How to Choose the Right Fonts for Your Brand
When it comes time to pick out fonts for your brand you might go with what you think is the nicest looking or the cheapest/free, which makes total sense if you don't know much about fonts and the power they hold. The problem with picking any old font is that you could be conveying a tone for your brand that you don't want without even realizing.
Understanding the basic emotions and expressions
of different fonts will allow you to solidify your brand.
You might be thinking to yourself, why does this matter, fonts can't be that important for my brand. If that's how you feel then hopefully by the end of this blog post I will have changed your mind, because trust me, it matters!
Let's look at two examples. (Please keep in mind these are just simple examples to show you how certain fonts can convey different feelings and emotions.)
Your friend Sally asks you what font she should use for her new antique store.
Her brand's tone is vintage, rustic, and classic. What direction would you point her in?
Example A The font used can be described as light, airy, and thin. It gives off a modern vibe.
Example B The font used can be described as bold, worn and distressed. It gives off a worn, vintage vibe.
Keeping in mind that Sally is opening an antique store I would suggest going with example B in this situation. To give this a classic look Sally might decide to use a serif font.
Now let's pretend your friend Bob comes to you asking for font advice for his barber shop.
The tone of his brand is masculine with a modern vibe. Which font would you tell him to go with?
Example A has a bit of that masculinity Bob is after however, since a serif font is used it gives off more of a classic vibe than a modern one.
Example B is big and bold which offers the masculine tone and because it's a sans-serif font it conveys the modern vibe.
Those are just two simple examples. There are thousands upon thousands of fonts out there so how do you know where to even begin?
Step 1: Brainstorm
In order to find out what fonts will work best for your brand, you will need to figure out your brand's tone and voice if you don't already know it. A good way to do this is write down words, colours, feelings, and emotions that best represent your brand. Below is an example of some words I've used for branding, Forth and Create.
Writing out words that represent your brand will help you understand the vibe you're after. With the words above and more brainstorming/researching I was able to come up with the logo used on this blog. I kept the fonts simple, light, and modern. It's a logo I'm happy with and can see myself using for the rest of, Forth and Create's life.
Step 2: Find A FEW fonts
Once you've figured out your brand's tone and voice it's time to start finding fonts. A good place to start is simply searching Google. If you're looking for free fonts you might type in, "free modern fonts" and you should get a list of sites where you can download them.
If you are willing to shell out some moolah for fonts you might want to check out sites such as,
STEP 3: TRY THEM OUT
Most paid sites will give you the option to try the font before you commit to buying it, unfortunately, you have to try them out on their website. Type in the words you plan on using in the "type tester" and you can adjust the size of the font, and choose different font weights to see it in action.
Below is an example.
If you plan on using free fonts you have a bit more flexibility and can download the fonts, add them to your computer and play around with them in Photoshop or Illustrator.
What should I do if the fonts I use in my brand aren't available on Squarespace or Wordpress?
If you pick out your fonts and then head over to Squarespace or Wordpress only to find that your brand's fonts aren't available to use on your website then fear not, there are a few options to solve this problem:
- You can install Typekit. Type kit allows you to add web fonts to your website without having to purchase the web font. There's a free plan and a paid plan which offers more font options.
- You can purchase a web font and install it either on your Squarespace or Wordpress site. Purchasing desktop fonts won't work on your website, they might show up for you but if your viewer doesn't have the specific fonts installed on their computer they won't show up on your website for them. It's important to make sure you purchase web fonts.
- Find fonts that are similar to your brand fonts within Squarespace or Wordpress. You might not be able to find your exact fonts but usually you can find something that is very similar.
Click here for a tutorial on how to add custom fonts to your Squarespace site.
Below is a cheat sheet to help you pick out the right font for your brand. Understanding the tone and voice for each font will help you if you're feeling lost.
Use a serif font if your brand is traditional, classic, or fashionable.
Pro tip: serif fonts are easy on the eyes so it's totally okay to use them as your body copy for your website, kinda like I do, even if your brand isn't traditional or classic.
SanS- Serif Fonts
Use a serif font if your brand is modern, clean, or casual.
Pro tip: If you use a sans-serif font for your body copy make sure it isn't too light, small, and hard to read.
Use a script font if your brand is feminine, creative, or friendly.
Pro tip: never use a script font for your body copy, it is way to hard to read and doesn't look nice. Save the script fonts for big headers or your logo.
Use a distressed font if your brand is masculine, rustic, or vintage.
Pro tip: avoid using a distressed font that is overly distressed and hard to read. Keep it subtle yet noticeable.
Use a condensed font if your brand is bold, strong, or modern.
Pro tip: Using a font that is too condensed might make your reader uncomfortable, make sure there is enough spacing between the letters so it's still breathable.
Use a rounded font if your brand is soft, childlike, or friendly.
Pro tip: I don't have one, I really like rounded fonts :)
If you found this post helpful and would like to learn more about typography I suggest signing up for my free typography course. You will receive access to all 6 lessons at once.