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DIY Brand School: Typography

Oh baby, we’re back with another DIY Brand School. These posts are for any small business owners and creatives who are diy - ing, aka doing your own, brand design. Whether your business is new or you’re just not in a place where you can financially invest in brand design, these posts are chock full of tips for you.

Today we’re talking typography, how to use it and how to choose it. 

Firstly, what you'll need

I recommend choosing 3 typefaces you’ll use in your visual brand design. 

  1. Heading 1 - A typeface that will call people’s attention, this is for your main headings and titles
  2. Subheadings - This typeface should call attention, but less so than the Heading 1. You’ll use it for things you want to stress or explain more beneath and heading.
  3. Body Font - A font that you’ll use for everything else! 

Designer tip! Do not making your heading font the same as the font used in your Logo. You want your logo to stand out, so that’s in general, a no-no. 

How you’ll use it

Brand familiarity 

Like any brand element, you can use typography to build brand familiarity. Creating a consistent and visually familiar brand is one of the best ways you can help guide people to use your services or purchase from you. Why? Because humans like things they’re more familiar with. It’s called the mere-exposure effect, the more we’re exposed to something, the more relaxed we feel it. Think about it, aren’t you more relaxed around a friend than someone new? 

Like all brand elements, you can use typography to build brand familiarity by being consistent with your typefaces. 

Hierarchy & Clarity

Pop Quiz! Which one of these is easier to use?

Example A.

I want to help you!

Branding is my curiosity, my craft, my passion!

Let me help you learn about how to diy your brand, and make sure you communicate the right message to the right people!

Example B.

I want to help you!

Branding is my curiosity, my craft, my passion

Let me help you learn about how to diy your brand, and make sure you communicate the right message to the right people!

Which one of these is easier to use? That’s because visually, there is a hierarchy. Instead of your mind feel bombarded with lots of text, it goes, okay I’ll read this title. After it reads the title, it knows if it should keep reading, it then reads the subheading and then goes through that decision making process again. Those are small actionable steps, where as the block of text overwhelms your brain.

How to choose it

Finding the right typefaces 

This one’s a bit harder to explain, because there is a bit of alchemy involved. There’s no one rule to get it right every time, this is where your creative, magic gets to play! If you're interested in typography there is a lot you can learn about the styles of letters, but let's keep things basic here.

Firstly you need to know whether you want to pay for a typeface or use something free. Google Fonts are free fonts available to all, and there are some beautiful ones. But there are also many brilliant type foundries around. I’m going to assume if you’re diy-ing your brand, you’re probably not going to invest £75/$100 on a typeface you can use in print and web. 

Either way, you have a few options here. You can either use serif fonts, fonts that have caps on the ends of the letters (think Times New Roman) or sans serif fonts that don’t (think Arial, Helvetic, Futura). Then there are the handwritten fonts, of which there are many floating around Pinterest. I LOVE hand written fonts, but you have to be very, very careful with them. Many of them are difficult to read, so you want to make sure that you pick the right one. Take into consideration if certain letters can be confused for others, make sure it's being used clearly.

You also want to make sure that whatever typefaces you choose, the vibe or feelings are right for your brand. Be intentional when choosing type! Do you want that hand-made feel, or are you going for something more structured?  If you aren’t sure what's right for your brand, I’d suggest getting a bit clearer on who your brand is and the feelings you want to give your audience. If that sounds like you, fear not! I've got a free workbook called Grow Your Brand that can help.

And that's it! If you are purposful about choosing your fonts, and use them consistently to build brand familiarity and create visual heirarchies, I promise, it will take your brand a long way.

Got questions about the typefaces you're using?

DESIGNER BONUS! If you want me to take a look at the typefaces you’ve chosen and are using in your diy branding,pop over to Instagram and leave a comment on the post! I'll then take a look and send you a dm with my recommendations.

Until next time, let's get out there, and let's play.