Whether you're a multinational corporation, an independent sole trader or somewhere in the middle, your branding speaks volumes about your business. It becomes the pictorial representation of the organization and all it stands for – and it appears on everything from your website to your front door to your letterheads and invoices.
It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole and find yourself spending way too much time and money. You might get an expert designer working and reworking a logo, or spend a week evaluating psychological reactions to different colors.
But are we missing the wood for the trees? In a world where content is king, there is more emphasis on words than ever before. How much have you thought about how those words appear? Designer Jonathan Barnbrook said “a good typeface creates an emotional response in relation to the message it is conveying.” But what does “good” mean? That very much depends on the message to want to convey and that, in turn, is dictated by the sector in which your business operates. Here, we illustrate the point with three very different examples.
A finance business needs to convey an air of professionalism and trust. That’s fine, but you could say the same about the legal and even medical sectors. The difference with finance is that clarity is also key.
When a company is in the business of presenting numbers, it is important to choose a font with tabular figures. In plain English, these are ones where there is a fixed space between each character. Tabular and professional does not have to add up to boring, however. Gotham Narrow and Chronicle are two fonts that check those boxes but also look contemporary.
The online gaming sector has become immensely competitive over the past few years. This is particularly the case in the casino genre, and doubly so since Las Vegas and other resorts went into temporary shut-down. Gaming companies walk a tightrope when it comes to designing fonts. Their players will have strong associations of certain typefaces with certain themes, for example geometric sans serif and sci-fi. But go for the obvious, and it becomes a cliché.
Another aspect of the tightrope is that blend of fun and professionalism. After all, a game is just a game, but if it is via a platform where you might be transferring money and sharing personal details, you need to know the site has a serious side. To stick with the Vegas example, a site that achieves this effectively is Vegas Slots Online. The main logo conveys fun and excitement, but is not just a Sin City rip off, it has its own identity. Click onto the real money section, though, and the typeface gets serious as the site guides you through the different options. This is quite different to a site like Kiloo, where there are no financial transactions to consider and it is all about family fun.
Good enough to eat? Whether it’s online or in a restaurant, food businesses take plenty of time getting their menu designs just right. Like the gaming example above, a good menu will need a mixture of fonts to properly work.
A display font for the main logo and, perhaps, the section headings, speaks volumes about the type of establishment, from understated, elegant fine dining to family-friendly burger joints.
When it gets to the serious business of the food choices, however, it is important to tone things down with a font that is legible and, remembering our lesson from the finance sector, where prices can be clearly understood.
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