Typography is an art form. It consists of arranging letters tangibly so they are clear to read and appealing to the eye. It is a very important part of branding. Sadly it is not as simple as using word art. Typography involves typefaces, line lengths, appearance, spacing and most importantly provoking a certain emotion in the people who see it. A brand needs to pick a font that fits with its image and can easily be linked back to that brand.
Think of big brands like Coca Cola, Cadbury and Amazon. I’m sure you all have a visual idea of how the typography in their logo’s look. That visual recollection makes it so the brand is instantly recognisable even without needing to read the words. Consistent typography can establish your brand with the public.
The first part to consider when picking or designing typography is the typeface and font you will be using. Typeface and font are often confused with each other when in fact they are two different things. A typeface is to put it simply, a family of fonts. The fonts in a typeface can differ in weight, width and height but overall have a similar design that shows the resemblance. There are three common types of fonts, serif, sans serif and display fonts.
Serif fonts have small strokes attached to the main body of the letter. This type of font is often considered to look classic and old, often being used in serious publications. Sans serif is the complete opposite, having the small strokes missing to leave just the main letter. This is the font you will be most familiar with as it is seen as the modern font, often being used online. Display fonts are pretty self-explanatory from their name. They are decorative and supposed to appeal to the eye, like a display. They are mostly used in small amounts, like logo text or titles as they are design heavy and would not look good being continuously used. These types of fonts should be considered when you choose a font to represent your business as each one gives a different tone to your brand.
Another important part to consider is the mixing of different fonts from the same typeface. The rule of thumb is to stick to two or three different fonts as more than that can clutter a page. Using different fonts is useful for establishing a hierarchy. For example, using a bolder, larger font for the title and a smaller, thinner font for the body text already establishes a hierarchy and brings attention to the title first. Think about what you want your audience to focus on first.
The last point I will remind you of is the ‘Leading’. The leading is the space between the text and should not go unnoticed. Bad use of spacing can lead to eye strain and difficulty reading your work which will deter readers so make sure your text is easy to read for everyone. None of the other points made previously will matter if the spacing is wrong.
Colour is also an important element of typography. Choosing the right colours can really help with peoples association with your brand. To find out more about how to use Colour theory in association with your brand, read our article on Branding and Colour.