Filed in Small Business Tips
Building your brand is like building a puzzle. There are a lot of pieces that go into making the picture whole. And it may take some time to put it all together. Choosing your brand’s fonts is just another piece of the puzzle. Like your brand’s color palette, your fonts, when chosen mindfully, will help you grow your business by working to attract the type of clients you want to work with (and who want to work with you!). Let’s get into why fonts are so important and how you can choose the right ones for your brand.
Your brand fonts should be completely different from the fonts used in your logo. Logos can be artistic and a bit abstract. If you happen to be using your logo font for more than your logo, don’t panic, but you’ll want to change that as soon as you can. Your logo is a special piece of the puzzle, and those particular fonts should be reserved for only your logo so as not to draw attention from it. Your (non-logo) brand fonts need to be cohesive, legible, and match your overall vibe. This specific group of fonts will be used on your website, business cards, blog content (headings, subheadings, body text, etc.), and your social media posts.
Much like the other elements of your brand, the fonts you choose should represent the vibe you want to give off when potential clients are interacting with your content. Fonts can influence your audience’s mood just as much as colors, which is why it’s so important that they’re chosen with intention. For example, if you choose an overused, handcrafted font like Papyrus, you will immediately be seen as non-serious and outdated (Learn from James Cameron’s mistake when choosing his font for the serious blockbuster film Avatar. The SNL skit featuring Ryan Gosling in the video below drives this point home!
On the other hand, more serious fonts like Times New Roman communicate that you’re all business and little personality. When your potential clients are interacting with your brand, your font should match the mood you want to communicate while still being easy to read and true to your vibe. Your fonts (like your brand colors) will attract or repel potential clients. I know, repel sounds harsh, but remember, it’s a good thing. The point of designing your brand around your unique personality is to attract clients who align with you, and you can only do that by showcasing who you are at the core so they know what it’s like to work with you.
When I visit my Grandma, I pass a now abandoned daycare center. You would never guess this place was a daycare center if it weren’t mentioned in the name. The sign out front is written in a font that looks more fitting for a poster of The Nightmare Before Christmas. The font evokes feelings of panic, unease, and creepiness. To top it off, the sign is black and crimson red (more about the importance of color in another blog). I know this is an extreme example, but I’m not kidding, this place exists! Are those the feelings you would want to feel as you drop your child off at daycare? Of course not! In reality, this place was probably a perfectly good daycare center, but subconsciously, they were repelling potential clients by not being mindful of the feelings their brand evoked.
Having a set of intentional fonts and using them throughout your brand’s marketing materials creates consistency, which is so important for finding new, right-fit clients and keeping your relationship with the ones you have. Consistent messaging is crucial to ensure that your audience knows what you have to offer, what it’s like to work with you, and ultimately, if you’re the right fit for them. It’s a green flag. It means you’re stable and you can be trusted. If your brand elements are all over the place, that will create confusion for your potential audience and cause them to move on to someone else that they see as reliable. Consistency is created with all of the pieces of the puzzle, including your color palette, fonts, and images.
Often, I come across brands with both too little and too many different fonts, so there is a harmonious middle ground to be had. Ideally, you should use 2-4 fonts consistently. The fonts should vary in thickness and usually be a combination of serifs and sans serifs fonts (serifs have tiny feet at the bottom/top of the letters, and san-serifs do not). Most importantly, your chosen fonts need to be easy to read! If your potential audience can’t read your content, they definitely won’t be engaging with your content enough to get to know you, and they won’t feel confident moving forward working with you.
The goal with your set of fonts is to communicate the vibe you want your brand to give off. How do you want your potential clients to feel when they’re interacting with your brand? Is your brand whimsical, calm, or more serious? Ensure the fonts you choose represent your brand’s personality (aka YOUR personality).
Another goal is to have enough options to create a hierarchy with a variety of fonts when writing content. For example, with your blog article, you need different fonts for your title, headings, subheadings, and body text (the blog you’re reading right now is a great example!). You’ll use fonts in different sizes to communicate the importance of certain sections and to make content scannable. Also, keep in mind that you can use the same fonts in different ways. You can change the weight (bold, light, heavy, italic), and you can choose to write in ALL CAPS (yes, you can do this without looking like you’ve written a Howler).
You may also want an accent font for your website or social media posts. Typically, accent fonts are scripts, but those don’t always fit every brand and can sometimes be hard to read, so be careful. Always use font scripts sparingly, no more than one sentence at a time. Script fonts tend to be trendy, so they should be chosen carefully. They tend to become dated faster than other fonts, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them at all, especially if they fit your vibe.
Even though it sounds a million times easier, do your best to resist the urge to use all system fonts or fonts that come pre-loaded in programs like Gmail, Canva, or Google Fonts. Yes, this may seem like a more convenient option, but it will make your brand look dated and blend in with the crowd, as they tend to be overused. Instead, try mixing and matching some carefully selected free fonts (Google Fonts has some hidden gems) with paid fonts. Picking unique fonts may seem like a task, but it’s so worth it. It will set your brand apart, give off the appropriate vibe, and help you grow your beautiful business. My go-to for font discovery is Creative Market. Personally, I use this site all the time to find quality, personality-packed fonts for my brand design clients. I often find them for less than $25 each, which is a steal for the overall impact.
How to pair fonts
When you’re choosing your fonts, keep in mind that you’ll be pairing them together. Deciding which fonts aesthetically go together can be difficult, so here is a quick tip on how to create a proper hierarchy. Think opposites. If you have a short, stout font, pair it with a taller font. If the font is chunky and bold, pair it with a slim font. As long as the title or header stands out and the body font is super easy to read, you’re on the right track.
Like the other elements of your brand, fonts play a subconscious role in your business’s success and your ability to attract aligned clients, which is why it’s important they’re chosen mindfully. Not only do fonts help create consistency, but they also influence and attract your ideal clients. It’s totally possible to DIY this and get it right. It may just take a little time and effort on your part until you find the fonts that speak to you and your brand. If you don’t have the capacity to DIY your brand elements or all of this just sounds overwhelming, hire a brand designer (like me) to create a cohesive design backed by strategy.
One of the things my clients love about our work together is that I explain my design decisions like, I picked this font because it communicates this emotion that we identified as important. I find that my clients are much more likely to commit to their brand design and use it consistently when they understand the psychology behind what their brand elements are communicating.
If you’re ready to work together, Let’s connect. I’d love to help you build a brand that helps you attract more of the types of clients you dream of working with!
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ARTISAN KIND LLC © 2023
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As a proud Showit Design Partner, I create strategic visual identities from my 100% solar-powered studio, helping you showcase your expertise, attract more aligned clients, and build a life you love! Based in Eau Claire, WI, serving clients worldwide.