Understanding typography styles is important when working with a designer. The typography you select for your brand makes a strong impact on your audience. This changes the way you’re able to communicate your brand core values and tone of voice.
When working with a professional designer, it’s recommended to understand typography, at least to an extent. Odds are, the designer will walk you through it, but here’s a little crash course for you to go back and reference as needed.
Just like color, fonts have the ability to evoke emotions. When choosing fonts to use across your brand platform, it’s important to consider the feelings they evoke. Whether it’s your main logo, tagline, or website fonts, the typography you select for your brand should be an intentional decision.
Before working with a designer, take time to think deeply about yourself and your business. Identify your audience, core values, tone of voice, and goals. By determining these things, you set a firm foundation to build your brand upon.
Common Font Traits
Before we jump into the different typography types, we will discuss common font types. Each font type contains its own specific traits. This includes characteristics such as weight, style, extended, condensed, or contrasted. Each font type can have any of these font traits.
Light fonts are thinner overall, medium fonts have a mid thickness, and bold fonts are heavy overall. Secondly, italic or oblique fonts are angled uniformly. Condensed fonts are compact, whereas extended fonts are widened. High contrast fonts are contrasted between thicker and thinner parts. On the other hand, low contrast fonts have a uniform variation of weight.
A serif typeface has decorative ‘feet’ that extend on the ends of the letterforms. The serif at the end of the letter is a gradual curve. This is a more traditional style of font and is typically used for logos or as supporting typography.
Serifs evoke feelings of maturity, timelessness, confidence, luxury, and high-end. This style of typography has great versatility. Many serif typefaces include more details than other font styles. Serifs pair well with san serifs and scripts. The most common uses for Serif typefaces include logos, taglines, and website copy.
The word ‘san’ means without. Therefore, a san serif typeface does not have serifs. This style of font typically maintains uniform thickness and evokes a modern, clean feel.
A san serif is modern, clean, classic, stable, minimal, chic, and honest. San serifs are very versatile, pairing with serifs, slab serifs, scripts, and monospace fonts. The most common uses for san serif typefaces include logos, taglines, and website copy.
Similar to a serif typeface, slab serif has decorative ‘feet’ that extend on the ends of the letterforms. The slab is a more blunt shape, whereas a serif is a more gradual shape.
A Slab Serif is confident, bold, contemporary, friendly, and solid. Slab serifs pair best with san serifs or scripts. The most common uses for slab serif typefaces include logos and headlines.
Script typefaces resemble handwriting or calligraphy and evoke a charming, fancy feeling. The letterforms are meant to connect to one another as cursive would. This font style should not be used for large areas of text and should not have kearning applied.
Scripts are personal, fun, feminine, creative, and whimsical. When selecting scripts in your brand, it is important to ensure legibility. Script fonts pair with serifs and san-serifs. The most common uses for script typefaces include logos and accent fonts.
A monospaced typeface has a fixed with. Meaning, all the letterforms have the same width. This style of font was originally used in coding and computer programming. This can offer a minimal, unique feel.
Monospace fonts evoke minimal, unique, legible, simple, solid, modern feelings. Monospace fonts pair best with san serif typefaces. The most common uses for monospace typefaces include accent text and website copy.