The full series includes: creating an inspiration board, color palette, pairing fonts, creating an unforgettable logo design and turning a logo into a visual brand identity. You can read the full Creating a Visual Brand series here.
Today, we're talking fonts.
It’s difficult to choose the right fonts for your brand if you don’t understand what type of fonts you should be looking for. Heck, you may not even know what type of fonts there are. That’s why I’m going to share with you a little of my typography wisdom.
To get us started I’m only going to talk about a few of the different font categories. There are many fonts and font categories but these four are the ones that will be most beneficial for creating your visual brand.
Serif fonts are categorized by the lines included on each letterform. Insiders, which you now are, refer to these lines as feet. These fonts are considered more traditional, classic and formal.
The feet on each letterform make serif fonts more legible. That is why these fonts are more commonly seen in novels and newspapers.
Sans serif literally translates into “without serif”. That means there are no feet on each letterform. These fonts are considered modern.
Sans serif fonts are often used for websites and other digital platforms as they are considered less distracting to the reader.
Script fonts commonly resemble cursive or calligraphy style handwriting. Script fonts are more open to interpretations than serif or sans serif, so there style can vary from traditional to modern.
Display fonts, also known as decorative or novelty fonts, are meant to be eye-catching. They are more eccentric fonts and are best used in small doses. Similar to script these fonts can vary from traditional to modern.
Learning to properly pair fonts is the next step towards becoming a typographic master. The most important rule to know about pairing fonts is creating contrast. This can be done through font selection, sizes or weights.
The most commonly used font pairings are serif and sans serif. However, you can pair a script with a serif or sans serif. You could also pair a display with a serif or sans serif.
TIP: Script and display fonts should only be used as headers as they aren’t always legible at smaller sizes and large quantities.
It’s best not to pair a script and display font together as they are both distinct styles. It removes contrast and hierarchy.
Different font sizes and weights can also be used to create contrast.
By varying sizes and weights within the same font you are still able to create contrast. You can create a header with a large and bold font while using the body copy as a smaller and lighter style of the same font.
Limiting Font Choices
For my last piece of advice on pairing fonts for your brand it is smart to keep these choices limited to only two or three options. This allows for your brand to create a simple cohesive style that doesn’t cause distraction.
Your font choices should include a font that can be used to demonstrate hierarchy. This can be used for blog headlines, graphics or your primary logo. These fonts are usually serif, sans serif or script.
In addition you will want a more subdued font for body copy, taglines or detailed information on a business card. These fonts are usually serif or sans serif.
Lastly, you can choose to add one more font for accent. This can be used to create your favicon or other memorable brand collateral. These fonts are usually script or display fonts.
Do you have any font pairing wisdom? Leave it in the comments!