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  • Shivam Sharma

Selecting Type

One of the most confusing parts of the brand identity design process, at least for me, has been selecting a typeface/s for the identity you’re creating. I struggled with this a lot in my initial years of designing, to the point where I’d always end up coming back to a select few typefaces that have worked for me in the past and as you work on more and more projects you realise that it is the slight nuances in the typeface that make it work for a particular brand in a particular context. The more aware you become of these nuances in various typefaces, the tougher it becomes to settle on a particular one for your project. I’ve realised that it is easier to funnel down to a typeface by going through a checklist of characteristics starting from broad categories and slowly working your way through the funnel towards the final font. Here are a few items on my checklist that I go through every time I’m trying to select a font -


  • Tone of voice: Is the brand more fun/young or corporate, it all comes down to how you want the brand to be perceived and a good font arguably plays a way more important role in communicating the tone of voice than any other design element in the brand identity system.

  • Context: Where are most of the touchpoints of the brand to its target audience going to be? Is it going to be more print based or digital? What size is the font going to be displayed most commonly? All these factors should inform the final font selection.

  • Serif/Sans Serif/Display/Monotype

This decision is more often than not, informed by the above two criteria. A more young, fun brand might end up using a clean Sans Serif to communicate to the point ideas clearly while a more classic brand might lean more towards a Serif. Although, in today’s time we have started noticing increasing numbers of playful Serif fonts with inverted counters and stretched proportions while corporate giants tend to stick to gothic sans serif fonts.


At the end of the day, the font should be able to communicate the information intended to be passed on by the brand to the target audience efficiently while giving a sense of the tone of voice and setting a context for the brand as well. This could be purely through the way that font looks or informed by the history of that typeface while sometimes, it just fits like a puzzle piece. All you have to do is keep browsing and trying out different combinations and don’t forget to have fun while you’re at it.

Some online tools that might come in handy while working on your next project: Font Joy Perfect tool for font matching, easy, fun and allows you to add your own text to play with as well!

Wordmark

Another tool that helps you pick fonts. Simply type in a piece of text and you get a range of cool options on your screen.



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