How to Pick the Perfect Font

Everyone knows the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words, but did anyone ever ask what font they used? Just like images, colors, and textures play their part in design, fonts have an equal role in the design process. You could say a brand is nothing without its font package.

Have you ever seen a brand with an outdated font, or one that just didn’t match their business messaging?

As a designer, I can tell you I’ve been there many times before. I’m all for tradition, but updated and refreshed fonts have a higher chance of drawing me towards the brand. I’m also sure 95% of people who don’t have a design degree could say the same. Less is more.

It might actually be a weird hobby of mine to know what fonts certain brands like Apple (Helvetica) and Chipotle (Papyrus-the old logo) use. If done correctly, a font can speak for the brand itself. For example, Netflix has the iconic font “Bebas Neue” as its logo, and this simple font speaks for the company’s values and mission as a whole.

Additionally, fonts are one of the simplest ways to refresh your brand when you’re looking for an updated style. As I said before, does anyone remember the old Chipotle or Apple logo? A quick Google search could refresh your memory, but let’s just say, they look nothing like what they are today (and this is for the better, in my opinion).

So, without further ado, here are some ways to ensure that you pick the perfect font for your brand.

  1. Consider font classifications and font styles

When picking the perfect font for your brand, consider font classifications (serif, sans serif, script, mono width) and font styles (thin, light, medium, regular, semi-bold, bold). Different font classifications give off different vibes. For example, a script font can give off an elegant or feminine feel, while a mono width font can give off a bold or masculine feel. Tech and marketing companies love to use sans serif fonts because it gives off a minimalistic and professional feel. Consider this, would you want a gothic font to represent your flower shop?

You also want to make sure your chosen font has different font styles. Font styles are a simple way for a designer to make headings, subheadings, paragraphs, and icons using the same font. Whether you purchase your font from Adobe Fonts or another website, make sure it comes with font styles. There is nothing more creatively frustrating than getting a font that is only in “medium.” Not only does this constrict a designer from having creative freedom, but it may force them to go off-brand and use different fonts.

  1. Consider font pairings

Whether you consider yourself a designer or not, there’s nothing quite as unsettling than seeing two miss matched fonts. We’ve all seen it before; two different serif fonts, or a script font with a handwritten one. Just picture the inspirational quotes that we often see at stores like TJMaxx.

Some examples of common font pairings that do go well together are:

  • sans serif + serif font
  • a script + sans serif
  • script + serif font
  • monowidth + decorative font

With these combinations, you not only get the best of both worlds, but these pairings can bring your brand to a unique level. When picking fonts, play around with different classifications to see which go well together.

  1. Make sure it reflects your business values and mission rather than trends

I agree, sometimes a brand needs a logo refresh after being in business for some time. However, unless you’re a company like Apple or McDonald’s that can afford a logo refresh every five to ten years, you’ll want to make sure your font selections reflect your business’ values and mission the first time around. Switching your branding and font choices every few years is not only costly, but you’ll lose your customer loyalty and recognition along the way. 

It’s important to remember that trends come and go in both business and design, but the thing that is less likely to change are your values and mission. Due to this, you want even your fonts to represent the best version of your brand from the beginning.

  1. Make sure your fonts are compatible and scalable

As a designer, there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to scale or change a font to fit a particular design, and no matter what you do, it just doesn’t look right. For example, when you try to thicken up a thin, script font, the lines get jumbled and pushed together. When choosing the perfect font for your brand, make sure you know this font will look good on colored backgrounds, in an outline stroke, filled, thick, or thin. Not only will it save your designer a lot of heartache, but it will ultimately give your brand more cohesion.

There you have it, four ways to help you choose the perfect font for your brand’s entire design.  Keep in mind, these are simply suggestions from a designer’s perspective, and the word “perfect” in the design world is subjective. The beauty of design is that if you want to be the first flower shop that uses a gothic, distressed font for your brand style – you have the freedom to go for it!