Just like your brand's logo, tagline, and brand colors, your font is an important aspect of your marketing campaign. Your font will act as a visual communication to consumers, and the first thing they will see, so it's important to choose wisely. With so many font options available, how do you begin to choose the right one?
Generally, fonts can be broken up into two main categories: serif or sans serif. Serif fonts include extra lines or “feet” that are attached to the letters, this gives them more of a traditional look. Times New Roman is a common example of a serif font. Sans serif fonts lack these extra lines or any type of hanging elements on the letters. This creates a more modern look, like the font Helvetica for example. There are other options, such as script fonts, but serif and sans serif are a good foundation for most companies.
Stick to Your Brand
If you have already locked down other key aspects of your company’s or product's branding, make sure to use them as a basis for picking the right font. Consider how you want your company or product to come off, is it corporate or professional? Fun and lighthearted? Elegant and timeless? Whatever it may be, make sure the font elicits the correct emotional response from your audience. Does it align with their tastes and goals? You want the font to help create a trust between the brand and consumer. You want them to feel some sort of personal connection.
Is it Legible?
Major mistake companies make when selecting a font is that it doesn’t read well, whether in general or on certain collateral. If consumers are struggling to understand what your logo or product information says, they may become frustrated with your brand or find it unprofessional. This problem is often seen in script or overly detailed fonts.
Sometimes it works out that certain fonts are only appropriate for headings or large areas. What may be legible and eye-catching as a header, could be too complex or poorly spaced when used in the actual body text of your work. In that case, make sure to find a text that works alongside your main font choice, but works nicely in large paragraphs. There is nothing wrong with using different fonts for specific purposes, just make sure you are consistent and refrain from sloppy looking work across the board.
Do Your Research
When selecting a font, you have to keep in mind how the overall public, especially your targeted audience, is going to react to the one you choose. Aside from worrying about how the font relates to your branding, there are some styles that just seem to be a no-no all around in marketing (both in traditional and digital tactics) due to historical misuse, overuse, or poor visual quality. That includes fonts such as Comic Sans, Arial, Papyrus, and handwritten fonts in general. Researching poorly received fonts is worth your time, as there is a chance consumers won’t take your brand seriously if you use one of them.
Feel free to test your company’s font on a focus group to see their reactions before making a final decision. This can help to avoid a universal distaste after publically launching your brand with the new font on websites, clothing, print materials, and more.