Having a hard time finding the right font for your brand? At the end of this blog post you will have all the information you might need to find the perfect font to use for your brand!
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So here’s a question…
Would you still take the FBI seriously if their logo looked like this?
Would you continue reading this blog if everything was written in this font?
Would you hire a floral designer whose business card looks like this?
The answer is highly likely no on all of those questions. Fonts matter, whether we realise it or not. In this blogpost I’m taking you through the different styles and moods of fonts, important things to keep in mind when searching and picking fonts for your brand and how to install them.
A serif font is a font that has the little hooks and bends at the end of the letters, like I show you below.
Serif fonts are great for offline reading, but less great for online reading.
Like the name suggests sans serif fonts are sans the serif (the little hooks and bends).
Sans serif fonts are great for online reading and offline reading if you make sure to pick the right one.
A display font is a more artistic font. They usually have a less serious mood than manu serif and sans serif fonts.
Display fonts are only good for logo’s and if easy enough to read for headlines.
A script font is a font that looks handwritten. It’s usually a brush script or a little more frilly.
Display fonts are only good for logo’s and if easy enough to read for headlines. You can also use them to add an accent or signature.
For your brand I recommend you go with only one script/display font and two normal serif or sans serif fonts. I’ll explain why later on this page.
The Moody Font Club
Every font has its own special mood and just like with your brand colors it’s important you pick the font that most resembles the feelings you want to entice out of your audience.
Really take a moment for yourself and write down which members of the moody font club you choose. Is a serious font a good fit for your brand? What about fancy? Masculine? Take a moment to write it down!
Weights & formatting
Another thing that’s important to keep in mind when you’re searching for the right fonts is the weights and what formatting you are going with. Many sans serif and serif fonts come with a few different weights. Take Raleway for example:
Raleway has a total of 18 different weights or “styles.” This means you have a lot of different options to go with and won’t walk into any issues when you want to use bold or italics with your font. While sans serifs and serifs usually have different weights display and script fonts usually don’t. Keep this in mind in case you think you will ever need italics or bold text in those fonts.
Quick tip: For your body text always go with either light, regular or medium for readability.
Quick tip 2: If you use thin, hairline or extra light fonts in your designs in Canva the text is going to be hard to read.
Talking about italics and bold (and let’s throw underline and all caps, too);
There are only a few specific places where it’s okay to use any of this formatting in your designs.
All caps is only great for your headlines, subheadings and your logo. Don’t use it for long text people need to read. Caps make people feel like you’re yelling at them, and unless you’re actually yelling at people that’s probably something you want to avoid.
Only underline any specific words or sentences if they are of great importance and shouldn’t be missed. Otherwise just lay off that u.
Bold should only be used to do the same thing as underline or for headlines and subheadings. Text that is completely
And lastly, there is italics. Italics can be a little more complicated as you can use it for numerous things from making words important and putting focus somewhere to making quotes look important. Just like with any formatting be careful and don’t use it for long text, because it gets tiring on the eyes.
Spacing & Kerning
This is where it gets a bit more complicated, but I didn’t want to skip over this because keeping and eye on the spacing and kerning of a font can help you pick the right one for you.
What is spacing and what is kerning?
Spacing in fonts comes in two forms: Leading, which is the space between the lines and tracking, which is the space between words.
Here’s an example of good and bad leading
Here’s an example of good and bad tracking
And what about kerning?
You know the space between letters? That’s called kerning. Kerning is important, because it helps your reader easily read any text you put before them.
Here’s an example of good and bad kerning
The perfect font has enough space between the lines (leading) to not feel clogged up, but also not like you’re starting on a new paragraph every new line. It has just the right amount of space (tracking) between the words to make them look like a sentence, rather than one very long word. Then last but not least it has the perfect balance between letters that aren’t too far apart (so they don’t look like separate words) and not too snug so the words they form aren’t hard to read.
Ah, my favourite part of this lesson: The font crimes. This is going to make me sound like a font snob (which I secretly am), but I hope you hear me out anyway and learn what not to do, like…
Bad spacing or kerning
We just went over this. Make it easy for your readers and use fonts that have just the right amount of space between the lines, words and letters.
Don’t use Comic Sans and the like
Here’s the not so official no-no list: Do not under any circumstance use…
– Comic sans
– Times new roman
– Playlist script
– Brush script
– Yellow Tail
Here’s the thing with these fonts: They are ridiculously overused and/or childish. If you want a handwritten or script font it’s better to go with one you bought (They’re only $10-$15 on Creative Market!) than one everyone is using even if it’s free. That way you have something that uniquely represents your brand (as long as you don’t stick to the most popular fonts on the first page of Creative Market of course).
