Your brand needs a legible type face…

despite what your graphics designer may say.

One of the most important, but often overlooked elements of branding is typography.

It’s one of those things we usually don’t think about. That is until we run into a type face or a type treatment that just doesn’t “fit”. It’s inappropriate. Or it becomes so demanding of itself that we lose track of the message.

Another problem quite often is reverse type or type that’s placed on a non-contrasting background. Or a background whose color or pattern demands more attention than the words.

Examples of poor type treatments

There’s another trend that may be easing today, thank goodness. In the 1990’s every graphic designer seems hell-bent on using the most illegible type fonts they could find. There were “grunge” faces that “dripped” and “blotched”. There were the “speedy” fonts, the “curly” fonts, “acid-eaten” fonts and the “bulbous”.

Five illegible type fonts

  Art directors and graphic designers in general don’t seem to respect the written word as much a writers and readers do. They’ll sacrifice legibility for drama or “good” design. You have to watch them, let them know your words were meant to be read by people with little time or inclination to decode novel fonts.

So as you work with your designer, respect his/her design sense but make it clear you have a message that needs to be communicated quickly, accurately and without the type itself distracting the reader.

Designers also like to use unusual, trendy type fonts for logos as well. Now there are plenty of legible, handsome type faces available. By using one, or having a type face specially designed for you along classic lines, you’ll have the distinction your desire without resorting to ugly, illegible fad types.

Once you’ve found the right type face for your brand, use it as consistently as you do your logo or tagline. Every element in your brand arsenal needs to work together for a consistent look and tone.

Consistency makes for strong brands.

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