Fonts - what are the differences and why do they matter for your brand identity?

There are many components to your visual brand identity and your typography style and font choice is just one of them.

Why do fonts matter for your brand?

We know that your brand has a certain 'personality' and the fonts you use when you communicate with your audience should express your brand personality. For example, if you are a wedding planner you probably want to choose a handwritten or calligraphy font in your communications. An old-established financial services business would probably go for a traditional serif typeface, such as Garamond or Times New Roman.

What is the difference between a serif and a sans serif font?

Serif fonts have a decorative line added to the beginning and/or end of a letter while sans serif fonts don’t have any of these 'tails' - they are made up of simple, clean lines that are the same width throughout.

Below is an example of a sans serif vs serif fonts.

Most used serif fonts include Times New Roman, Garamond, Baskerville, Georgia, and Courier New. Popular sans serif fonts are Arial, Helvetica, Proxima Nova, Futura, and Calibri.

Generally, a more traditional business might go for serif fonts as they are a great choice for brands that want to be seen as trustworthy, established, and reliable e.g., financial firms, insurances or law practices.

Sans serif fonts are the best choice if you want your brand designs to feel modern, sophisticated, and cutting edge (Apple, Google, Adidas).

But don’t get stuck thinking you can only use a serif font for your accountancy business or a sans serif font if you are a new tech company.

As always in the design world, there are exceptions to every rule. Sometimes exploring both types of font styles can help to break design stereotypes which can set your brand apart from the competition. Most importantly when creating your visual brand and choosing a typeface is to ensure it reflects your personality and helps to communicate your message clearly. Remember that everything in your brand from your website, logo, social media, posters, signage, packaging and emails contain words and because it makes up such a large percentage of your brand identity, it is vital to ensure that it is well-considered.

A branding designer will also help you with font-pairing which means they will choose fonts for your brand that complement each other. Quite often, they combine a serif and a sans serif font to create a contrast between your fonts, making your communications more interesting and encouraging your audience to want to find out more about you, which is what you want to achieve with your communications, isn't it?

So, choosing the right fonts is another vital part of your visual identity - more than you may realise!