Fonts, or to be more accurate, typefaces, are one of the key factors in a brand – and indeed for some brands they are so synonymous with it that the typeface alone can be enough to deliver a branded message.
To be clear; a typeface is the look and feel of the characters themselves, and a font describes a group of such characters such as 12pt; or what weight they are, for example bold. Though to be honest, these days, the terms are interchangeable.
The fact that ‘characters’ of a type’face’ are humanised by name, they do indeed embody just that. They convey emotion and expression, so it’s very important that we choose the right one when working on brand development to ensure it fits the ethos and character of the company. A funeral director business would look very strange set in Comic Sans for example – a cheap feeling, ‘friendly’ typeface which to be honest only really works well in an children’s book, yet it is the go-to typeface for many an office worker for their internal ‘please wash up your mugs’ signs. A serious, annoyed message written in a font that would be best describing what shades of the rainbow the unicorn is painted in to a 4 year old.
Whilst some brands invest a lot of money into instantly recognisable bespoke typefaces (Channel 4, The Guardian, Google) some choose a classic and run with it, to a point that it is engrained in the brand. Futura Bold Condensed, for example, has been used by this popular sports brand for over 30 years, and is still current today.
Emotive brands such as charities often opt for a friendly, or hand drawn typeface, which often is powerful enough on its own:
..while luxury brands typically go for a serif typeface to describe their crafted, timeless products.
We always take time to choose the correct typeface when starting a company rebrand project to make sure it ticks all the boxes for the company – modern or vintage, strong or passive, hard or soft – so your clients can understand quickly what your company is saying to them before they’ve read your copy.