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Choosing the perfect typeface for your brand (or any project for that matter!) is one of the most important and fundamental decisions you will make.  A decision that can make or break the overall effectiveness and timelessness of your brand. As Daniel Will-Harris said so beautifully, “Type is important because it’s an unconscious persuader. It attracts attention, sets the style and tone of a document, colors how readers interpret the words, and defines the feeling of the page–usually without the reader recognizing a particular typeface.” This decision can be difficult at best. There are so many options to choose from and it can be easy to get lost in a sea of gorgeous (and not so gorgeous!) fonts. Don’t lose heart! I’m here to give you 3 simple tips that will help that process be a bit smoother!

3-tips1In order to effectively choose the perfect typeface for your brand you must know that it is representative of you. Remember, YOU are your brand. So, do the hard work and figure out what it is that you love and what you are drawn to. (Read these posts for more information: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3)

After you have defined who you are and your unique style. You must identify your audience. Who will be viewing this typeface? What is she/he drawn to? What is appealing to them? You must know your ideal client very well, so that you can meet and then exceed their expectations. A helpful little task would be to jot down a few characteristics of your business and your ideal client. Having such a list can act as a criteria for making those tough decisions. For example: whimsical, light-hearted, and casual versus elegant, fancy, and traditional. When looking at typefaces you immediately begin pairing down your options just by using a simple list of descriptors.

This first step is honestly the most important. If you cannot answer these questions then the overall look of your brand will most likely appear disjointed and will be confusing to your potential client as well. A solid understanding of who you are will undoubtedly help you make decisions that will resonate with your client and will effectively communicate the feeling, message, qualities, and characteristics of your brand you are hoping to communicate.

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Knowing the difference between a Serif and a Sans-Serif can be the difference between communicating formal elegance to modern whimsy.

Despite what many would say there are no hard and fast rules to which typeface style communicates what because even within the Serif or Sans-Serif categories there are modern and traditional, playful and serious. And again, this is where knowing you and your client and the message you are trying to speak is very helpful. You can easily look a typeface and see if it is communicating fancy or playful. I have given a few examples below.

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3-tips-fonts5Lastly, choose timeless over trendy for your branding typefaces. This is so important. We often get caught up in the newest, hottest design trend, design everything around that trend and then a year later we wonder why we hate everything about our branding. This means making decisions that are built around more than what you think is hot right now. In general professional brands, in the creative industry or not, are going to steer away from those novelty fonts, anything too decorative, ornate, quirky, etc. Those types just tend to get tired very quickly. Now, I’m not saying that those fun, trendy, quirky, unique typefaces don’t have their place, they do and they can, just not in your primary branding.

I have tons of more little tips just like this and may have to just do another post! I hope this is helpful!!

And just for fun you should go play this.

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Don’t forget!  Today is the LAST day to register for the largely discounted Early Bird rate for the Branding and Business Essentials workshop for photographers being held this summer in Richmond, VA.  If you are on the fence about coming shoot me an e-mail and I will gladly talk you through whether or not this is the right workshop for you.  It is going to be AMAZING! As one of the attendees from the last workshop put it…

“…I felt like a lightbulb was going off in my head at every part of the workshop!”

I love that!  Get one of the last few seats here! Happy Friday friends!