Often, when we talk about branding, the focus is on the visual. We believe verbal and written communication is of equal importance; which words you choose, and how those words look. Typography is an important part of the brand process.
Brand typography – how you look
Typography is powerful. Each font evokes a different emotional response in the reader, it is important that those responses match how you want your audience to perceive your brand.
Cinderella, the Disney princess, would suit a font called Amelia, as it is delicate, swirly and pretty. Dracula on the other hand would better suit the font Another Danger because it’s aggressive and dramatic. If we switch those two fonts around, we can generate conflicting feelings.
The wrong font choice may prevent your audience from taking you seriously. For example, the well known font Comic Sans could be a perfect fit for a little girl’s birthday party, but a terrible mistake for a multinational bank.
Typography is used to help your audience digest what you’ve written, by drawing attention to particular parts of a sentence or paragraph.
You can draw the attention of your audience to a particular ‘action point’ by manipulating the size, weight and colour of a typeface. For example “Join us today and receive £5 off when you spend £15” which uses the font Ursa Sans. This sentence has an action point and an incentive. “Join us today” is the action point, so we’ll write that in the thickest weighting, increase the size, and invert the colour. “£5 off” is the incentive which we’ll draw attention to with a slightly thinner weighting to the action, the rest of the sentence is important for context and but remains small and thin in comparison. With the sentence presented like this, our audience no longer has to work as hard to process what we want to tell them, and may be much more likely to “Join us today”.
Brand type – how you sound
Let’s not forget the actual words you’re using, do they reflect your brand? Do you speak in a formal relaxed tone? Perhaps you would choose British English for a local audience or American English to communicate internationally?
Our words reflect who we are. President Donald Trump uses a tone of voice which many consider alarming. When he took on the title of “President of the United States”, he also took on the brand. This brand has a diplomatic and optimistic tone of voice, which Donald Trump does not fit into. It is therefore not surprising that @maturetrumptwts have taken it upon themselves to “translate” Trump’s tweets to match the tone that they would expect from a President.
@REALDONALDTRUMP: “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”
@MATURETRUMPTWTS: “I ask for patience as we sort out legality on this issue. Please don’t fear-monger-act civilly & respect whatever the eventual outcome is.”
Innocent, a company whose brand is consistent in its visual, written and verbal communication have chosen a childlike font called VAG Rounded. They appear to avoid using capital letters, creating a softer effect. Innocent have a compliment generator, which visitors to their website can play with, relax and enjoy. Overall the perceptions are gentle, playful and generally quite “innocent”.