Typography and Branding: Words That Carry Weight
Updated: Nov 20, 2019
As brands, we want our words to carry weight. It is crucial for your messaging to be effective, but more importantly, it has to be congruent to your brand’s personality.
So, What Is Typography?
You might find the words “font” and “typeface” used interchangeably despite their differences.
Font and typeface, however, do not mean the same thing. Typeface refers to the design of the words — for instance, Arial or Georgia.
Font, on the other hand, refers to the weight and size of a type — so for example, Arial,12, Bold.
A font specifies the typeface, size and weight of the text.
Typography thus refers to the technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable and appealing when displayed.
How does Typography play a part in Branding?
International names like major fashion houses Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and Dior use only text in their logos.
Known as typographic logos, these logos solely comprise of text and do not include any pictures or symbols.
The Coca-Cola company, search engine platform Yahoo! and media services provider Netflix are other examples of typographic logos.
Making Your Mark
Putting together a typography palette for your brand is an important part of establishing your visual identity.
For folks who might be wondering what exactly we mean by a typography palette, a typography palette is basically a collection of typefaces used in sales and marketing collateral, documents, and any other print or digital material.
An example of a typography and colour palette.
Choosing an effective type will help to set the mood, tone and voice of your brand, and we cannot stress how important this is to ensure consistency across your communication channels.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
As explained, the typeface of your brand is very much part of the message you’re trying to convey.
How should a brand go about curating the right typefaces for effective communication?
We’re going to explain three different types of typefaces — serif, sans serif, and script, just so you know where to start.
Serif typefaces are distinguished from their sans-serif and script counterparts by the little ‘tails’ that extend from each letter. Serif typefaces tend to adopt a more formal tone of voice and are typically associated with more established brands.
While they’re known for being a little more old-fashioned, serif typefaces are easier to read in longer copy, such as articles and blogs.
Fashion magazine Vogue applies a serif typeface on their logo, as well as on the web copy on their digital content site.
You’ll also realise how fashion brands like Gucci, Prada and Dior also use serif typefaces in their logos. This pays tribute to tradition and communicates a sense of timelessness and sophistication.
On the other hand, sans-serif typefaces are simpler and convey a more modern vibe. Sans literally means “without,” and sans-serif fonts are similar to serif fonts, sans the little extensions or tails from each letter.
If you want to present your brand as one that’s friendly and approachable, considering including sans-serif typefaces as part of your typography palette.
Swedish brand Spotify aims to position itself as a music and entertainment company. In order to appeal to young people, Spotify employs a sans-serif typeface in its logo to communicate the fun and light-hearted tone of the brand.
There’s also the script typeface, which is more dramatic.
The script typeface is designed to look as though it is handwritten. Script typefaces feature a cursive style and are often more fluid than serif or sans-serif fonts. Such typefaces are suitable for brands who want to portray themselves as elegant and graceful with a hint of playfulness.
Photo-sharing app Instagram, chocolate brand Cadbury, and luxury vehicle brand Cadillac all use script typefaces in their logos.
While script fonts may be great for logos and head copy, do note that the script font may not be as easy on the eyes as its serif and sans-serif counterparts. When assembling your typography palette, its best to avoid picking script fonts for body copy, which refers to the longer segments of writing — so nothing more than a sentence.
Still can’t decide which type of font represents your brand best? Our team of branding experts are committed to helping to make your mark. Drop us a line to see how we can help kickstart your brand’s success!