open book showing different fonts

Did you know that your choice of font says a lot about you and your brand? So what is your font saying about you?

Why should you care about your font?

Just like you and me, fonts have a personality that can help communicate your brand to your customers and evoke emotions (which is key). Fonts not only aid in the development of tone and personality in your brand but they also impact your customer's experience. If your font choice is illegible then those with a disability might struggle to read your content, which means you'll most likely lose that client. Or maybe your font is very playful which makes your law firm look like a preschool and causes your clients to not take you seriously.

It seems scary to think that something so little as a font can negatively impact your customer and brand but when the design is 90% text you can see why you need to make smart decisions when choosing what font to use in your branding.

So how do you pick a font?

There are 2 main options:

  1. Get a designer to choose the font with you based on your brand strategy, personality, etc. as part of your branding.

  2. If you're DIYing, then pick a font that you feel oozes the personality you want your brand to have. Now you're probably thinking yeah but Lib I don't know what I'm looking for, don't worry I've got you!

What's your font type?

There are millions of fonts out there on the web just waiting to be picked, each one as unique as the next. But it can be difficult to know if the font you've chosen is up to the challenge, so let's break it down!

Serif Fonts

Now I'm a sucker for a bit of history so bear with me!

Serif fonts are believed to be from the Latin alphabet where words were carved into stone. The roman letter outlines were first painted on using a brush and then carved following the brush strokes, which flared at the end of each stroke, creating what we call serifs! (which you can see below)

Image showing the letter a in upper and lowercase in a serif font with arrows pointing at the flicks at the end of each letter.

Because of this historical attachment, serif fonts are seen as classical, sophisticated, and expensive. This is why it's no surprise that brands wanting to come across as respectable, high-end, and luxurious use a serif font as their primary font. Serif fonts are often seen in the beauty and fashion industries due to the luxurious feeling they give a brand (especially when paired with a monochromatic colour palette, mono-lined illustrations, and studio photography)

They can also be seen used within accounting, law, medicine, and authoritative businesses because it's a very traditional silhouette and when you're wanting to show your audience that you're respectable and traditional it's a great way to that do especially if in a letterhead where there are no images to show that.

Depending on your brand and what you're trying to communicate visually to your customer, you might want to pair the serious Serif font with a Sans- Serif to balance out that seriousness of the Serif. Or maybe your clients are female so pairing the Serif with a Script could be the perfect combo for a high-end feminine brand.

Extra Tips:

Brand Archetypes that should use Serif fonts: Lover, Sage & Ruler

Serif Font Suggestions: Times New Roman, Baskerville, Bonidi & Georgia

Serif Font uses: Headings, Subheadings, Paragraph, Captions & Logos.

Serif Font pairings: Sans- Serif, Script & Handwritten

Slab Serif Fonts

The Slab Serif is a cousin to the classic Serif font and came about in the early 19th century due to print advertisements. They were created to grab readers' attention due to their bold, thick, and imposing nature.

Image showing the letter a in upper and lowercase in a slab serif font with arrows pointing at the flicks at the end of each letter.

Because of this purpose, the Slab Serif is often seen as simple, confident, versatile, solid, and balanced. Which makes it the perfect font for brands that have heritage but want to remain current, like Volvo, Honda, and Mozilla. The Slab Serif still has that classic silhouette but the square Serifs make the overall feel more modern. Due to their blockiness and simplicity, it not only attracts the customer's eye but also makes it easier to read.

Extra Tips:

Brand Archetypes that should use Slab Serif fonts: Outlaw, Hero, Everyman & Explorer

Slab Serif Font Suggestions: Rockwell, Claredon, Bevan & Museo

Slab Serif Font uses: Headings, Subheadings & Logos.

Slab Serif Font pairings: Sans- Serif & Serif

Sans Serif Fonts

Sans Serif means without Serif and was developed in the early 1900s and was commonly used for display purposes. Unlike Serif fonts the Sans Serif is modern, minimal, and simple making it the perfect font for brands wanting to come across as Informal, authoritative, and Innovative.

Image showing the letter a in upper and lowercase in asans- serif font with arrows pointing at the non flicks at the end of each letter.

