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What does your font say about you

Author: Karin Ingram / Tips / 17th Feb 2014

What does your font say about your business

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Although it may seem like a small detail, your font choice actually says a lot about your business.

With about a bazillion fonts available, how you choose to display your content impacts the way people view your brand. Whether you’re designing print materials, product packaging, or your website, your font choice is telling a story about your business and what it says really matters – and we’re not just saying that because we’re typography geeks!

So how can you choose the right font to represent your brand?

Let’s start with the basics! There are four basic types of font – a bit like the four personality types in people – Serif, Sans Serif, Script and Decorative.

Serif

If you take a closer look at a font like Times New Roman, you will notice small lines at the top and bottom of each letter – something you’ve probably never noticed before, but will most likely see forever more! – Those lines are called serifs and when a font contains those lines, it is a serif font.

Serif fonts bring a formal tone to your content, so if prestige is important to your brand you should consider a serif font for your materials. Serif fonts are particularly effective in print media. In digital content, they work well as headings, but are less effective in the body of your text unless they are particularly well sized and spaced.

What serif fonts say about you: Serif fonts tend to be viewed as warm, old, trustworthy, classic and delicate – a bit like your favourite grandma!

Most popular serif fonts: Times New Roman, Garamond, Palatino and Georgia

Sans serif

The words ‘sans’ means without, or in absence of, so a sans serif font is one without the little lines at the top and bottom of each letter, like the text chosen for this blog, for example!

Sans Serif fonts bring a modern feel to your text, so if you want your business to appeal to a younger generation, sans serif fonts are a good choice. Sans serif fonts work great in website design because they create a clean, crisp feel in your design.

What sans serif fonts say about you: Sans serif fonts are generally viewed as rugged, budget, cool, modern and young – just like those hipsters you see sipping lattes at Starbucks!

Most popular sans serif fonts: Arial, Helvetica, Franklin Gothic and Futura 

Script

Now this is where things start getting fancy. Your script style fonts include all the cursive lettering fonts.

Script fonts work great in digital media and are best used sparingly. Stick to the headlines. Using script fonts in the body of your design will give your reader a headache and make you look disorganised. Some script fonts can look similar to handwriting, which can bring a very informal look to your design, while others can be very formal and elegant.

What script fonts say about you: Script fonts are viewed as the most feminine of the font choices and are seen as beautiful, classy, soft, relaxed and warm.

Most popular script fonts: Edwardian Script, Bickham, Spring

Decorative

When you see a font that doesn’t fit into any of the categories above then you’ve got yourself what’s called a decorative font or a display font. Most decorative fonts are custom creations and are almost always creative and interesting – but probably not entirely suitable for most business uses.

If you find a decorative font that really speaks to you, you could safely use it in a heading, but using a decorative font in your main content area will almost definitely lose you credibility points.

What a decorative font says about you: Decorative fonts almost have a strong personality and can portray a range of moods. Most are viewed as unique and daring.

Most popular decorative fonts: Impact, Mesquite, Stencil and ITC Beesknees

Take a look around at some of the fonts in your everyday life, from billboards to magazine ads and you’ll probably start to notice some really cool fonts with a lot of different personality styles that you can start incorporating into your business designs.

If you need help choosing the perfect font for your brand, contact the typography geeks at 121 Creative today!

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