There’s something about lettering that shoots me off down memory lane. Whether it’s the bubble writing that graced the margins, or the Comic Sans-clad display boards at school. The black marker scribbles on every toilet door. The essay law of using only Times new Roman [double-spaced].
Even now [let’s not say how many] years later fonts seep into my subconscious, and start a little party of their own. It’s like every other part of your visual branding.
All fonts come with a bunch of meanings. That’s why they’re picked – they evoke a specific set of emotions, but what they say depends on who you are. So for me, that black marker might mean writing in a bathroom, but to someone else it might mean creating their own comic books, or labeling a tool shed.
This is exactly why it’s so important to understand your customers before you start picking out fonts for your website.
If they’re quirky, and enjoy the lighthearted side of life, the fonts that appeal will be very different to a font that appeals to customers who are into simplicity and functionality.
Take a few mins and writes out a few words, sentences, descriptions of your ideal customers and their outlooks. Are they straight-talking-potty-mouthed-in-a-loving-way kinda people, or are they sensitive-earth-hugging types, do they favour the beach holidays with daily yoga, or do they like the fast paced drive of big city breaks, coffee or tea. adventure or comfort? Get inside their heads.
Arming yourself with these key insights will give you the perfect starting point for picking your fonts (and every other aspect of your visual brand, for that matter).
So you have your dream client descriptions down, how does that translate into typography?
Let’s talk about the different type types, and what they each mean:
SERIF/ROMAN: traditional, classic, authoritative, prestigious
[A small line is attached to the end of the stroke in each letter and number. Widely used for body text, as they’re considered the easiest to read.]
SANS-SERIF/GOTHIC: modern, clean, simple, strong
[Letters without that small line at the end of each stroke. Often used to represent emphasis.]
BRUSH SCRIPT: retro, graphic, soft, feminine
[Emulates writing with an ink brush.]
HAND SCRIPT: friendly, fun, quirky, no-nonsense
[Emulates writing with a pen or pencil.]
Remember, there are many variations in each of these groups, and not all of these will stick to these generic emotional responses, but consider this your starting point. You should also think about things like spacing and weight, they can make a big difference.
Take this simple headline…
With condensed spacing and bold weight it feels strong, almost aggressive and very masculine in its tone, yet if you change the weight and increase the spacing you have a more light, and feminine feel.
Now, let’s talk about pairing these fonts, you might have noticed it’s quite a trend in the online business world – there are three golden rules will really help you rock it:
KEEP YOUR FONTS TO
THREE OR FEWER
Ideally, you want two core fonts, and if you want to throw in an extra ‘fun’ one for highlighting small amounts of copy using a hand font for example then go for it. But no more. Changing fonts and using new ones as often as you change your pants is not the brand-building way.
TRY BEFORE YOU BUY
Play around and try out your fonts online. Create an ebook of your latest email and test out those fonts to see how they work for you and your customers. If it feels right, then start rolling these new combos out into your brand
KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY
Fonts have families. So good ol’ Helvetica has light, bold, book, oblique… Choose one family for your headline and a different family member for your sub heads and body copy, that way you have multiple styles using just one font. And they will always work happily together, way better than an actual family.
Here are a few pairing inspirations for ya:
Style: Clean, classic, modern, bold
FONT choice: Helvetic Neue
Style: Flowing, aspirational, feminine
FONT choice: Steelheart & Nexa
Style: Fun, friendly, aimed at kids, whimsical
FONT choice: FISHfingers & Source Sans Pro
Typography is one of the many ways to communicate your business values, without your audience feeling preached at!
Embrace this sneaky-branding philosophy and set it to work in your business…
Bundle Only Available Until: 9th June 2016