Shruti, A Brand Strategist said, Sri your website looks sleek, smooth, and elegant on the eyes, except !!!! (with concern)
Me: Except what?
Shruti: ” Except that I can’t read the texts properly. It’s not easy on the eyes. I have to stress my eyes to read them with clarity. clearly, I can see some legibility issues out there.
For a brand with a message of love and care for kids, I think you are using the wrong typeface.
As I can see, the value for your brand is strongly on serving kids, showing affection, love, and care. Your brand is on a mission to help millions of kids live a happy and fun-filled childhood.
But your brand identity does not show the same in terms of the Typography used, You are using a Serif Font Style that is thin and condensed.
Serif Fonts are meant to show traditional, classic times, they are more formal and were used across print media back in the days.
You should use a typeface that reflects fun and joy. Something of the script typeface or handwritten ones which are very natural.”
Me: “Typeface, Typography, Serifs, Scripts, you mean what are you talking about, never thought if any of these plays a role even for a brand.
In the first place, what are they?
Are these concepts from a different world or am I stupid enough not knowing them Shruti?”
Shruti: “Well are in this world where every small element of your brand has a significant impact on the growth and revenue of a company,
Let me tell you, it is not just the products or the services offered but also how the brand is perceived across the audience that plays an important role for the brand.
Me: “ So, you mean all the identity design, social media posts, marketing that we do, Typography also needs to be revised before published?
Shruti: “Absolutely, and not just the typography, The logo, The Colors, The call to actions, The Copy and the Messaging all together should be unified and cohesive “
1 Importance Of Typography
The reason why it is so important these days is because of the following
- Grab audience attention
- Clear and Receptive Communication
- The Psychology of the audience
Grab audience attention - The digital world is growing so fast and it is important to grab the audience's attention in the first point of visual conversation.
These visual communications are nothing but the images you show, the color you portray the type, or the video shown if any.
Our eyes are mostly designed to read from left to right without any stress. So we perceive things easily if the type is aligned from left
Clear and Receptive Communication - It is important to simplify the brand messaging in as few words as possible.
Nobody wants to read chunks of data. Choosing the correct typography that matches the values and identity of the brand play an important role in any copy.
The Psychology of the audience - Science has proved that using red color as contrast in the buttons of a website are clicked more than any other color without any contrast.
I hope you are still there up with me. We can go on & on but let's deep down more on just the typography impact the brand strategy?
We will go through the following concept as part of typography is concerned.
2 What is Typography ?
In simple words, typography is the art of presenting textual content in any digital or physical medium.
This involves the font style used and its attributes
The color of the fonts to be used,
What weight to be used,
The height of the text.
This adds life to the text which in turn evokes a certain emotion for the readers to convey a specific message.
The idea is to play around with certain attributes of the text or type to enhance the appearance or look and feel of the entire text.
3 Why is typography so important in your design?
A good copy with bad typography may cause the user to ignore and skip the message to be conveyed. but having a good type will trigger user interaction and allow the user to make a decision based on the message conveyed.
Hence we can say that good typography is persuasive and increases the attention of the users.
This could be one of the reasons for the user spending more time on the website or in other words decreasing the bounce rate of the visitors.
A good Typography establishes a visual hierarchy between the elements of the textual content and guides the user for a good user experience.
Having good and a consistent typeface helps to build trust for the brand.
A consistent type across all the identity designs of the brand will help the users to connect with the brand easily.
They will be able to recognize the brand with the font itself which is a good sign of trust and brand building.
By this time, I hope you will have an idea of what typography is and how important it is to consider while branding.
Now let's go ahead on understanding the basic typefaces in the typography world,
4 What are the basic typefaces used for branding and designers ?
Let's not get confused with the terms Typeface and Fonts.
Yes, both a different but they have a parent-child relationship,
Typefaces are Font Families, A design style under which the fonts exist with varying weight and size.
Here is an example,
Helvetica is a widely used Typeface or a Font Family which consists of some of the fonts as below,
- Helvetica Regular
- Helvetica Light
- Helvetica Oblique
- Helvetica Bold
There are certain classifications each Typeface come under
The 4 major typeface categories are as below,
- San Serif
- Display or Decorative
The Serif Typeface represents a classic and traditional style of fonts and can be identified by a stroke at the end of each letter. This decorative stroke is at the stem of each letter.
It is a very old typeface and was mostly used way back in time. These days Serif fonts are commonly used as Headers or Title in any digital medium design.
They show a feeling of elegance, trust, and confidence.
Some examples of serif fonts include Georgia, Garamond, Times New Roman, and Baskerville.
The San Serif is more versatile and can fit easily with different personalities. It is one of the go-to typefaces for most designers.
