This is the second part of the “How to go about branding your small business” post series started in November (find part 1 here). In this series I aim to break down the branding process into its building blocks to make it easier for you to do it for your company.
7. FONTS – What kinds of fonts exist?
The not-so-obvious part of your branding decisions is the choice of fonts as they need to reinforce the feeling that your colours and logo evoke in your customers. Some fonts are perceived as warm and friendly, some as elegant and refined, some as casual and fun. Your challenge is to pick the ones that are most suitable to your business, products or services, industry and clientele.
Fonts can be broadly divided into 4 categories:
- SERIF – more traditional and serious fonts that have small lines attached at the end of the letters and used more extensively in print (Times New Roman, Garamond, Century).
- SANS SERIF – more modern and streamlined fonts without the small lines at the end of the letters, very good for website text use due to being easily legible (Arial, Helvetica, Verdana).
- SCRIPT – cursive, handwritten style fonts that are very expressive and can range from elegant to fun and casual (Lucida Handwriting, Mistral, Segoe Script).
- DISPLAY/DECORATIVE – artistic and quirky fonts designed to attract attention and usually only used for headlines since they are not very readable (Rosewood, Goudy Stout, Magneto).
8. FONTS – How to choose?
While many font choices are available, you will only need a set of a few fonts for your own branding. Choosing too many will result in inconsistent and amateurish look, something I am sure you’d want to avoid. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than 3 different fonts for any branded material you create:
- BODY FONT for all the big chunks of text (website, brochures, flyers) – this should be the simplest and most readable font you use and not necessarily the most expressive one of all. Use sans serif for a more modern feel or serif for a more traditional and serious effect.
- HEADING AND TAGLINE FONT – this should be an eye-catchy font that will stand out from the rest of the text. You can use any type of font here as long as it aligns with the rest of your branding (e.g. script type for elegance, display type for bold expression etc).
- LOGO FONT (if your logo has any writing on it) – this should be a special and memorable font and can be the same as or different from your heading font. Avoid using Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial or any other generic fonts because they are so common that they will not distinguish your brand from others. Again, the exact choice of font here will depend on the overall look and feel of your brand.
Need help to make sense of it all? Get in touch and let us help you with your branding!
9. IMAGES – Define the right type for your business
If you spend any time on the Internet at all, you will have noticed that communication is getting increasingly visual and images are playing more and more important role. After all, a picture does paint a thousand words! Regardless of your business or industry, high quality, engaging photos are a must for your website and social network use.
More than that, in order to stand out and be memorable, your photos need to have a consistent look and feel to them. When you are working on your branding, think of the type of images that convey the essence of your brand the best.
Should you use photos or drawn illustrations? Colour, black & white or maybe sepia for a vintage look? People doing activities or landscape shots of nature? Take some time to define the “guidelines” for the images you will choose and stick to them to create a consistent impression in your customers’ minds.
10. IMAGES – Where to find quality ones?
Even though you can find millions of illustrations and photos through Google search, most of the images you find that way are copyright protected. This means that unless you know for sure that the image you choose is free of copyright claims (Creative Commons license CC0), you shouldn’t use it.
Now what? If you cannot Google-search the images you want and can’t afford to do your own photo shoots, where can you get illustrations for your website, brochure and other materials? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
I’ve compiled a collection of good quality, free photo stock websites that have a large selection of photos on different topics (corporate, family, sports, travelling, nature etc) to choose from. Most of them allow commercial use of the photos, so you will never run into any issues with copyright. Go crazy.