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The Best and Worst Fonts For Branding

Posted by Brian Wilson on Oct 26, 2017 1:43:58 PM
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ty·pog·ra·phy

tīˈpäɡrəfē/

noun

  1. the style and appearance of printed matter.

    • the art or procedure of arranging type or processing data and printing from it.

As a designer, I spend a lot of time choosing the perfect type face for brands for established corporations. The reality is they all require a well thought out typeface strategy for their marketing collateral to evoke a certain brand look and feel.

So in the spirit of Halloween here are my top scary bad fonts to absolutely put to rest, and scary good fonts to consider when creating any type of collateral for your brand. For fun we tied these fonts (both good and bad) into Halloween rhymes. 

Here are some of the best and worst fonts for branding...

Scary Bad:

Throughout my years I've established a few of my favorite fonts and have made a list of well...the actual worst fonts for your brand. Some of these should come as no spook to you while others may scare you stiff.

Comic Sans —

This should come as no surprise! It's one of the most well-known inferior type faces. Using Comic Sans is an easy way to make your design look childish and unprofessional. It often reminds me of away messages girls in college would post in their AOL Instant Messenger profiles (remember that?!). I give credit to those trying to make fonts approachable, but this one just doesn't fit with the business world. 

worst font for branding

Curlz  —

I've seen this type used for bakeries and children's clothing boutiques and even my daughter's friend's birthday party invites (FACT: my daughters will never have Curlz on their invites, ever.) And though I believe every font has a time and a place, Curlz runs the risk of being too cheesy and cheap. This font gives the decorative font category a bad reputation with its "trying too hard" curlicues and overall gaudiness. To make this post possible I had to download Curlz — the agony. 

worst font for branding

Papyrus —

This one has got to be one of the scariest to use for print. By nature, it has a pixelated look to it. This font along with many others on the scary bad list has been overused in the print and digital world. 

worst font for branding

 

Zapfino —

This one reminds me of wine typography, however unlike wine this font doesn't get better with age. Just put a cork in it. 

worst font for branding

Bleeding Cowboys — 

I appreciate the artistic elements here, but over all this font is just hard to read no matter how big or how small you make it. Utilizing fonts to make an artistic impact, in my opinion is not the best for branding purposes. If you're creating a logo, for example, it's best to make the artistic element an icon or system and keep the type simple and legible.

worst font for branding

Brush Script —

Old.School. Sure I love a good script font, but this one is older than the Internet — real talk! So it's best to skip the nostalgic typography and up the ante on a font that's fresh. And in general, it's worth noting that if you have the urge to use script font in your materials reserve it for the larger display items like headlines or titles.

worst font for branding

Your brand is your business. The goal is for your brand stand out among the ever-amplifying noise. Download the cross check(list) to determine if your brand has what it takes beyong typeface. 

Scary Good:

My style runs the gamut, but I like to stay in the lane of crisp, clean and simple fonts that can make an impact while still being on brand and incredibly legible. I chose the following fonts based on their versatility and ability to be used at different weights and emphasis, therefore allow each brand I work with to have a choice within their chosen font to create diverse looking pieces that all are on brand. 

Helvetica —

This is the most popular type face out there today. It's used in everything from newspaper headlines to web copy to large billboards. And the simple reason is that it's san serif style (or doesn't have those "feet") which make it extremely legible no matter the size of the lettering. 

worst font for branding

Futura —

This one is squeaky clean. This font means business because it is both professional and approachable. Use this font for headlines, social media meme graphics or body copy. It's very versatile. 
worst font for branding

Gotham —

This is one of the more popular fonts to use in website design and with every passing year gains more momentum. I like how authoritative Gotham is as a font and how it can make a huge statement as a bold robust headline on collateral materials for a multitude of brands from startup to corporate. 

best font for branding

Bodoni —

For the brands and professionals who like a little serif design in their life. Serifs are the slight projection finishing off a stoke of a letter. This font really does the serif design right because it maintains legibility, is very diverse when it comes to choosing weigh and emphasis and it has an air of sophistication to it as well. These one is great for upscale restaurant menus, law firms and professional coaches.

best-font-for-branding

Vitesse —

This slab serif font with it's thick and bold serifs is the best of both worlds. Vitesse has a ton of personality without trying too hard. This type face is not overly simple either because of it's slab serif elements. If you're a sports fan, you may recognize this font from the early editions of ESPN Magazine.

best font for branding

Be sure to keep these type faces in mind the next time you go to design something for your business. If you need additional resources or assistance I'm happy to connect with you! Tweet me @TypeInTheGutter and I'll be happy to answer your questions over there. In the meantime, have a Happy Halloween!

Topics: Branding, Typography

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