Is Your Font Sending Unwritten Messages?

Visual Theory

One of the key decisions in designing a brand identity is which font to use. You need something that’s attractive and easy to read; but there are other important considerations as well, says Gabe Grover, content creative manager at Recovery Brands.

“You could scour the Web and find endless pages on typography and font selection,” Grover says.

But what many of them fail to share are the three visual messages your font relays about your brand, he adds.

1. Personality

Different fonts have different personalities. Some are sleek and elegant. Some are playful and irreverent. Grover says that you need to match the typeface’s reflection of your brand. Think about:

  • What type of emotional response does the font generate?
  • Is it effective at communicating the image of your business?
  • Will it be persuasive in the way you want it to be?

You may have more than one font in your branding. Be sure they complement each other. For example, offset a highly stylized font with a simpler font so the overall message isn’t hard to read.

2. Relevance

Like most things, fonts have trends. So, if part of your brand message is that your company is cutting-edge, you’re going to want to choose a font that looks fresh and current. The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) is a good place to find information about font trends.

3. Accessibility

Today, you need to consider the variety of formats on which your fonts will appear. In addition to print, your font needs to present well across a variety of platforms and devices, whether you’re on a Macintosh laptop or an Android phone, Grover says. A font will only present if it’s part of the operating system, so be sure you look at the “font family” to be sure that it’s widely adopted and looks similar across platforms.

Finding the right font is more art than science, but it’s critically important to refining your brand message. Experiment with different font combinations until you find the one that best suits your business, he says.


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