Fonts used in a company’s brand have a larger impact on society than many realize. While colors and shapes are more noticeable elements, the typography of words, especially names, creates subconscious perceptions of a brand’s message. There are six main categories of fonts that are used, each one having many subcategories and styles. Unfortunately, the typeface is often overlooked in initial advertising. However, your current font may be a sign that you are in need of rebranding.
Serif fonts are defined by having extra horizontal strokes that come to a point. At the tips of certain letters, like “E”, there is a half serif, also known as a beak. In addition to this, the strokes of the letters often have different weights. Serif fonts are often interpreted as more professional and sophisticated. A sense of trust can be conveyed through its use, subconsciously. It is also often used in collegiate circumstances, as it has strong ties to higher education. Serif is a good branding font for book publishers, universities, and doctors. Serif fonts lend themselves well to a cool-toned color palette and a more minimalistic style.
Slab serif fonts follow the same format as serif fonts, but have boxy edges and sharper corners. Also known as square serif, the letters typically have a uniform stroke, using the same weight throughout the entire letter. This style came about shortly after the industrial age, making it more modern for the time. Slab serif fonts are bolder than many other fonts, making it harder to read. Because of this, it is best used for shorter names or a few letters within a name. Slab serif fonts can be interpreted as more edgy and playful than serif fonts. Due to its blocky nature, it is good to use for construction companies, builders, and hardware stores. It’s boldness makes it good for children’s toys, however, it can be harmful if overused in text. Slab serif fonts lend themselves well to bright colors, like orange and yellow, but should use dark text.
Sans serif fonts have no serifs, the extra strokes at the end of a letter, and have the same weight throughout the entire letter, making it the easiest type of font to read. It is also the most commonly used type of font in businesses, as it conveys openness and friendliness, while not being overly playful. If your brand has a longer name or multiple words, this is most likely the best style for you to use. There are a wide array of sans serif fonts, some being more playful and others more modern, making it very versatile. More modern sans serifs are good for companies that work directly with customers, facilitating conversations. It is also a good font for dentists and pediatricians, as it creates a sense of friendliness to children. More playful sans serifs are good for children’s toys, food, and attraction sights. Sans serif fonts can go with a wide variety of color schemes, but the type of sans serif font should convey a similar message to the color.
Monospace fonts are very similar to slab serifs, though they are usually less bold. Monospace is the original form of typeface, creating a correlation to tradition and text. Monospace fonts can feel very old-fashioned, as many think of typewriters, however, they are also good for companies that work in education. Tutoring companies benefit from monospace fonts, as it is more friendly and informal than serif fonts. Monospace is making a comeback, being used more by modern companies. Some view it as “trendy”. However, this type of font does not lend itself very well to a busy or bright color scheme.
Script fonts are made to imitate handwriting. The letters are typically connected to one another, creating one long stroke for an entire word. Many interpret these fonts as being feminin, due to the curves and loops in the letters. Like sans serif fonts, script fonts have a wide range of types, some being more playful, while others are extremely sophisticated. Regardless, script fonts are harder to read. If your company has any connection to children, script is not the best font for you, as most children, especially if they are young, cannot read script, taking away from your brand. More playful forms of the font are good for conveying lightheartedness and openness within a brand. This works well with a more pastel color scheme. Sophisticated forms of script fonts can convey elitism and exclusiveness. This is good for high end businesses or invitation companies, working well with a minimalist color scheme, often monochromatic. It is important to be cautious when using script, as it is very easy to use poorly.
Display fonts, also known as decorative fonts or novelty fonts, are a culmination of all the other types of fonts. None of them fit into the other font categories well, making them an eclectic group. Display fonts have the most variety, as there are no similarities tying them together. Because of this, it is very hard to generalize how they can be used for a company. However, it is important to not overuse these fonts. Many find display fonts enticing, as they are very unique, however, they can cause clutter or illegibility. Like sans serif fonts, they are conducive to a large range of color schemes, but the type of display font should convey a similar message to the color.
Fonts, while they may seem insignificant (especially when it comes to your business), can either evoke a positive or negative feeling amongst your target audience. It’s important to take into consideration your core customer base and what will resonate with them.
Not ready to start the branding stage for your business yet? Let’s B Media is also considered one of the top small business naming agencies; leave the creativity to us!