3 tips to choose the right font for your brand

By July 19, 2019 Branding, Design

I’m bit of a font hoarder. I think I mentioned this before, but currently I have more than 500 font families on my iMac and even more that I purchased and not yet installed. 

As a logo and brand designer, I know that my work depends on high-quality fonts. Why? 

Because the right font can easily express the personality and mindset of a brand. The right font can evoke emotions in my client’s audience. Without these trusty little companions, I wouldn’t be able to create good logos. Fonts are as important for me as a paintbrush for a watercolor artist or needles for a seamstress.  

The problem is, we have an insanely huge selection of fonts to choose from. Back in the early days of branding, only a select number of fonts were available. Like the ever-classic Helvetica, created in 1957 by Swiss designer Max Miedinger or the even more ancient Didot and Bodoni first designed in 1780. 

Today, anyone with practice can create a font and sell it online (at Creative MarketMyFonts and other design marketplaces). Therefore, the hunt for the right font can be a long journey with hard decisions. 

In this blog post, I give you the 3 most important tips to choose the right font for your brand. I also share with you a previous freebie (the How to Pair Fonts Like a Pro guide) and my favorite places to find high quality fonts. 

3 TIPS TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT FONT FOR YOUR BRAND 

TIP #1 – MATCH IT WITH YOUR BRAND’S PERSONALITY 

Effective font choices can express the purpose of your design. 

In the case of brand design, you want to highlight the essence of your business: your vision, mission and values and even your brand personality. 

Fonts can express emotions and have their own unique personalities – thanks to their unique shapes and the long history behind their everyday usage.  

There are 3 main font families: 

  • Serif: they have tiny lines at the bottom and top ends of the fonts. They express tradition, history, reliability, safety, wealth. 

  • Sans Serif: these fonts are simple, often geometric. They express modernism, cleanliness, simplicity and minimalism. 

  • Script: these fonts imitate handwriting in many forms (traditional calligraphy, brush lettering, etc.) They express grace, elegance, romance.  

There are also Display Fonts, but I don’t recommend them for branding purposes. In many cases they follow short-lived trends that are not suitable for long-term logo designs. 

When choosing fonts for your brand, analyze their attributes, and choose the one that’s closest to your brand’s personality.  

You can even look at your competition. Don’t copy them. Instead, analyze their font choices and see what emotions it triggers from you. Is it what you want your customers to feel too? 

Uppercase and lowercase forms also matter. All caps format usually expresses authority, power, quality and confidence while lowercase format is friendlier, more open and more playful. 

TIP #2 – MAKE IT EASY TO READ 

The second most important tip when looking for the right font for your brand is legibility. If your logo is not easy to read, you force your customers to spend more effort than needed. Why should they do so if they don’t even know you? 

Make your logo easy to read! 

The best way to check if a font is legible: print it in 10pt size. Can you easily read it? Can your friends, parents or even your 80-year-old grandma easily read it? If yes, you’re on the right path. If not, you should look for a better font. 

TIP #3 – GO SIMPLE 

Many novice designers make the mistake of using too many fonts in their project. I understand. When you fell in love with a font, it’s hard to cut it out of your work. 

But less is more, and this is true for your font choices too. In general, you won’t need more than 2 fonts for your logo and brand. If you can go with only one font that’s even better.  

In case of 2 fonts, it’s important to pick those that fit well. You must consider: 

  • Compatible personalities: both fonts should express the same or similar personalities 

  • Contrast: have enough contrast between the two fonts for visual interest and hierarchy 

  • No conflictthe contrast between your chosen fonts shouldn’t be too much. Some aspects (e.g. X-height of fonts) should be similar 

Super font families can help you in font pairing because they include fonts that match each other but have contrast too. The other easy way to go is pairing San Serif fonts with Serifs. 

The above freebie gives you even more tips and hands-on examples for good font pairing. Make sure to check it out. I also included my favorite free font combinations. 

BEST PLACES TO FIND HIGH QUALITY FONTS FOR BRANDING: 

  • DesignCuts: they offer insanely good design bundles every two weeks. Not all of them are font bundles (can be textures, templates, mock-ups) and those are equally good, but the font bundles are the best. Sometimes you can grab $3000 worth of fonts for only $29 
  • Creative Market: lots of script and hand lettered fonts plus free files every week. Make sure to choose extended license if you plan to use the font for commercial projects 
  • MyFonts: not the cheapest place to get fonts from, but you can decide to buy only one typeface or a whole font family. 
  • Pixel Surplus: interesting and unique free fonts, many of them available even for commercial projects. 

MORE ABOUT FONTS? 

What else would you like to learn about fonts and the process of using fonts in brand design? Leave your questions in the comments and don’t forget to grab your free copy of the How to Pair Fonts Like a Pro guide. 

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