Sunday, 20 March 2011

Are there are only two typefaces?

It’s funny how so many businesses miss a trick when building their brand and creating a visual identity that is distinctive, sets them apart from their competitors and reflects the personality of their business.

In my last blog I discussed ‘owning the colour in your business sector’. But look around at what the most successful businesses do and you’ll see that not only do they make great use of colour, but they combine it with an eye-catching typeface too.

And there are literally thousands of fonts. More often than not though it’s Arial – ‘the one with straight sides’ – and Times – ‘the one with curly bits at the ends’ – that get used over and over again. It’s a real missed opportunity, because at the end of the day the whole point of branding and marketing communications is to make it easier for the client or consumer to recognise and remember the brand, and an interesting typeface can help that process.

I was listening to Radio 4 a month or so back and an academic was discussing the results of some of his recent research which seemed to fly-in-the-face of conventional typography. He found that the information contained in text that was displayed in a quirky or unusual typeface was more likely to be remembered than text in a traditional font, because the eye had to work harder to read it. Sounds completely counter-intuitive to the conventional approach to typography, but what an interesting idea! Making the words harder to read could mean people have to put more effort in, and so, are more likely to absorb the content.

So, just say “no” to Arial and Times. There’s a world of typefaces out there waiting to make your brand and marketing memorable.