Choosing the right font for your brand can be a difficult task. It's often something that is overlooked, but it has such an impact on how your business is perceived and how consumers interact with your content. Fonts say so much about what you're trying to convey, they can make or break your entire brand identity. This guide will help you decide which fonts are best for different brands and offer some helpful tips on picking fonts from independent foundries.
What are fonts?
Let's start off simple. Fonts are a specific style of letters, numbers, symbols or glyphs that make up words on a page. Fonts can be classified as serif, sans-serif (or sans), script or decorative font types.
- Serif fonts have additional strokes at the end of each letter, this is to help the letters in sentences or text flow together. Serifs have been used in print design since the invention of moveable type because they're easier to read at small sizes than sans serif fonts. Serif fonts also look more formal.
- Sans-serif fonts literally means "without serifs" and have a more modern feel. Because they don't have any additional strokes, they're the most common font type on the web because of their clean and easy to read style that works well for larger font sizes such as headings or headlines.
- Script font types have an elegant flowing style that can be used for formal invitations or announcements.
- Decorative fonts may include borders, swirls or other unique design elements that don't fit into more traditional categories of fonts.
These are just a few of the different font types we recommend for your brand. Choosing or designing the perfect typeface is more than picking what's trending, it has everything to do with how you want people to feel when they consume your content and represent who you are as an individual or company.
Type, Typeface, Font?
A typeface is a set of type that includes several fonts. For example, the popular Helvetica is a font but not the only font in that family. There are many other weights and styles of Helvetica to choose from - light, bold, regular etc.
A font is the specific weight or style within the typeface; for instance if you want to set a document in Helvetica, you'd need both the font and then typeface.
Typography is the practice and study of the art and technique for arranging type in order to make language visible.
A glyph is a letter in the alphabet, or an ideograph that may represent either letters and symbols.
Choosing a font
Choosing a font for your brand is an important decision, as it conveys the tone of your company. Ideally you want to select fonts that are in line with what your brand stands for and will be able use them across all channels: printing, digital or web design without feeling out-of-place.
When selecting which font to use, think about your brand's personality.
- Do you want a traditional font that speaks to tradition?
- Or do you want a more modern, sleek and minimalistic look?
- Does it convey your brand's personality?
- Is it appropriate for the message you're trying to communicate?
- Can people read it easily without getting distracted by an overly complicated or hard-to-read design?
- Try different fonts until one stands out as the perfect fit for your company.
Where to find fonts
There are many places to find fonts, but not all of them have the same quality. The best place to start is with Google Fonts or Adobe Typekit (which are both free). Google Fonts in particular has a selection of great fonts, such as Inter and Lato.
If you're looking for a paid font, you might want to search font marketplaces such as MyFonts or Font Bureau. They have a wide range of high quality fonts that are well designed and 100% licensed from their original designers.
If you're looking for something really special, you may want to consider browsing an independent font foundry, who work with a small set of designers or their own in-house team to release new fonts on a periodic basis.
What can you do with fonts?
Fonts are one part of your brand. You can use them in various places such as headlines, headings and body copy on your website.
You should also consider fonts for cover photos, social media posts etc. This will help create a more cohesive brand experience across all of your marketing channels.
How much should I pay for a font?
When you're looking for a font to purchase, it's important to know what your budget looks like.
Some typefaces are priced as low as $50 and some can cost up to $1000+. This is due in part that quality of fonts vary drastically from size so if you need the best quality typeface on the market, be prepared.
Another factor in the price is if the typeface is sold as a single weight. Some foundries will sell both regular and italic (or oblique) weights of their fonts, while others offer just one or the other to save on costs for those who need it.
Additionally, fonts have different levels of support for languages. If you're looking for a font to support all of the languages in your product, be prepared to pay more than if it was just English.
Desktop fonts vs webfonts
When you're downloading a font nowadays, you typically have a few options including Desktop, Web, App, Print, etc. Desktop / Print fonts are designed to be installed on the designer's computer and typically come on OTF or TTF format.
If you're looking for a font to use on your website, then webfonts are the best option. These fonts will be served by the web server and downloaded in various formats like EOT or WOFF so that it displays properly across all browsers. Webfonts are great because they're easily accessible and only need to exist in one place: the server that's serving up your website or app content.
What are the best font foundries?
At Jellypepper, we're always looking for brilliant typefaces and we've collected a short list of independent font foundries that we visit every time we start a new project: