You may think a font (also typeface) is just a font. Something that you choose quickly and most often because 'you' like it.

A lot of thought goes into the choice of a font for a company logo and corporate stationery. It is one of those areas that once you are shown how it works you feel your eyes have been opened and you start seeing different font choices and the reasons for their choice everywhere. Movie titles; Advertising material; Product packaging; all involve a lot of careful consideration of the font that will be used.

If a picture paints words, a font displays emotion.

You may not have realised that when you are deciding what font to use for your business name that your choice goes a long way towards communicating something about your business to your customers. Let's take a look at some a simple example. OK let's set the scene. You're not feeling well, you're new in town and you think it is time to go to the doctor. Whilst out shopping and you see the upper levels of the shopping center have a couple of medical centers. There are two doctor's signs as you walk along the third floor corridor. Think, what emotions do these signs communicate to you....

Doctor Signs

I have kept the colour the same as this too is a consideration for your company name or logo. But what emotions did you feel these signs communicated to you?
The first would suggest an older business. Perhaps for the more elderly and regular clients who have lived in the area for a long time. They've been around for a while. The second a more trendy, upmarket doctor who would more likely appeal to the younger person or family.

Who did you go into for your casual appointment? If you were younger, say under 45, then probably the second one. If you are a little older then the first probably took your fancy.

Let's try considering your financial future. You have decided that it is time to look at a few investment opportunities to provide for your future income in retirement. You have a little spare cash and you want some advice on where and how to invest wisely. Off you trot down the local business center and again you are confronted by two signs of two financial services businesses. Which would you walk into?

Finance Signs

Most people would have selected the first. Although your age group will again effect the decision slightly with some younger people finding appeal in the second. The first is saying secure, stayed, sound advice, where the second is saying young, trendy and perhaps here today and gone tomorrow.

Start looking at the signs around you and ask yourself what the font choice, is saying about that business. Who are they trying to appeal to? A younger or older more mature market?

Have you walked up to a coffee shop and felt that it wasn't you before you went in and tried it? Then the logo, colour, decor and furnishings did a lot to either win you or lose your custom before you tried their great cooking.

When you choose a font for your business cards, you can choose one because you like it, or you can choose one because it communicates stability, security, and instills confidence in your customers to trust you even before they give you a try. Or perhaps you want to say we're not stale and old fashioned, we are trendy with the latest technology, able to adapt quickly to market changes. This can also be done with the thoughtful choice of font.

Exercise: Emotional Adjectives

Put on your thesaurus hat. Think through the adjectives that describe the market you want your business to reach and jot them down. Now marry up the fonts that say the same thing.

Example 1. A marketing business trying to appeal to young start up businesses might choose a font to say the following: Trendy, outgoing, creative and bold.

Example 2. A mortgage broker wants to appeal to an older market for investment properties using the capital in their existing homes. Their font needs to say: Solid, wisdom, safe, strength.

Your Business Signs

TOP FONT: Architectura


This is just a scratch on the surface of font choice, but the best way to continue learning is to see what works for you. Look at logos, signboards, movie titles, tv ads, colour magazines, and ignore the words and just look at the font they have chosen and ask yourself 'What emotion is this communicating?' or 'What market are they trying to appeal to?'. Your next part of this lesson is out there in the world all around you.

Select Business Cards in the left menu to see the range of business card templates we have on file for your industry. We have hundreds of fonts on file for you to use on your business cards on our website.

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By: Click Business Cards