Why do fonts matter?

Careful consideration should be made when choosing a corporate font/combination of fonts. As you may have read in my colleague, Michelle’s article, What do your brand colours say about your company?, people have certain feelings, emotions, and associations when they see certain colours. What you may not realise is that they have a similar response to fonts.

The font style you choose for your business logo can have a huge impact on how your business is viewed by the market. For your logo or brand to succeed, it must tell a consistent story of what you’re all about.

You’re probably thinking that it’s what the words say that matters. And, of course, it is. It might be the name of the company or it might be a catchy slogan — whatever, it will have been chosen with care to get the message across. So does it matter what font you use?

YES! It absolutely matters. Apart from what your chosen words communicate, the font you pick carries its own message. Pick the right font, at it will amplify the meaning of the words. The wrong font? Sending mixed messages on a logo design is nothing short of a disaster.

The basic font categories are; Serif, sans serif, script, modern and display. Each group of fonts convey different messages to the viewer. For example:

  • A Serif (meaning a slight projection finishing off a stroke of a letter) font like:

garamond-example

Garamond gives a feeling of respectability, reliability and traditional values.

  • The Sans Serif (literally meaning without serifs) font:

proxima-example

Proxima Nova, is seen as clean, contemporary, stable and objective.

  • A script font (printed type imitating handwriting) like:

woodlands-example

The Woodlands, can convey elegance, affection and creativity.

  • A display font (the arrangement and choice of type in a style intended to attract attention) like:

cooper-example

Cooper, can be interpreted as friendly, expressive, amusing and unique.

Creating personality from fonts…

In print media, your best opportunities to utilise fonts with an emotional impact are in the logo and the headline text, because these are the only times when emotion matters more than readability. Emotions create personality, which is what is what elevates a font from just text on the page to a serious visual design component unto itself.

To help you better understand, I’ve decided to put our own logo to the test to show you how your font choices can have a drastic impact on the personality you convey to the audience. Our logo uses a Script font (Olivier), which we feel matches our personality as a friendly, creative and approachable brand. When you change the font on our logo, it radically changes the audience’s perception of our brand.

 

our-logo-font-experiment

 

The serif font makes our logo quite serious/traditional, the sans serif direct/clean and the display font zany (brilliant word!)/quirky. You can clearly see the effect the font selections have on the impact of the logo.

Think carefully as you choose your font. Here at ib3 we tend to experiment with different fonts at initial visual stage of logo development in order to weed out styles that don’t convey the correct message. You will then be presented with a selection of ideas that will be fit for purpose.

Interested in finding out if your brand or logo is sending out the right message? Then give me, Noémie, a call on 01892 559127 or email me at noemie@ib3.uk.