Your Most Burning Questions About Brand Typography Answered

The word "type" in pale pink 3D text as an introduction to the article "Brand Typography: Your most common questions answered"

By Nine Blaess | 5:11 min

In this article
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
    LinkedIn
    Facebook
    Pinterest
    X
    Email

    Have you ever wondered what brand typography is or where to find the right fonts for your brand? You’re not the first one. In this article, I want to address some of the most common questions about brand typography.

    Whether you’re a fellow brand designer or a small business owner, I hope this article will bring you clarity on the topic of brand typography.

    So, let’s get right into it.

    How do brands use typography? 

    Brands use typography to convey their identity, differentiate themselves from competitors, and evoke specific emotions or associations.

    Through the consistent use of typography, brands can align their entire communication and create a uniform and recognisable brand image.

    What is brand typography?

    Brand typography refers to the deliberate selection and use of fonts to represent and reinforce the unique personality and identity of a brand.

    This includes the creation of a system for the standardised formatting of text elements. This means that headlines always have a certain design, body text another, and so on.

    Why is typography important in branding?

    Typography plays an important role in branding, as it conveys the character of the brand, enables differentiation and promotes recognition. It also contributes to a uniform appearance.

    Let’s go a bit more into detail.

    Typography can emphasise the personality, values and message of a brand. A good example of this is Oatly’s playful typography, which aptly reflects the company’s unconventional and rebellious identity.

    Screenshot of the Oatly website to show how the brand typography supports the company’s brand personality
    Oatly Brand Typography, Source: Oatly

    Brand typography also plays a role in ensuring that a brand fulfils the expectations of its audience

    Take The New York Times, which uses a classic serif typeface (NYT Cheltenham) to communicate tradition and reliability. It appeals to readers who are looking for serious and credible news sources.

    Screenshot of the New York Times website to show how the brand typography supports the company’s brand personality
    New York Times brand typography, source: New York Times

    Finally, choosing a unique typography can set a brand apart and increase its recognisability.

    Research by Jenni Romaniuk of the Ehrenberg Bass Institute has shown that typography can be one of the most distinctive brand assets. Fonts are more ownable than many other elements, including colours.

    You may find my article on building distinctive brand assets helpful.

    How to create brand typography?

    Start by understanding your brand’s competition, audience, strengths and positioning.

    Then define the goals of your typography. What emotions and associations should it evoke? How should the brand feel? How can it stand out?

    Define your brand’s personality and choose fonts accordingly.

    But remember that legibility must always take priority.

    You might like my article on choosing brand fonts. And since it’s a long one, here’s the short version of it.

    Where to find the right fonts for your brand?

    You can use open source or paid fonts or even design your own. Sources include type foundries, independent font designers and online marketplaces.

    Here are a few links to help you get started:

    What’s the difference between a font and a typeface?

    A typeface contains an entire font family of various styles, such as Helvetica (Regular, Light, Bold, etc.). On the other hand, a font refers to one specific style within that family, such as Helvetica Light.

    Even though we often refer to “brand fonts,” what you’re really after is a typeface.

    Opting for a typeface gives you more flexibility for various applications and the future growth of your brand.

    Typeface vs Font visualisation with the example of Freight Text Pro.
    Typeface vs Font

    What are brand typography guidelines?

    Brand typography guidelines are rules and recommendations that ensure all brand communication is consistent—whether it’s for digital or print applications.

    They provide clear instructions on which fonts to use for different purposes—such as headlines, body text or captions—and specify details such as line spacing, font size and colour to maintain consistency.

    Brand typography guidelines showing a primary and a secondary font used for the brand
    Example of brand typography guidelines

    How does typography affect brand identity design?

    Typography is a key element of your brand identity design.

    Along with other elements, such as brand colours or tone of voice, it underlines the brand personality and values, differentiates the brand and conveys certain emotions. It also creates consistency across all brand touchpoints

    All brand elements should work harmoniously together to create a consistent, differentiated and recognisable brand identity.

    How to combine fonts without creating visual clutter?

    When combining fonts, choose typefaces that complement each other and have distinct characteristics.

    Here are some tips on pairing fonts:

    • Avoid pairing two fonts of the same classification. For example, it’s better to pair a sans-serif font with a serif font to create more contrast and avoid competition.
    • Select fonts with a similar x-height to create a sense of relatedness.
    • Choose those with similar stress angles (vertical or diagonal stress).
    • Superfamilies often have different styles that can be paired, like Roboto and Roboto Slab.

    What are the basic rules of typography?

    Following a few basic rules will ensure that your typography is visually appealing and easy to read.

    These principles include:

    • Adequate spacing between letters (kerning) and lines (leading) ensures better legibility.
    • A hierarchy of information can be created by using different font sizes and weights.
    • Contrast and white space can help draw the viewer’s attention to important elements.
    • The text should remain legible in different sizes and on different backgrounds.

    For more info, you’ll probably enjoy these 20 tips on improving your typography skills.

    How to ensure consistency in your brand typography?

    You can ensure standardised implementation by creating and following brand guidelines and briefing the people responsible for implementation accordingly.

    It can also be helpful to use pre-designed templates, especially for small companies with no in-house design team.

    What to consider when designing typography for digital platforms versus print materials?

    When designing typography for digital platforms versus print materials, consider the following:

    For digital platforms:

    • Check the licence agreements for fonts. Some may have restrictions on website traffic or usage.
    • Limit the number of web fonts you use to improve the loading times and overall performance of your website.
    • Make sure the fonts you choose are readable on different screen sizes and resolutions. Your logo in particular can become quite small on mobile devices.

    For print materials:

    • Choose fonts that remain clear and legible even at smaller print sizes and do not have complicated details. With smaller elements and thin lines, it can be difficult to reproduce them correctly in print.
    • Note that depending on the printing process, some fonts may be poorly reproduced. Problems could include ink bleeding or loss of detail.
    • Also consider the texture and colour of the paper, as this can affect how fonts are reproduced in print.

    Do you know any good resources on brand typography? 

    There are countless resources such as books, courses and websites on typography and branding.

    Here are a few I like.

    For learning typography:

    For font inspiration:

    What’s the problem with using inconsistent brand typography?

    Inconsistent typography can confuse customers and weaken their trust in your brand.

    If the fonts in brand materials are constantly changing, it becomes difficult for people to recognise and remember your brand, which means they might overlook your products or services.

    And finally, an inconsistent look signals your company is unprofessional. As a result, customers may opt for your competitors’ products because they assume they are more credible and professional.

    Conclusion

    Brand typography is about more than just choosing beautiful fonts. It’s about developing a visual language that consistently reflects your brand’s personality, core values and message across different touchpoints.

    By mastering your brand’s typography, you can boost its visual identity and make it stand out in the eyes of your target audience.

    Ready to elevate your brand identity? Contact me, and let’s see how I can help.

    Picture of Nine Blaess

    Nine Blaess

    Hello, I’m Nine. I blend strategy and design to craft engaging brand identities and websites that celebrate the uniqueness of each business.

    Sign up for my newsletter and get my hands-on Brand Storytelling Workbook in return.

    Brand Storytelling Workbook Mockup

    Join my newsletter!

    Receive regular branding updates and claim your free Brand Storytelling workbook.