How To Choose Fonts That Reflect Your Brand

When you first started dreaming up the branding for your website, how much time did you spend exploring your fonts?  How did you narrow down the hundreds of choices out there to the pair (or trio) you’re using now? Did you look at an infographic on Pinterest and randomly pick something?  Did you see a font and say, “Oooh, I really like that one! Let’s go with that.”

Did you think about how others would perceive you based solely on your fonts?

Choosing fonts for your brand requires a combined understanding of art, psychology and technology.  Just like Goldilocks, when you find that harmonious combination, everything feels just right.

But unlike Goldilocks (who really only cared about herself and her own feelings), choosing your fonts can impact the way your audience feels about you.  Each time they see your content online, they get an impression of you, whether it’s a conscious one or a subconscious one.

So make sure you are leaving the right impression for your brand and business by choosing fonts that are a good fit.  

Let’s take a quick look at how fonts work so you can weigh your options with more intention and purpose.

How to Choose Fonts That Reflect Your Brand

Fonts That Work for Headlines and Paragraphs

Your website is the one place where you have the most control over your brand and how your audience perceives you.  The way you brand your website (which is basically how you business) can have a huge impact on your sales, client bookings and growth.  So let’s start there.

When you think of all the words you display on each page of your website, you can see how important it is to choose fonts that work in your favor.

Each blog post, product description or text block is an opportunity to leave a lasting impression on your audience.

There are two types of fonts that work best for you here, and they are serif fonts and sans-serif fonts.  I recommend using a combination of two different fonts overall, one for your headlines and one for your paragraphs.  

You may be asking, “Should I pair up a sans-serif font with a serif font?  Should I use two serif fonts, or two sans-serif fonts? Agh!”

Let me explain how the two font types are different, and what effect they have on readers.

Serif fonts have those little feet on the letters.  That’s it.

Here are some examples of serif fonts using words that describe the mood they create:

  • Classic
  • Traditional
  • Comforting
  • Intellectual
  • Sophisticated

Serif Font Examples

 

Sans-serif fonts don’t have the little feet on the letters.  That’s it.

Here are some examples of serif fonts using words that describe the mood they create:

  • Modern
  • Tech-Savvy
  • Clean
  • Accessible
  • Minimalist

Sans-Serif Font Examples

 

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Take notice of how fonts are used online.  If you plan on adding a lot of readable content to your website, consider using a sans-serif font.  It makes readability a lot easier, which will keep people on your site longer.” quote=”Take notice of how fonts are used online.  If you plan on adding a lot of readable content to your website, consider using a sans-serif font.  It makes readability a lot easier, which will keep people on your site longer.” theme=”style1″]

Fonts That Should Be Used Sparingly

Adding a little flair to your font selection is very tempting, especially when you see it on other websites.  A popular trend is to throw in a third font type that accents your headlines with an extra pop. That font type are usually brush stroke fonts, calligraphy fonts, or script fonts.

Brush stroke fonts look like they were created by a paintbrush.  

Here are some examples of brush fonts using words that describe the mood they create:

  • Trendy
  • Casual
  • Youthful

Brush Font Examples

 

Calligraphy fonts look like handwritten fonts.

Here are some examples of calligraphy fonts using words that describe the mood they create:

  • Traditional
  • Fancy
  • Disciplined

Calligraphy Font Examples

 

Script fonts also look handwritten, either in cursive or printed.

Here are some examples of script fonts using words that describe the mood they create:

  • Feminine
  • Personal
  • Elegant
  • Casual

Script Font Examples

 

Accent fonts should be used sparingly because they are trendy.  

Yes, they are super cute and add a personalized touch, but they can also look dated very quickly.  (The movie posters for Flashdance, Footloose and Dirty Dancing all come to mind.)

[click_to_tweet tweet=”A good brand design stands the test of time.  Choosing fonts that have a long-lasting appeal will support that.” quote=”A good brand design stands the test of time.  Choosing fonts that have a long-lasting appeal will support that.” theme=”style1″]  

Accent fonts are also more challenging to read online, so keep in mind that they could be jarring to your audience.  

Fonts for Logos Only

Last but not least is the display font.  This font type is designed in an artistic way, which makes it look more like a graphic than a font.  The novelty of a display font makes it useful for something like an inexpensive (free) text logo, but not for much else.

Here are some examples of display fonts and how they can look more graphic than a standard text logo:

Display Font Examples

Again, readability will be an issue when using display fonts.  You can work around this if you’re displaying a large font size for a logo, but I would not recommend using display fonts for any smaller copy.

Final Thoughts

The fonts you choose for your website play an important role in the overall look and feel of your brand.  

The fonts you choose will have an effect on your audience, whether that’s subtle, subliminal or super obvious.  

Consider how that relates to the amount of time they want to spend looking at your content online. If you’re using fonts that turn them off, your audience might not stick around long enough to receive your message.

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