Perhaps you’ve never considered the fonts/typography that you use in your graphic design or marketing materials. Most people don’t. They pick a font that feels happy and fun when they’re in a happy and fun mood. They pick a serious font when they’re in a serious mood. But if you’re picking fonts based on your “mood” or emotions, watch out. That’s a sure-fire way to dilute your visual brand and turn potential leads and customers away.
Why fonts matter
Your visual brand consists of several different components. The component that is perhaps the most obvious is your logo, followed by your color palette. However, the fonts and typography that you implement in your marketing materials is just as much part of your physical brand as your logo and color palette. When someone reads copy from your website or from a flyer design, they should be able to recognize that they’re interacting with your brand. That recognition is much harder to attain if you’re constantly changing your font choices.
Your fonts can become iconic
Whether you realize it or not, you’ve interacted with iconic fonts. One popular brand that has a very iconic font is Nike. Nike is notorious for using the font “Futura” in many of their t-shirt designs, marketing materials, and even on their website. If you read the phrase “just do it” in any other font besides “Futura,” you’d be confused. You may not even recognize the phrase itself. However, when matched with their iconic font of choice, all of a sudden you recognize the Nike brand itself. Your fonts can become iconic as well. The key is to be consistent with your fonts of choice.
So I can only use one font?
Being consistent with your font choices doesn’t mean that you can only use one font. Most well-established brands have a H1 (Header 1) font, a different H2 font, and a different Body font for longer paragraphs. You can implement 3 of 4 different font styles and typography choices in your marketing. The key, however, is being consistent with those handful of fonts and not using fonts that don’t belong to your brand.
How do I make sure my team uses the right fonts?
The most effective way to make sure you and everyone else in your company is using the right fonts, is by designing a brand guidelines document, or style guide. This document features logo do’s and don’ts, as well as color codes and everything else needed to protect your visual brand. They also should be a “typography” section in this document that clearly communicates which fonts to use and in what instances someone on your team should use them.
In future articles we’ll discuss the difference between “serif” fonts and “sans serif” fonts, as well as what different styles of fonts communicate to your audience. But for now, just know that your font does matter. It communicates SOMETHING about your business, church, or non-profit organization. So make sure that you’re communicating the RIGHT things.