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Why Font Matters

The only good font is the Sopranos one where the 'R' is a pistol.” Tom Haverford, Parks and Recreation.

It was the 90s, and I remember seeing the Curlz MT font for the first time. I thought it was - I kid you not - the height of sophistication. To be able to use Curlz MT on my creations! Birthday banners! Signs! Labeled clip art! I just couldn’t believe everyone didn’t feel this way about Curlz. And in fact, the ten-year-old me surely would have been dismayed with my Roc Grotesk font choice for OWG when I had the undisputed best option at my fingertips.

We may not initially realize it at first, but fonts matter a lot when it comes to your brand. It’s easy to get caught up in the logo, colors, and iconography- but font choice can really bring a brand home or make the whole thing a miss.

Monotype has done some great work on connecting the actual neuroscience to typography (see their hub here with all the research- super fascinating). What they’ve found is that type actually influences emotion- certain fonts make people feel that a brand is more secure, more trustworthy, or has higher quality. It also helps boost memorability and gives brands an emotional edge over others.

So we don’t (or shouldn’t!) choose fonts out of personal preference; we should choose them based on the emotions they convey, and how those emotions align with the brand’s positioning and strategy. There’s a reason Airbnb and Facebook chose a sans serif font without a lot of embellishments: sans serif fonts often do a good job of conveying innovation and approachability. The New York Times chooses their heavily serif-ed font to convey that they are a trustworthy institution with history. Serif fonts, or fonts with ligatures/”feet” are often associated with age, heritage, and quality.

Of course, just because these rules exist doesn’t mean you should follow them. As Monotype points out in one of their webinars, you might be a mortgage company and go for a really style-forward font that conveys a sense of fun to stand out from your competition, who are all likely using fonts that communicate security and trust.

Don’t use Curlz MT, though. Only a ten-year-old from the 90s thinks that’s a good idea.

Think your own font might need some revision? Contact us for brand support.


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