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What’s Your Type?

Sometimes, out of nowhere, a theme of ideas or topic of conversation will so rudely interupt your day that you have to blog about it. This week’s topic is font. How do you pick the right font for your business communications, website, logo, etc . . . It’s a daunting task. There are too many fonts to choose from, right? For every graphic design or art student out there, there’s another font being invented (some good, some not so good). Check out the discussion here.

When I start a logo or branding project, I very closely examine the personality of the company*. My clients and I often work through an in-take sheet that picks up on key descriptive words. When I sit down to dig into the first round of concepts for my client, I’ll examine my available fonts and ask,  “When I look at this font, do the same words come to mind?” Branding is telling the story and creating a feeling behind the name. Even if the font choice is subjective, my clients and I have to agree on the feeling we’re trying to get out of the final visual project.

*The link is just for laughs. It does not reflect any political beliefs.

A couple of cool resources to check out:

  • Type Connection is a website that takes you through a fun typography dating game. The program puts together serendipitous pairings of sans serif and serif types. The pairing you choose is ultimately a reflection of your personality. Very cute. The website recently tipped due to all the tweets about the game among branding and ad agency nerds.
  • This book was recommended by a new client: Just My Type: A Book About Fonts.
    What’s your type? Suddenly everyone’s obsessed with fonts. Whether you’re enraged by Ikea’s Verdanagate, want to know what the Beach Boys have in common with easy Jet or why it’s okay to like Comic Sans, “Just My Type” will have the answer. Learn why using upper case got a New Zealand health worker sacked. Refer to Prince in the Tafkap years as a Dingbat (that works on many levels). Spot where movies get their time periods wrong and don’t be duped by fake posters on eBay. Simon Garfield meets the people behind the typefaces and along the way learns why some fonts – like men – are from Mars and some are from Venus. From type on the high street and album covers, to the print in our homes and offices, Garfield is the font of all types of knowledge.
  • Let’s not forget everyone’s favorite movie about the world’s most perfect font: Helvetica. If you haven’t seen it and you’re the slightest bit interested in anything having to do with typography or branding, you need to see this movie. It is fascinating.

That should get you started if you’re exploring the topic of how to choose the right font. As far as my logo? My branding plays it pretty obvious and pretty safe because I’m trying to get a point across. Not all graphic designers will agree with my use of fonts, but no one can argue that I’m not communicating my brand’s story.