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How Fonts Impact Branding

How Fonts Impact Branding

fontsAn awesome trademark phrase won't stick in anyone's head if it's impossible to read the font used to display the trademark. Unfortunately, some business owners choose complex fonts that look impossible to read on a storefront, as well as on essential business items like custom printed bags, advertising materials, and general product packaging.

There are virtually zero businesses that can ignore fonts and expect to create a logo that's unique and readable. The digital age has brought about some significant and humorous examples of poor font choice.

Remember the often-maligned "Comic Sans" font, which seemed to be a part of every hastily constructed website in the 1990s? Incredibly, some businesses still use this terrible font for logo text and trademark phrases.

Branding is Job Number One

An effective logo is incredibly valuable for branding, and the right text makes that logo infinitely more effective. According to Naldz Graphics:

Above all else, the branding should be the number one priority for it is the purpose of having a logo. Using the right font would make your branding more effective. The logo would even be more recognizable and would serve its purpose really well.

Subtle Changes, Big Differences

The visual nature of humans means that we perceive subtle changes even if we're not consciously aware of the change until someone tells us about it. According to Marsden + Associates, language and communication aren't the only responsibilities of marketers because humans perceive things visually.

Subtle variations in letterforms can make a surprisingly big difference and change the emotional impact of the information that is conveyed. Choosing the wrong font for a brand is like speaking in a false accent that feels “off” to the listener/reader.

Creating a Unified Front with Fonts

The variety of fonts may make it difficult to choose just one, but it's important to unify all sections of a business's public face. Continuity from the design of the website to the custom paper bags is essential in creating a unifying brand and recognizable face for the business.

Communication Arts reveals:

One reason Apple’s stores look so good is the careful and consistent application of [the typeface] Myriad. But Kmart’s careless mashup of Helvetica, Gill Sans, News Gothic and Gotham looks like, well, Kmart.

In addition to using a signature font for business expression, other companies have also found success in using a certain font family for their text logo, packaging labels, and various marketing materials. 

For example, a serif font features a small, extra stroke at the end of each letter, such as horizontal platforms drawn at the base of each leg of the letter "A." There's also a family of fonts called sans serif, which means the letters don't have those small, extra strokes at the bottom.

According to Blade Creative Branding, Sony and Google use serif fonts while Amazon, Target, and Wal-Mart use sans serif tons. Coca-Cola, Cadillac, and Kellogg's use script fonts, and Hulu and Microsoft use modern fonts.

Fonts for Business Expression

One of the biggest problems that business owners face in choosing a font for their packaging is which one to choose. Smashing Magazine suggests:

For better or for worse, picking a typeface is more like getting dressed in the morning. Just as with clothing, there’s a distinction between typefaces that are expressive and stylish versus those that are useful and appropriate to many situations, and our job is to try to find the right balance for the occasion.

Questions to ask when determining whether a font is suitable for packaging include:

  1. Is it legible?
  2. Is it web-friendly?
  3. Does it look good in bold or italics?

In addition to these questions, it may be helpful to consider the attitude and feel of your business, as well as the intended audience for your products. Does your brand appeal to upwardly mobile trendsetters or millennials? Are your products meant for older conservatives who make their purchases with extreme care?

An article from Boss Chicks on effective product packaging suggests:

Font is extremely important for your product’s visuals. What kind of product does your business carry? Choose a font and font color(s) that correlates with your product’s personality. Do you sell a trendy product? Consider upbeat, bold font. Is your product more conservative? Consider traditional fonts that appeal to your target audience.

Typefaces Versus Fonts

You might see the words typeface and font used interchangeably, but they mean different things. When designing your company's packaging strategy, it's important to know the difference between a typeface and a font. 

The Alley Blog explains:

Fonts, typefaces… what’s the difference? Here’s the easiest explanation to remember: A font is a grouping of typefaces that have similar characteristics. A typeface is referring to an individual family member of that font.

A Great Font Makes Great Packaging Even Better

Remember that there is no "right" font for branding, but there are several guidelines you should use if you're looking to rebrand your company's image and will be working with your company's name in graphics, images, packaging, and signs.

Don't be afraid to research success stories and get your inspiration from the creative logos and packaging of other companies. You'll immediately see what works well and what doesn't in the world of business fonts and branding.

Trying to Find the Perfect Font and Create Fantastic Packaging?

Market your company's unique brand with careful choice of font, as well as inspired packaging options from Howard Packaging. If your business is interested in using modern packaging solutions, let us know! Find out what we can do for your business. Request a Free Catalog and Sample Kit Today!

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