Join Sean Adams for an in-depth discussion in this video Typography, part of Branding for Designers.
- A unified typographic style and typeface are as important as the color palette. A brand that employs many different typefaces on its communications will appear confused or worse, sloppy and unprofessional. It's amazing how well a simple and unifed typographic palette can create a cohesive brand. There are two schools of thought regarding typefaces and the logo. One group believes that the primary typeface should be the same custom typeface as the logo.
This provides unity and reinforces the visual consistency. The other approach resists this. Their argument is that using the same typeface on everything diminishes the logo's unique properties and damages its equity. In other words, when seen too often it recedes into the background. I believe that the primary typeface should complement the logo but not match it exactly. I look for a typeface that utilizes the same forms and ideas as the logo.
If my logo is based on perfect geometric shapes such as circles and lines I might try Futura or Avenir. Both of these also use perfect geometry. I stay away from anything too trendy of unique. These fonts will look dated very soon or be difficult to apply to every situation. I use a sample brochure example as a place to explore the options. I set one line as Headline and create a block of text copy.
Then I test several options. I may decide that the Headline font works perfectly but is hard to read as body copy. In that case I'll add a typeface, perhaps a Serif font. Again, I look for a typeface that has similar attributes to the Headline font. Sabon is a good match in this instance. I want to find a typeface or two that are unique enough to become associated with the brand, such as Avenir and lynda.com.
At the same time, I don't want a font that is too generic such as Times Roman. Without a massive campaign these generic fonts will never connect only to your brand. I understand the fine line here between unique and generic and the issues of typographic knowledge. There may be thousands of typefaces in the world, but I've managed to work as a designer for three decades with only a dozen or so. Stay with the classic and well-drawn typefaces and you'll do fine.
- The history of branding (pre- and post-1950)
- The elements of branding
- Conducting research
- Solving problems and presenting solutions
- Creating logos and identity systems
- Building a visual system with color, typography, and more
- Communicating branding with manuals and vision books