Have you ever wondered why certain types of brands use certain types of fonts?
The short answer is that it comes down to how brands choose to position themselves. Brands within specific sectors don’t follow a strict rulebook, but certain styles of fonts represent specific emotional attributes—much like color.
For example, many tech brands seek to express the attributes of simplicity, cleanliness and purity making geometric fonts with uniform proportions the perfect choice.
However, if you’re a fashion brand wanting to evoke a timeless sense of style, you may be drawn to highly contrasting modern designs with elegant strokes, bracketed serifs and smooth arching curves.
But as trends change, so does perception. For example, years ago, almost all banks used serif fonts as they portrayed strength, leadership, and authority through the association with the serifed writings of the ancients. Following the financial crisis many banks rebranded using sans fonts to rebuild trust and seem friendlier and more personable.
In the 1920s research was done into how readers perceive different typefaces used to advertise products. The study showed that most people responded almost identically to certain font and product pairings, and used similar words to describe how the different typefaces made them feel.
Typography contains layers of subliminal communication and meaning, even though most viewing it know very little about it. Subtle differences in stroke, proportions and terminations determine whether a design is perceived as warm and friendly or cold and mechanical.
That’s why choosing the right font is essential for a brand. Just like a logo or color scheme, the right font can communicate a brand’s personality and make positive connections with its product.
If you were a typeface, which would you be?
- Times New Roman
- Comic Sans