Fonts aren’t something business owners usually think about on a regular basis. Yet they connect with customers on a nearly instantaneous subliminal level. Consumers make quick judgments about a brand from its overall image; but the very first impression a consumer often has of a brand is by its logo. If your business hasn’t taken an objective look at your logo recently, you may not realize the message you’re sending.

Even if your business has been around for decades, you could find that your brand font (or fonts if you use several) is sending the wrong message. Here are a few things you can do to solidify your brand by changing your font.

Understand Your Image

The first step in any branding effort is to investigate the type of business you want to be and how you want to be perceived. Identify traits that will draw customers toward you without confusing them. A funeral home might likely focus on trust and compassion in a formal manner. Meanwhile, a daycare would want to show the same trust and compassion within a fun, lighthearted context.

Understand Fonts

Often readability is a big factor when choosing fonts. For logos, however, businesses have more flexibility, usually printed in large, bold letters. Here are a few different business traits, along with common fonts that can help convey them:

Trustworthy — If earning customers’ trust is your top priority, it’s important to find a font that projects warmth and sincerity. Documentarian Errol Morris conducted a survey on New York Times’ readers, leading him to coin the term “The Baskerville Effect.” The survey found that people were more likely to believe a statement when written in Baskerville than other fonts. Times New Roman is another option since it is similar to Baskerville. It’s also one of the most often-used fonts in business.

john baskerville Photo credit: Moo.com

Modern — To capture a trendy, modern feeling, your brand may need to move beyond the standard fonts provided by graphic design software. Explore the many options available online. Most modern fonts are sans serif, which eliminates the strokes at the end of letters in fonts like Times New Roman.

sans serifPhoto credit: Tristian B

Playful — Businesses that cater to children often find that they have a wider range of font options. Comic fonts are great for businesses that want to portray a more fun, playful image. Note: Don’t choose Comic Sans unless you are comfortable with criticism.

sandwich chef comic sansPhoto credit: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1161216 

Classic/Traditional — An antique store is the perfect example of a business that might choose an old-fashioned look for its visual marketing. Fonts that are ideal for this category include Georgia, Copperplate, and Edwardian Script.

copperplate typoPhoto credit: Cargo Collective

Feminine — Shops that cater to a mostly female clientele often choose script-based fonts (also called cursive fonts) like Brush Script. There are a variety of script-based fonts available to download online. Also there are others built into any graphic design software you use.

brush fontPhoto credit: Info Parrot

Upbeat — Script fonts are also a great option for businesses that want customers to associate their brand with “fun.” Walt Disney World uses a script font based on founder Walt Disney’s signature as well as a traditional serif font. With upbeat fonts, there are more choices to the standard fonts used by many companies. Imagine what Coca-Cola would feel like as brand if they used the same font as your bank.

 

Once you’ve rebranded your business with a new font, it’s important to capture customers’ attention with a Grand Re-Opening of your business. This includes even if you’re online only. You can completely rebrand by updating your DBA, without changing your official business name with the city. Your customers will likely see you as a new, improved business even if you’ve changed nothing but your font.