A lot of companies these days opt for a simple Sans Serif font as it's the most accessible style of font out there. And this is because of the simplicity of the structure. Not only is it more accessible due to having no serifs (which disrupts the reading flow of those with Dyslexia) they are also versatile as you can pair a Sans Serif with any other font to create a stronger brand.

Brands like Google have somewhat recently, changed their branding from having a Serif font to a Sans Serif due to the clean design it gives the brand. And Google isn't the only brand to do this with Mastercard following a similar direction.

Even though Sans Serifs aren't for one particular industry a lot of authoritative businesses that use Serif are now using the Sans Serif fonts to take the coldness away that is sometimes seen with brands using a Serif font.

Extra Tips:

Brand Archetypes that should use Sans Serif fonts: Jester, Everyman, Caregiver, Creator & Innocent

Sans Serif Font Suggestions: Helvetica, Verdana & Arial (all Dyslexic friendly fonts)

Sans Serif Font uses: Headings, Logos, Subheading, Paragraph & Captions.

Sans Serif Font pairings: Serif, Script, Slab Serif & Handwritten

Script Fonts

The Script font became popular in the early 1950s and was used in advertising all over Europe and North America into the 1970s. The beauty of Script fonts is that they can be seen as formal and informal depending on the style of Script it is.

Image showing the letter a in upper and lowercase in a script font with arrows pointing at the tail flick of the letter

Script fonts are often seen as creative, feminine, and delicate due to the flow of the letter (as seen above) depending on the style of the font it can either give off a sophisticated and elegant vibe or a casual, artistic feel. Script fonts are also tricky in an accessibility sense as some fonts have too many flourishes or gaps making it difficult to decipher the letter.

A lot of beauty and fashion brands use Script fonts because it gives them a more sophisticated feel, especially when paired with gem colours and a splash of gold. And a lot of those brands use Script fonts because their audience is females and the curves of the font give off that feminine energy that helps attract that customer.

But Script fonts are also used to show heritage, especially in the car industry where we see brands like Ford using Script fonts to show that they're unique, personal & welcoming. Some brands even use Script fonts to mimic signatures as it comes across are more personal and highlight the handmade experience that the brand may be wanting to give their customers.

Extra Tips:

Brand Archetypes that should use Script fonts: Lover, Ruler & Creator

Script Font Suggestions: Lobster, Pacifico, Lucida, Brush Script

Script Font uses: Headings & Logos.

Script Font pairings: Sans- Serif, Serif & Handwritten

Handwritten Fonts

Handwritten fonts have been around for years. And although similar to Script fonts, Handwritten fonts are more organic in shape and flow due to being created more freely and by hand. However, like the Sans Serif, they are one of the more accessible styles of font to choose for your brand.

Image showing the letter a in upper and lowercase in a handwritten font with arrows pointing at the shape of the letter showing the organic shape..

Handwritten fonts are frequently used in creating brands that want to show off their creativity, be playful, or casual. This is why a lot of independent labels, coffee shops, and breweries use a Handwritten font as their primary font. Just like with Script fonts, Handwritten fonts can change tone quickly depending on the style. The above font would suit a coffee shop or children's brand because of its rounded ends and slightly wobbly shape. The best thing about handwritten fonts is you can pair them with any font, especially a Sans Serif because it balances the playfulness of the handwritten font with the slightly more serious feel of the Sans Serif.

Extra Tips:

Brand Archetypes that should use Handwritten fonts: Lover, Ruler & Creator

Handwritten Font Suggestions: Amatic SC, Architects daughter & Rock Salt

Handwritten Font uses: Headings & Logos.

Handwritten Font pairings: Sans- Serif, Serif & Slab Serif

Can you mix fonts?

Hell yeah, you can! Just like in fashion, you can mix and match fonts, however, they don't always work well together. The best way to mix your fonts is to contrast them. A good example of this is my own branding. I've used a mix of script and handwritten to show that I'm creative, friendly, and causal. This is then enhanced by my choice of colour and graphics.

So which font suits your brand?

feeling stuck in a rut? let's chat!

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