Typefaces for Dummies: The Basics of Finding a Branded Font

Typefaces for Dummies: The Basics of Finding a Branded Font

Choosing the right font for your brand can feel like a daunting task. With thousands of typefaces available, how do you know which one will best capture the essence of your business and connect with your target audience?

The truth is that your font choice is just as important as your logo or color palette when it comes to building a cohesive, memorable brand. The right typeface can elevate your marketing materials, website and overall visual identity. Select the wrong one and you risk looking amateurish or out-of-touch. 

In this guide, we'll walk you through the fundamentals of font selection, from understanding basic classifications to strategies for pairing typefaces that complement your brand. By the end, you'll have the knowledge to choose a branded font that leaves a lasting impression.

Understanding Font Classifications

The first step in selecting the perfect font is familiarizing yourself with the four major typeface categories:

1. Serif Fonts

Characterized by the small decorative strokes at the ends of letters, serif fonts have a classic, formal look. Those decorative strokes can make it easier to read long blocks of text by letting our eye better grasp the shape of the word at a glance, which is why they are almost always the font of choice for printed books or e-readers. They work well for brands aiming to convey tradition, authority or sophistication - think Times New Roman or Georgia.

2. Sans-Serif Fonts

Clean and modern without any embellishments, sans-serif fonts offer a minimalist aesthetic. They’re on the other end of the print vs. digital spectrum and are the preferred font on screens for readability, adaptability and web-safety. From a branding standpoint, they're a great choice for tech companies and startups or any brand seeking a contemporary edge - examples include Arial and Helvetica.

3. Script/Handwritten Fonts

Flowing, calligraphic typefaces mimic the appearance of handwriting. Depending on the font, they can work beautifully for elegant, artisanal brands that want to evoke a sense of craftsmanship or they can work for fun, creative brands that want to appear relatable and personable - such as La Parisienne or Lucida Calligraphy.

4. Display Fonts

Highly stylized and attention-grabbing, display fonts don’t fit the serif, sans-serif or script molds. These are perfect for making a statement in headlines, logos and other prominent placements. Ideally, you should never use a display font for body copy; they’re intended for large headers and displays, hence the name. Popular options include Lobster and Amatic SC.

Choosing a Font That Aligns With Your Brand

Now that you understand the key font classifications, it's time to start thinking about which one will best represent your brand. Begin by evaluating your brand personality and desired image. Are you going for something classic and sophisticated? Modern and minimalist? Artisanal and creative?

The font you select should visually convey those brand attributes. For example, a sleek sans-serif typeface would pair well with a healthcare startup, while an elegant script font could elevate the branding of a luxury jewelry line.

It's also important to consider font psychology and the associations certain typefaces evoke. Serif fonts tend to be perceived as more serious and traditional, while sans-serifs feel clean and contemporary. On the other hand, script fonts can communicate a sense of warmth and craftsmanship. Understanding these psychological factors will help you choose a typeface that resonates with your target audience.

Of course, readability is key. No matter how visually compelling your font may be, it needs to remain legible across all your marketing materials - from website headlines to product labels.

Michael Cheng,
Account Manager

Back to List

This website stores cookies on your computer. These cookies are used to collect information about how you interact with our website and allow us to remember you. We use this information in order to improve and customize your browsing experience and for analytics and metrics about our visitors both on the website and other media. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our Privacy Policy.