Out of all the adverts along that panel, a particular one caught my attention, solely because of its font, it was so different and unique; more importantly I can associate with it. It was Nando’s advert. It saved me the stress of looking forward to know more about their message, it reinforced my perception about them and it will always increase the chance of interaction and engagement.
Just like our handwriting and signature, they form our identity, at first glance, our close associate should be able to different our names from that attendance register. There is more to handwriting, it is who we are and no wonder people study it to know more about the individual.
I once asked one of my design students about his preferred font; if you were to design an advert with one font, would it be Arial?, no doubt, it is all about creativity which is relative but your choice will say a lot about you. Consistency will enhance your identity and makes your design simple and easy to understand. A typeface is the specific letterform design of an alphabet while a font is a collection of all the characters of a typeface, including capital letters and lowercase letters, numerals and punctuation marks.
Corporate Organisations like Emirate Airline, Waitrose, Nandos, Channel 4 and even the London 2012 Olympics have commissioned fronts they use for their marketing communications. Why? It creates consistent look and feel, be it on their website, complimentary cards, adverts or even Toilet signage in the office.
It could be expensive to have a special font designed, but you can stick to one and explore with it. It is about the consistency, something to make you stand out and be recognized. Even if you don’t have a model around your advert copy, the font could be the identity that will shout out your brand.
As part of its re branding, eBay changed their logo, which was more like changing their fonts, the colours were still the same buy the word is now in a different font, now using Univers, Microsoft also changes their logo with a new and modern font – Segoe while Volkswagen uses the Futura typeface. These are not customized fonts, they are not the only one using these fonts but with consistency, it is part of their brand identity.
This is not only about the corporate organisation, individuals too are brands. As a designer, consistency in your choice of colours, your typography skills and work layout will speak for itself soon. Be creative and explore. If you have a brief, follow the brief, use the font and colours as indicated but for other projects, integrate your identity, make it cut across all design platforms. It should complement each other and not compete.
Jonathan Barnbrook, founder of the website Virus Fonts, believes the power of typography goes beyond such utilitarian aims. “A good typeface creates an emotional response in relation to the message it is conveying. You’re trying to get that tone of voice right – you can shout or whisper. And you want to sum up the spirit of the age, because they do date quite quickly.”
With over 20,000 fonts at your disposal, going for Comic Sans may not be a creative choice, your font is the modern day handwriting and it says a lot about you. Either you want it casual, serious or friendly. It is your personality. My favourite fonts are Gothic Bold, Gothic Book, Helvetica and Myraid.