How to choose the right fonts for your brand

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“How do I pick fonts?” is a really common question that I’ve gotten since I’ve been branding clients, especially the last couple of years. Although your brand can evolve, change and certainly grow with you over the years, typefaces and color palettes are major components by which your audience comes to recognize you. You don’t want to constantly be switching things up every few months.

Branding and design is a big investment. You want to be professional and you want to do it right. Choosing a nice combination of typefaces is one way to help your visual identity stand out and be remembered. Whether you are putting some pieces together yourself or you’re working with a designer, here are three quick and easy tips to keep in mind:

1) Start with at least two: a serif and sans serif

While there are endless options and varieties of fonts floating around all over the world, this is a simple, classic and always solid way to look at and start pairing them together. It’s a rule of thumb that I was always taught in design school. Choose a serif (in “regular, non-design terms” think Times New Roman) and then choose a sans serif to offset it a bit (again, in “regular, non-design terms” think Arial.) You want something that is easy to read, especially in large blocks of copy. And, you want something that can be used to help break up the copy and will give a viewer’s eyes something else to rest on and look at. Also, a big tip is to choose fonts that come from “families” basically meaning that there are different variations of each (like regular, bold, italic, etc.) – this way, they will be more versatile to work with.    

2) Find typefaces that express your voice, personality and style

What is your brand representing? Who are you, what do you do, what are you about and whom do you serve? How do you want to make those people feel? Think about the experience that you want them to have when they come into contact with any aspect of your brand. The typefaces that you use within your logo, website, marketing materials and social media graphics need to tell stories and represent your brand accurately. So, consider if you want that style (and in turn, the fonts) to be light, modern, sophisticated and soft — or big, heavy and bold. Fonts and the right combinations of them can provide you with major impact — and look and feel. 

3) Decide between purchasing and/or downloading fonts for free

It’s usually smart to purchase your font collections, so that you can own desktop and website licenses to use them. Less people might be likely to have them. And many times, they are higher quality and legally safe to use. Creative Market and My Fonts are great resources for purchasing them. Other designers will advise against downloading free fonts, but I don’t totally agree with that. I have downloaded A LOT of free fonts over the years and they’ve functioned perfectly fine and fit the projects that I needed them for. You can use Font Squirrel or DaFont to browse countless options. The downside is that of course, anyone can download them, so they won’t always be as original — although they can still be effective and professional to use. The same can be said for purchased fonts — anyone can purchase the same ones that you do. So, it’s really up to you and whatever your budget is!

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