Typography Decoded: What It Says About Your Brand

Eye-tracking research conducted at Missouri University of Science and Technology found it takes users less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression, and it can take over two seconds for a user to settle on an impressionable part of your website. Carefully choosing the right design and typography can mean the difference between engaging a customer and losing them forever.


Typography Decoded: What It Says About Your Brand

Meanwhile, according to a study by Nielsen Norman Group, 86 percent of users failed to find the country’s current population on the U.S. Census Bureau’s homepage. Even though it was clearly visible in the upper right hand corner, the majority of people didn’t see it. The study found users missed it because it was presented in large, red numbers. The website failed to limit fonts and other text formatting, making users see the numbers as a promotion and ignoring it altogether.

Choose the wrong font, and your audience could ignore it like the U.S. Census Bureau example. Choose the right font, and your audience could see your brand as trustworthy and familiar. What does your typography and font choice say about your brand?

Script fonts

Brands looking to portray elegance, sophistication and class should choose a script font. This style is perceived as decorative and more creative than its clean and modern counterparts. For example, Ketel One uses a script font called the Bradley Gratis font. But script fonts are best kept for logos and headlines. Used in text, and script fonts can be difficult to read and lose your audience.

Handwriting fonts

Handwritten fonts offer a handmade feel that is more intimate than their modern and serif counterparts. A handwritten font gives the impression of personalization and can send the message that you want to connect with your audience. For example, the video sharing website Vimeo uses a handwritten-style logo. The font is a good choice for a community-driven company in which users interact with each other and share their latest finds.

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Serif fonts

Serifs are clean, modern fonts that are often used by corporations and businesses. Times New Roman, Garamond and Baskerville are some of the more popular serif fonts that spark feelings of respect. Companies that want to be seen as traditional and reliable often lean to serif fonts. Time magazine and Gap are just some of the businesses using serif logos. But serifs can also be used for body text in documents and books for easy readability.

San serif fonts

San serifs are generally a safe bet for just about any logo or document needs, and evoke a feeling of stability and modern style. They can be used in small body text, website copy, documents and presentations without difficulty. But serif fonts also make for classic logos like Microsoft. Famous examples of sans serif include Helvetica, Veranda and Arial. Like serifs, san serif fonts are easily readable in body text.

Display fonts

Display fonts are often used in brand logos and are full of personality to command attention. Impact and Mesquite are commonly used display fonts. Disney is a classic example of a display font logo that’s recognized around the world. Children don’t necessarily recognize each letter in the logo. But they do associate the connected logo with the Disney brand.

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This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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