We all understand that a picture is worth a thousand words, but how many words is a font worth? Many people don’t think about it, but sometimes a font can say more about a business than a picture can.
There is a man in my town who has a unique way of introducing himself at events. When he hands you his business card he asks you to write your name on the back of it. He then proceeds to “profile” you from your hand writing. Some would call it a parlor-trick or liken it to a fortune from a palm reader, but as you get to know him more you find out that he is actually an expert at handwriting analysis and contracts for the FBI to help profile criminals. Apparently he can deduce some incredible things from your hand writing, from your personality type, to whether or not you had a strong male or female parental figure growing up. Unbelievable right? Well apparently the FBI doesn’t think so, and neither do I.
To the trained eye the way we write words can say just as much as the words we write, and even the untrained eye can judge a lot about a person from their writing. Whether or not it was written by a male or female, whether or not they are educated, whether or not they wrote it in a hurry. These are all things that we can easily ascertain just by looking at the way a word is written. In the same way a font can speak more about your business than you might think. It can instill confidence about a brand and it’s professionalism, or it can just as easily show a lack of effort and the inexperience of a company.
This doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend thousands of dollars on a custom font, but it does mean that you will need to take some time to research, or to ask a graphic designer what your font might be saying about your brand. So what are the steps you should take when choosing a font?
• Consider your Audience: Is this for the logo of a law firm, or a book store? Creative business can get away with creative fonts as long as they don’t go overboard, but traditional firms such as financial institutions and Lawyers should stick with fonts that convey authority and professionalism. A common mistake is choosing a font that personifies you and not one that characterizes your business.
• Consider your Industry: What do your competitors fonts look like? You want to stand out yes, but sometimes you have to find something that is different, but still close, in order to portray your industry. Be very careful trying to bring a new look to an established industry before you have the size and influence to do so or you risk being labeled as the “black sheep” – which sometimes is good and sometimes is bad.
• Consider your Budget: Do you want to have a completely unique logo? There is nothing wrong with using one of the thousands of free fonts online, but just be aware that anyone can grab that same font and use it for their business. A custom font costs more, but it is uniquely designed to portray your business.
• Decide on a Message: What are the 5 most important things you want to convey about your business? If you can come up with these pass them along to your designer so that they will have a direction when creating the font for your logo.
• Decide on a Font: Once you have thought through all of the other steps, you can decide on what font you need. Whether you are looking for a font only for your logo, or a fully custom font that can be used in any word processing program, make sure you don’t spend the money until you understand what you want it to say about you.
Custom fonts can give you a really cool advantage in the look and feel of your business, but just remember that they can get pretty costly. If you’re going to have one designed make sure you get the most bang for your buck by understanding what you want your font to say before you purchase a font that says the wrong thing. If your interested in a custom font for your business give us a call here at Inno Garage and we would be glad to help.