Choosing and Using a Font/Typeface
In order to choose and use a typeface/font for your brand, it would be helpful to understand what they are. So let’s begin by defining what a font is and what a typeface is by today’s standards.
Typeface — is the design of the alphabet – the shape of the letters that make up the typestyle. The letters, numbers, and symbols that make a design of type. So when you say “Arial” or “Times” you are talking about a set of letters in a specific style.
Font — is the digital file that contains/describes the typeface. You can think of the font as a little piece of software that tells the computer and printer how to display and print the typeface.
So why is choosing a typeface important to building your brand? Typeface is important because it attracts attention, sets the style or tone and how readers interpret the words. The typeface that you choose represents your brand personality, is your company formal or informal, technical, contemporary, traditional, etc.
How do you choose a typeface for your brand?
Select two typeface families for all of your printed materials and web materials. Choose one rather plain, standard typestyle that you can use for text-heavy pieces, such as Times Roman, Garamond, Caslon, Helvetica, Arial or Futura. These classic typefaces are commonly available and come in a wide variety of styles, such as condensed, extended, bold, extra bold, etc. This offers you the greatest degree of flexibility to support your needs now and in the future.
Next select a typeface for your accents. You can use the accent typeface for headlines, slogans, call outs, and other text you want to accentuate. You can modify the typeface with attribute like bold, italic, small caps and color. Optionally you can select a display typeface. These are highly stylized and need to be used sparingly to be most effective and not scream “amateur.”
Your typeface should be easy to read in any medium – picture it printed in black and white or full color, on a shirt or the Web, or very small, like on a pen, and very large like on a sign.
WHEN & WHERE?
Once you have selected typefaces, use them on everything your client will see, including letterhead, envelope, invoices and checks. And remember to record the name of the typefaces you select so that you can provide this information to your suppliers for design, print, etc. This saves time/money looking for this information at a later time.
If you will be purchasing these fonts and you want to use them on Macintosh, Windows and the web consider purchasing “open type” fonts for maximum compatibility.
When used consistently, selecting distinctive fonts and using them effectively helps with name recognition and “brand building,” — think of Coke, Lego, MTV or Disney. Brand recognition makes people feel familiar which helps with relationship building and trust. People buy from people they trust. Ultimately, we can all use a little help with increasing sales.
If you have more questions about typography and it impact on your brand contact Graphic Matter!