San Serif types are more clean, comforting on the eyes, very modern, and approachable. these fonts convey informality and innovation
Many companies use san-serif type to convey comfortness, friendly, being informal and casual feeling around.
Hence these become more likable for most designers and companies. As they can easily relate to the masses.
They are often paired with Serif Fonts to instill more life to the message imparted.
Some of the popular san serif fonts include Helvetica, Open Sans, Proxima Nova, and Arial.
Serif fonts are more readable via print. While the san serif fonts are more readable via screens.
In one study, people evaluated that serif fonts are more effective for scientific context for their elegance and beautiful nature.
The digital screens we see are in the form of pixel and grid. Due to the box-like structure of a serif type, it becomes less identifiable than a san serif type.
The Display Typeface is mostly used for large-size content. For the Header and Titles. As the name says the display, they are not widely used for paragraphs or the body of an article.
They add decorative elements to the text. it gives a funky element to the text.
We can use a lot of music or festive posters using this kind of type.
Lobster, Chango, Squad One are some of the Display Typeface. we can go across a lot of Display Type in Google Fonts.
Script Fonts represent more fun, joy, and care feelings and we mostly use them to show a casual, friendly and affectionate feeling in any digital identity.
Hence we can see them mostly being used for wedding or festive occasion
The handwritten font gives a more raw, natural, and informal look and feels to the text.
For Example: If you were to design a copy for Kids or Pet where the environment is more friendly. We can use a script or handwritten type for the same.
5 Attributes of typefaces and Its significance
Nick Kolenda, a psychologist researched and studied the attributes of typefaces, and let me summarize the same as below.
Light Fonts Vs Bold Fonts
Light font conveys add more beauty and femininity to the personality of the text. While bold adds more dominance, power, and masculinity to the design.
Hence we see more beauty product lines using a thin and light font style than bold. since bold fonts are heavy and masculine so people generally associate that with men.
Rounded Fonts Vs Angular Fonts
A study in psychology suggests that humans prefer more curved objects than sharp ones.
Rounded fonts convey a comfortable, softness, and femininity to the overall design while angular fonts evoke a threat.
Anything which is having a steep angular design is associated with an emotion of threat and triggers a negative bias. These fonts are more formal, durable, and masculine.
In any landing page design, we often avoid putting sharp edges to any call-to-action button. it is advised to have rounded or curved edges.
Rounded edges are more appropriate to the sweet food, feminine our baby products industry as they convey more softness to the brand.
Straight Fonts Vs Slant Fonts
Straight fonts instill more stability, rigidity, and durability to the design. Be it a logo or type design on a website.
A more stable brand has such attributes to the personality of the brand identity design. TATA Groups, Birla Groups, etc have such straight fonts designed to establish stability and a good foundation of the brand.
Slant fonts are used to represent flow, movement, or speed due to their slanting nature. People can associate the slanted nature of the type with running speed or movement.
Formula one logo represents speed and movement is a slanted logo that is well designed with respect to the messaging of the company.
Lowercase Fonts Vs Uppercase Fonts
Lowercase fonts are more effective for brands that promote innovation, compassion, and kindness, wisdom, and showing altruism.
Lowercase fonts are congruent to creators that emphasize innovation..
While uppercase fonts are more powerful and strong. it is effective for brands that convey qualities related to energy bravery and focus.
Brands like BMW, Diesel, Nike, Sony use uppercase to show more strength and power.
When it comes to mixed cases, they are more legible as they contain both uppercase and lowercase creating a contrast of height.
Hence it becomes easier for the eyes to perceive more distinction between the letters.
Separated Fonts Vs Connected Fonts
Separation is a sign of individuality and the same is for type. When the letters are separated they add individuality while the connected font signifies unity and strength.
Connected fonts are mostly script font types and some old English styles like fraktur.
6 Choosing the Right Font
Choosing the right font for your brand should be a part of your brand-building process.
As the brand-building process will go through strategizing
- The Positioning of the brand
- The Unique Selling Proposition, what stands unique for the brand
Who is the Target Audience
Basically, understanding the why behind the company?
Once you determine the personality of the brand, meaning if we define your brand as a human what characteristic it would possess.
Are they formal or casual?
What type of people they will hang out with?
What emotions do they carry, what kind of people you would generally meet and interact with?
After defining the personality of the brand, we will have a concrete foundation on what type to choose based on its personality as discussed earlier.
All the above factors will decide what typeface needs to be used and based on that the brand design identity should be created.
I believe typography plays an important role in building the brand of the company. It helps you build a brand, it helps the user take a good decision, it grabs audience attention and guides them through the brand messaging, it supports the copy and brings life to the content.
And nobody would want to miss them out I am sure, if you want to grow in the digital industry it is high time to consider typography as one of the aspects of your brand building process.
Thank you for staying all the way up here, I hope I was able to give you some knowledge.
You are awesome