The Science of Typography
In branding, you can say a lot more with your words based on how you present them. There are many underlying meanings within typography styles, alignments, fonts, and more. Just like with color choices for your logo, typography choices for your brand present numerous options for how you want to represent yourself and the message you want to get across. It’s important to understand what these different options mean, and to pick one that aligns with your company culture.
In general, there are three different types of fonts: serif, sans serif, and script. There are subtypes and variations, however, they can be summarized in these three main sections.
Serif fonts have little “tails” at the ends of the letters, that usually extend outward ever so slightly. These small extensions to the lines actually increase readability in large bodies of text, because they draw the eye from one letter to the next, without an abrupt break in between them. As a logo, serif fonts express a traditional, comforting, classic feel. These fonts are effective for businesses such as law firms, that want to come across as trustworthy, stable, and well-established. A most notable example of a serif font would be Times New Roman, which, until recently, was the default font for most word processing software because of its popularity and legibility.
Sans serif, meaning “without serif,” is a font type that quite literally explains itself. Sans serif fonts lack the “tails” that serif fonts have. Without these little line extensions, sans serif fonts can sometimes be more difficult to read in large quantities, but as a logo this font type creates a much more modern, clean, and progressive look that may be ideal for tech companies, or other businesses who wish to evoke feelings of trendiness and forward-thinking. A well-known example of a san serif font is Arial, but others include Calibri (the current default body text font for Microsoft Word), and Helvetica (which is very often seen in recent logos).
Script (or cursive) font is not used as often in logos because of the difficulty to remain legible in various sizes, but when it is used, it usually portrays elegance, creativity, and sophistication. Though not as popular as the other two font types discussed above, script is definitely seeing a rise in usage amongst brands. With the recent trends including hand-lettered signs, and combining font styles, script fonts are seeing the light of day more often.
Within all of these font types, there are numerous font families, and within those families are various styles. For instance, as mentioned above, a few sans serif font family options are Arial, Calibri, and Helvetica. If you choose to move forward with Arial, then you have to decide on whether you want to use regular, italic, bold, light, narrow, or any one of the other seemingly endless possibilities. Each one of these variations says something slightly different than the others, so it’s important to carefully consider which one to go with.
What is Your Typography Saying About You?
After gaining some insight on what various typography styles mean, have you decided that your font choice is not quite right for your company? Are your words and the style you are presenting them in conflicting with each other? Contact us at BattleAxe Designs, and we will get a feel for the message you are trying to get across, as well as your company culture and mission statement, so we can help pick (or create custom!) a font that more accurately represents your brand.
Want to see some work we have done with other companies? Check out our portfolio.