Did you know that the vast majority of website users will judge a business based on the design of your website? That’s how important design is to your business.
You don’t need to get overwhelmed by design, you just need to know the parts that work together to make a design. Images, whitespace, colors, and typeface play with and against each other to make an impression in the design of the user.
One part of your website that you may overlook is the typeface. You want to make sure that you get your typeface right to communicate the message that you want.
Read on to learn how to choose the right typeface for your website and other marketing collateral.
How Important is Typeface?
Without typeface, your message can get lost or confused with readers. Type has the power to communicate a feeling or mood right away.
A good typeface that’s easy to read can also hold the attention of the reader. Have you ever been to a website that’s hard to read? How long did you stay on the site? Chances are that you left right away.
Typeface is also used to organize information. Think of a blog post on a website. You look at the title and headings and they appear in a certain type to draw attention. Then you look at the body to find a different type to convey the important information.
Typeface is often used interchangeably with font. They overlap, but there are sharp differences between the two.
Typeface is just the design of a certain type. Font is the type in a certain size and weight. So, you can have a typeface of Lato. The font is Lato bold, 10 point, 12 point, etc.
Each typeface has a number of different fonts to describe the size and thickness of the type.
How to Choose a Typeface
A typeface is very important to your marketing efforts. You don’t want to choose a typeface just because you think it looks OK. Your message can get lost. Here are some tips to choose the right typeface.
Your Brand Attributes
All visual communication is a reflection of your brand. That includes your logo, website, and marketing materials.
You may focus a lot on choosing the right colors to match your brand, but you have to do the same with typeface. You have a company with a serious brand, like for a bank or security company. You wouldn’t use a bubble typeface or a script one.
That would convey that you have a brand geared towards children. Script fonts are more creative and elegant. Again, not something you want to convey as a security company.
You need to define your brand and what you want to convey to your audience. That starts with defining your brand if you haven’t done so already.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to define your brand.
- Who are your customers?
- What is the feeling that people should have when they think of your business?
- Does that feeling match what your customers are looking for?
- If your brand was a person, who would they be?
- What does your brand drink, drive, and read?
This exercise will help you develop a personality for your brand, which will be the first step in helping you choose the right typeface. You’ll also make sure that you have the right other design elements, too, such as color.
How will the typeface be seen and used? How will people interact with the type? You need to think through the application because you want to make sure that you have a type that looks great across all platforms.
Will you use hand stamps, like these products? What about your website or on t-shirts? Write down all of the ways and places your typeface will be used.
What if you want to use a certain type in your marketing collateral and another on your website? You could use different typefaces, but it’s not recommended.
The thing to remember about branding is that consistency counts. Your brand needs to appear in a constituent fashion across your website, brochures, letterhead, and email marketing pieces.
People rely on that consistency and remember your brand when they see the colors, images, and fonts over and over again. Plus, studies show that brand consistency leads to more sales.
Understand Typeface Psychology
You want to have a typeface that conveys the right message and you can’t do that without knowing how typefaces are interpreted.
For example, serif fonts are used to convey authority and trust. You’ll see serif fonts used by banks and more conservative institutions like law firms.
On the other hand, a sans serif font can be used to convey modernism or sophistication. Tech companies love to use sans serif fonts. Just look at Google and Facebook.
There are countless typefaces to choose from. You can even create a custom type if you’re ambitious enough.
You’ll want to choose 3-5 typefaces and use them in different ways. Try it on a t-shirt. Put it on your website. Look for ways that the fonts stand out and combine fonts for a particular look.
You may want to choose 2 types to use. One can be used for the body of text, while the second type is used for headings.
You can apply that to your website and any other application.
Choosing the Right Typeface
A typeface is often an overlooked part of the design process. Too many people choose what they think looks great, but they often miss the mark. They choose something that doesn’t align with the brand or isn’t readable.
To choose the right typeface, you have to know your brand. You also need to know how the typeface will be used to ensure that it will work everywhere.
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