Fonts are People Too: Communicating Through Design

By April 2, 2015Creative

As a designer you put faith in your fonts. A font can make or break a design, and picking the perfect font is critical to how a message will be communicated to your audience. Fonts are people. As silly as this may sound every typeface has a personality.  Each one influences how we interpret words, how we read the messaging, and how it makes us feel which directly sets  the scene for the rest of the campaign, ad and design.

Typeface communicates with our subconscious.

This being said, typography plays a huge role in our every day lives. The font you choose will affect the consumer, which is why branding with a specific typeface is important. Humans are inherently visual. Brand fonts are the first step to communicating with your consumer and the typography you choose is often the first impression of your brand the customer will get.

Fonts & branding: telling a story with your font.

Once established, your messaging needs to be carried through the rest of your style guide.  The fonts you choose indicate what kind of brand you want to be perceived as and how you want the customer to feel. There are endless opportunities to flex your fonts, but I’m going to break down the two that have the most customizable options digitally: web & email.

For web the font needs to be easy and straight-forward. Think Sans serif fonts, the safest being Helvetica, Proxima Nova, Sans Source Pro, or Univers. Each of these fonts has multiple variations that allow you to create a different message with the weight of each one. For example, a “black” Helvetica creates a stronger more direct message for a headline than “light” thin Helvetica for the body.

With email this becomes very important for both legibility and creating a direct message to the consumer. In order to create the best message, you want to pick an easy to read font for the body copy. It’s easy to use your best judgment here: how do you feel when you open your brand email? Is it simple to read? Do your call to actions make you want to act? Etc.

At the end of the day you want your brand’s choice fonts to be legible, long lasting and help forward your brand’s purpose, not get in the way of it.

To hear more about fonts and their personality, listen to this great TED talk by Sarah Hyndman: Wake up and Smell the Fonts. If you have any questions, please reach out!

About: Hawke Media is full service outsourced CMO and digital advertising agency with clients in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

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