Too anything fonts
Using too many or too little fonts make you either look boring or unprofessional (and that includes trying to mix it up with different weights!). I recommend you get a minimum of two fonts and a max of 3.
I know we went over this one as well, but I just want to underline the importance of this. Get it? Underline. (*badadadum tsk sound in the background*) Anyway… Just keep what I told you before about formatting in mind!
Good vs bad fonts
What actually makes a font good? And what makes it awful?
An awful font is unprofessional and overused. It’s one of those fonts that may seem like fun to use at first, until you’ve looked at it a couple of times and suddenly notice how the kerning is off on one letter, how some symbols like & ^ or $ are in a different for or missing completely and you feel embarrassed about using it. Believe me, I’ve been there.
A good font is a font that’s easy to read at almost all sizes, has all symbols you need and that’s at least semi-unique. Bonus points if it has different weights.
Something that can really make or break the fonts you’re going with are the fonts you pair together. Here are a few examples of what not to do:
As you can see these fonts clash horribly with each other. Instead you should go for fonts that are a little more balanced like…
What makes these balanced is that you have two opposites of each other. You can’t pair sans serif with sans serif, just like you can’t combine caps with caps or a display font with another. It’s not balanced and that throws off any designs you create with those combinations.
The 3 Font Rule
I’ve mentioned this multiple times already, but it’s important you don’t pick more than 3 fonts. Here’s how you should decide…
1. Display/Logo font
As explained earlier this is a font that can be a little more artistic. This font isn’t meant for long sentences (especially if you go with a script font) so make sure to really think this through.
2. A font for headings and subheadings
This is a font you only use for your headlines and subheadings. You can potentially skip this one and either use the display/logo font for this (if it’s still readable when you create a long sentence) or your body font in a different weight.
3. A font for your body text
A font for body text is the font you use for the large pieces of text on your website and collateral items. This font needs to be the most readable of all and because of that needs to be either a sans serif or serif font.
The fonts for your brand
And now it’s finally time to decide on what fonts to go with! Go with one of the suggestions I made above or find your own. Keep the following checklist in mind when searching for fonts:
> The kerning isn’t too stuffed (Watch out with handwritten fonts with a lot of swirls and stuff like that at the end, especially if you use Canva For Work because sometimes that doesn’t handle fonts like that too well)
> There’s enough space between words and lines
> There are multiple weights
> No special characters are missing
> The font doesn’t have any weird letters when you test it out (especially watch the r here!)
> The font gives off the right vibe for your business and brand
It’s important to test out your font before buying it, especially in places like Dafont or Creative Market where everyone can add whatever they want. Test out the following phrases:
– She looked fierce with her red shining hair
– De kat krabt de krullen van de trap (Dutch for the cat scratches the curls of the stairs. It’s a tongue twister. I don’t know what it means either)
– The broken hitman fell in love wth the beautiful thief
– What is yours is yours and what is mine is mine
– And of course your business name and your own name
Where to find them
Dafont | Check the license details of every font you come across! You don’t want to get a font that’s only for personal use for example.
Google Fonts | The fonts you find here are probably some of the highest quality fonts on the web. They even come preloaded in Divi!
Font squirrel | Check the license details here, too!
Creative Market | Affiliate link | Find a font in any style you’d like for anywhere from $2 to $20+
Creative Fabrica | Creative Fabrica is a font subscription service. They have thousands of fonts you can use once you purchase the subscription.
MyFonts | The fonts here are usually more expensive, but they only let the very best inside so you’re likely to get a high-quality font.
DesignCuts | Affiliate link | Design Cuts offers amazing bundles or create them yourself bundles. Great if you want to save some money.
I’ve got my fonts. How do I upload them to my computer and use them?
How to upload a font on your Macbook
How to upload a font to Canva For Work
Click here for a tutorial on how to upload a font to a Windows computer (I don’t have one, so I couldn’t create it!)
If you followed the steps above you should now have your font on your computer. You should be able to find it in Word, Pages or Picmonkey in the drop down menu with all your other fonts.
Hey pssst… Want a bunch of fonts free for personal use? Sign up below!
This post is an adapted lesson of my course called DIY Dream Website: Build Your Website With A Pro, where I teach people how to create their own website and brand. Find out more about that by clicking here.