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Why Your Typeface Matters

By Snap Agency August 15, 2018

People make mistakes every day when it comes to the English language. Whether it’s mixing up “effect” and “affect” or saying ‘factoid,’ which means the opposite of what you think. Errors like this are understandable, after all, English is one of the hardest languages to learn.

Well, what if I told you that you’ve been using the word “font” wrong this entire time? You probably feel like you’ve been living a lie your whole life, but don’t be discouraged! You are not alone. Just like with ‘factoid,’ the misconception of the ‘font’ is so commonplace, most grammar nerds have given up trying to correct others. In fact, the correct word for ‘font’ is actually ‘typeface.’

Today, we’re going to talk about your typeface and what it is, why it’s important, and how to create one to fit your brand.

What is a Typeface?

A typeface is actually what many people commonly think of when they hear the “font”. Times New Roman, Futura, Helvetica and yes, even Papyrus are all typefaces, not fonts. However, how you alter it in terms of its size and weight is what is considered the font. Think of the typeface as the starting point and the font as the finished product. So, Times New Roman would be a ‘font family’ (another term for Typeface) because any alterations you make to the typeface then become the font. (Typeface: Times New Roman, Font: Times New Roman Bold, pt. 12)

Now that we’ve cleared up that confusion, let’s talk about the important role that typeface plays in your marketing.

The Importance of Your Typeface

Think of some recognizable brands and their accompanying typefaces on their logo. Nike’s fits meshes perfectly with their iconic swoosh and conveys strong, athletic performance. Patagonia’s integrates seamlessly with their mountain designs. Lego’s bubble letters reminds you of being a kid again.

While logos are a larger example then the typeface you choose on your website, the same principle still applies. You want to choose a typeface that matches well with the brand image you’ve created. A business in the financial sector will feature a typeface that differs from a company that sells toys to kids. You also will want to find a typeface that your site users will deem ‘trustworthy’ because yes, the typeface you choose does impact how credible customers perceive your information to be. So, when it comes to your typeface, your consumers are unknowingly fairly picky. That’s why it matters what option you go with.

How to Pick the Right Typeface

The perfect typeface won’t just come up to you and slap you in the face. No, it’s a bit more complex than that and will probably require more trial and error than anything else. In order to find a good starting point, you can do some investigating and check out other companies whose website you like and who have similar offerings and branding. Of course, you want to find a typeface and font that is unique to your specific brand and not just copy a competitor.  

You also need to figure out what emotions and feelings you hope your website will convey. The ‘Daily Egg’ has an awesome infographic that helps illustrate what feelings people associate with certain typefaces. Whether you’re going for a modern, progressive or strong look, there is a typeface for that.

Also, consider the readability of the typeface. Just because it’s easy to read on your desktop doesn’t mean it will be easy for your users to see on mobile. It’s okay to use multiple typefaces across your website too, but we recommend not using any more than five, with three being the best option.

Make sure to be picky when testing out typefaces. If you don’t love it, leave it. The perfect typeface is out there, you just have to do a little digging first. Don’t be afraid to change it up as well. If you’re not satisfied with the typeface you’re currently running with, find a different one. And never, ever go with Comic Sans. Just don’t do it.

Need Some Help with Your Website Details?

Here at Snap, we know that everything matters when it comes to your web design. That means we don’t cut corners, and we certainly don’t overlook the details. That includes everything from your typeface and the colors of your site, to the layout and functionality. As an extension of your brand, you want your website to be perfect. Reach out today if you’re ready to create the website of your dreams.