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November 17, 2017

Font Basics for Branding Your Small Business | Part One

There are many components of a brand identity: logo, color palette, font choice, and the Visual Vocabulary. There’s a lot of information available about the use of logos, colors, and Visual Vocabulary, but not much on the effective use of fonts. So, here’s some information on the creative, practical, and technical aspects of fonts.

FONT BASICS

A font is a set of all the letters in the alphabet, designed with similar characteristics. This is also known as a typeface.

Fonts are usually designed to include several style variations. This can include styles like light, regular, bold, semibold, ultra bold, and italic. Some fonts also include “Expert” versions, which are fonts that include fractions and mathematical symbols.

Font families are typically packages of fonts that include all of the different versions of a font. Using fonts with large families will give you a wide range of fonts to use in your materials, for variety and emphasis.

There are many basic classifications of fonts. Four of the most common classes of fonts are:

1. SERIF FONTS: Have little “feet,” called serifs, at the ends of the lines that make up the letters. Some examples of serif fonts include Times, Palatino, and Garamond. These fonts are more traditional, elegant, and old-fashioned.

2. SANS-SERIF FONTS: Don’t have those feet. “Sans serif” means “without serifs.” Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, and Helvetica are some of the most common sans-serif fonts. These fonts are more clean and modern.

3. SCRIPT FONTS: Are calligraphic or cursive fonts. Brush Script and Nuptial Script are two common script fonts.

4. DISPLAY FONTS: Are decorative and often used for logos or headlines.

There are other types of fonts as well, including handwriting fonts and all-caps fonts. However, the four listed above are the most common and useful in business communications.