Hands up who’s heard of Albert Mehrabian? To be honest, neither had we until we started looking into various types of communication. His research into communication both verbal and ‘non-verbal’ has been much debated over the years. How companies communicate with new and existing customers is fundamental. But what about ‘non-verbal’ communication? If you are a regular reader of our blog articles, you’ll know that we talk a lot about brand and brand perception.
We have always championed the idea that creating the right brand and logo design for your industry is the often the difference between those businesses who are successful and those who are not. From key messages to colour psychology, there are many elements that work together to make a successful brand. You want your brand to create a positive emotional reaction on sight – in which case this is ‘non-verbal communication’. Creating a brand and/or logo means trying to convey the key messages, values and ethos of your brand in the simplest yet effective way. Not an easy task!
Where do we start? There’s a lot to consider in the design of a brand or logo. In addition to being affected by colour psychology, we’re also affected by font psychology. As with colour psychology, different fonts trigger different reactions. Therefore, using the right typography in a logo design enhances its visual appeal and will impact on customer perception towards your brand. Think about it – we’re surrounded by typography everywhere we go. From road signs to menus to signage and magazines. Consciously or subconsciously we are saturated with it on a day to day basis.
Each and every brand should have their core values and ethos at the centre of what they do. It’s the ‘why’ question that should always be answered before any creative can take place. ‘Why do we do what we do’. Once you’ve clarified this, you can then look at what typography options best reflect your business. Consider Walt Disney. Their font is instantly recognisable – and that was created in a time when there were far fewer font types available. But their font is key to their instant brand recognition and customer loyalty.
So why do certain fonts have more emotional appeal than others? As ever with creative it is all about the visual. Yes, your company name is important, but if the style of the name doesn’t reflect the type of company that you are or is bland, you’re unlikely to appeal to potential customers. The first touchpoint with customers is often your logo so it is vital it has instant impact.
"Good design, when done well, should be invisible.” Jared Spool.
By spending time ensuring you understand typography psychology, the personality that different styles convey, and how you can impact customer feelings could mean that you instantly have a competitive edge.
We have worked with many clients who require a logo designed from scratch and others that want to evolve their logo as it’s not having the right impact. Differentiation is key, but keep in mind your logo needs to be readable. Here’s some top tips to help you get started on selecting the right typography for your business.
Who are you?
Back to basics. Who are you and why do you do what you do? How do you want to be perceived? Knowing who you are and what image you want to portray should help you work out which fonts are appropriate for your business.
Who are you talking to?
Know your audience. A solid understanding of your existing and potential customers should ensure you will create the right impression. Take the time to do some market research or even a focus group from a sample size of your customers to discover their preferences in terms of shapes, styles, and colours. Appealing to them is far more likely to ensure success.
Creating a competitive edge
Know who your competitors are. To gain a competitive edge you need to differentiate yourself.
What do your competitors do that you like and dislike? What are their strengths? It’s not about ripping off ideas, it’s about using marketplace intelligence to work out how you can set yourself apart. Remember to look at other similar industries and the typography within their logo – it will help you work out what you like and may well spark some inspiration for you.
Like much in life, things go in and out of fashion – typography included. Tempting as it is to go for a font that is new and different – consider if it will still look good in 5 years’ time. If the answer is no, step away from the font! Being an appealing font also means being a legible font. If customers can’t read it, they won’t know your name, which can be off-putting for them. Why would they buy from a business they don’t know the name of? Legibility ensures an element of trust and transparency.
How do I look?
Always, always, always check how your shortlist of fonts will look across a variety of media. It may look brilliant on screen but what about on your business cards, stationery, exhibition material and print advertising? It needs to create impact across all these channels. Any good design agency will show you a selection of fonts in a series of different scenarios to ensure it works within digital and print.
Typography psychology might be complicated, but your font shouldn’t be.
If you would like to chat about how we create a beautiful logo and brand for you, then get in touch.