Typography can say a lot about your brand. Often, it is your brand’s first impression on a customer. Whether your name is being displayed on a billboard, business card, or website: it is communicating something about your brand. The very first visual impression prompts a consumer to form an idea of what your brand is all about. They immediately conduct a superficial evaluation of who you are and what you do.

Typography Title Cases
Image via dessign.net

Chris Bailey, President and CEO of Bailey Brand Consulting, states that “the journey of building equity in a brand begins with its name, messaging and the product or service experience – all expressed through a visual language.” Here exists the potential to become a household name with unique branding or one of a million struggling brands lost in a sea of, well, bad branding. Choosing the appropriate typography to incorporate into your advertising material can jump start a consumer’s positive opinion of your product or service. Conversely, if you decide upon a signature typeface that does not effectively provide an accurate image of your brand, you run the risk of garnering negative connotations for your business.

I trust that what I have stated thus far is nothing new or groundbreaking for Business2Community readers. However, the unfortunate truth is that we still see a large number of businesses neglect the message their typography is sending. In my experience, this seems to happen most often with small companies who may not have the budget for hiring a designer to create a unique font. But you don’t need a trademarked font to communicate an accurate and consistent message. Here are a few things to consider when selecting typography for your brand.

Serif or Sans Serif?

Think about who you are and what you are all about as a brand. Once you have those answers, decide whether a serif font or sans serif font will communicate that message most effectively. For example, which font do you think works best to represent a gym that wants to appeal to bodybuilders?

Typography Serif Example

Bold or Skinny?

Does your brand image require a more masculine or feminine element? Typography can go a long way in visually communication the “feel” or “vibe” of your brand. What do you think is the most effective option for PowerLift?

ALL CAPS, no caps, or Title Case?

Capital letters will create a different perception than lowercase letters. What works best for your brand name? Let’s look at the example again. Which variation do you prefer for the gym’s message?

Typography Title Cases

The suggestions above are only a few of the things you could (and should) consider when choosing the right typography for your brand. Once you have worked through the process and have a few options to choose from, conduct a focus group to find out what perception is created by each of your typography selections. This will give you a more accurate gauge of how your audience views your brand. And then it’s time to make a final decision and start incorporating your new typography consistently throughout your advertising materials.

Additional Resources to Get You Started

If you think it’s time to update your brand’s typography but don’t have the marketing budget to hire a design agency, never fear. There are lots of great resources available online to help you explore fresh, new font designs without breaking the bank. MyFonts.com gives you access to thousands of fonts, which you can explore to get an idea of what will fit your brand. You can purchase any font you like from MyFonts for a small, one-time fee. I would also recommend checking out 99designs.com if you are interested in crowdsourcing a fresh brand look. This platform allows you to set the price you are willing to pay for a new design and choose from the submissions received for your project. There are plenty of other great resources available online as well. Feel free to share any additional design tools in the comments section.

Read more: 2014 Typography Trends to Remember in 2015