Branding: The Importance of Custom Fonts in 2014

If you thought that the competition for your business niche was fierce in your city or in your country, in the digital environment, it is a whole new world…a world that is globally competitive. It is a lot harder to leave an impression when your users perceive you as ‘just another company website’.

This is why branding needs to be the primary focus of every online endeavor. You need to make sure that users instantly recognize your business identity-regardless of the medium of advertising.  While some business owners and marketing experts understand the importance of a custom font, most of them ignore this importance and go right ahead and pick one from the sea of free fonts digitally used by virtually everyone.

• A font that talks to your customers

Ever wonder why people recognize the logo for Facebook, or Burger King or even CitiBank without having to think twice? The reason is they are custom fonts.

These businesses chose to work with typographic elements that were unique to their brand and now, they are a global brand. So the question is what came first the brand or the font?

Image Source: facebook.com, bk.com, online.citi.com

Every element of typography has its own tone, unique perspective and specific use. The font style chosen sets the mood, tone and style of the business. A lot of times, we can guess what the style will be even before we start reading. The assumption is based purely on the font the text is written in. I hate giving this example but it’s so obvious…if you see Comic Sans the page is junk and you know you have to leave the page-immediately!

It is important to have a custom font in your logo. If you are planning a strong marketing campaign, a custom font can help you create a unique marketing identity and get your message to the audience in a more effective manner. Professional typographic designers can take your marketing or branding plan and create a font that will meet your needs. This way, you won’t have to dig through piles of fonts in a desperate search for something that coincides with your vision.  Why compromise when you can amaze?

• Style Diversity

You have a brochure that you need to get designed and eventually market. No font fits. Some fonts have too much spacing, some have kernels that make it look out of whack. Most free fonts are really hard to customize and before long, your designer will be pulling out his or her hair, trying to adapt your free, generic font to all the different typographic requirements your business has. Did you know a font used digitally can present in a completely different way in print?

Custom fonts are not all that expensive if you find the right solution…don’t torture your designer nor your business opt to customize.

• Device Issues

Device Issues

Image Source: behance.net
As stated above not all fonts are intended for digital use and some may actually distort themselves on screen. An experienced typographer accepts this reality and creates fonts that are versatile. Why would any marketer attempt to create a brand identity and then use various different fonts across their marketing campaign? This subject is no trifling matter and, as proof of this, I can give the recent font changes Intel made. Their primary goal was to make the font their own, but still keep it clear and retain its legibility. Watch the video and learn why we are suggesting that custom fonts are the branding trend of 2014.

• Free Fonts for Everyone

While you might feel like you’ve hit the jackpot when you enter a free font archive and start browsing through hundreds of pages of free fonts, the truth is that there is a high probability you will run into some issues with these fonts. First of all, fonts are someone’s intellectual property that must be protected and there is a high probability that some of the best looking fonts are not quite legally shared.

You can actually fall into a copyright nightmare when you use “free” fonts. Furthermore, you can run into some trouble on the technical side too. Things like bad spacing, bumps in the curves are just some of the things that create a free font fiasco. I’m not saying that there are no good free fonts out there but they are usually so overused that they cannot effectively create a brand identity.

Market a Brand through Custom Fonts

Having your own font is like giving your business its own handwriting. If you really want to put an emphasis on branding, this is a great place to start and it doesn’t even take a big investment to get you started. It is a fact that millions of businesses have moved into the online environment. On top of that, most users these days use multiple devices to access the web. Almost every home has a PC or a laptop (or both) and each family member has a phone which can access the web. This situation gives businesses a lot of opportunities but it also complicates a lot of things. Theoretically speaking, you can reach a lot of people by focusing on online marketing due to the expansion of the online community but so can everyone else.

I am a digital marketing consultant with a focus on small and mid-sized enterprises. I believe the focus of every business should be on creating a consistent brand identity online and offline.

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