Using Different Typeface to Sizzle Up Your Visual Marketing Design
A typeface is defined as a specific design, used to express the printed or displayed letters and its associated components. Hence typeface designs are important elements of typography, impacting the expression of the visual message. Studies have shown that typeface plays an important role in determining brand personality and tone. So, it is necessary to use a typeface that will sync and resonate with your intended message.
In this article, I will discuss the importance of typeface design in making a visual marketing strategy successful.
But, let us first dive into the differences between typeface, fonts and typography. After this, I will share some basic rules to keep in mind while typeface pairing.
This is an intense topic, so read while sipping a nice cup of coffee!
Font vs Typeface vs Typography
Font, typeface, and typography are different terms, which are often misused. Well, these terms might seem similar but are adapted through their distinct roles in the formation of a visual message. To break it, fonts collectively form the typeface, which becomes one of the key elements of the typography anatomy.
Let me further clarify.
It was in the 1400s when the first printing press was invented by Gutenberg. The press would use a metal movable-type process of printing, bringing in typefaces. At its initial phase, the distinction between fonts and typeface was not very definite and was limited to Roman designs. In the 1700s typeface began to develop into distinct type families.
As more and more typefaces were created by different type-designers, variations started to evolve. By the 20th-century, typefaces were distinguished from fonts by Morris Fuller Benton. The different varieties of types in a particular typeface were termed as fonts. Hence, the visual message design that involved fonts, constituted from different typefaces, led to the art of typography. It also involved key elements of space, word, and letter placements. In short, typography can be defined as an artistic way of reflecting the visual message.
Through the typeface history, you can now understand the difference between these key terms. A font is defined as the style (width, size, and weight) of a particular type under the typeface. The combination of typeface and type style is called a typography design.
Basic Classification of Typefaces
The typeface classification is based on Serif, Sans-Serif, Script, and Decorative.
Serif: This is a typeface in which small ornamentation appears in a way where the end strokes protrude outwardly. Serifs are convenient to use as the viewer’s eyes can follow the extended ends-strokes of the letters, making it readable. Hence, this advantage makes serifs to be an ideal font to use in the body-text.
Sans-Serif: Unlike Serif, here the fonts appear as blocks, without the extended end-strokes. The fonts in the sans-serif family are extremely popular and can be used to express many kinds of messages. It is not only used for titles but can also fit well in the body text. The typeface is convenient for the viewers to read even if the fonts are of a smaller size.
The combinations of serif and sans-serif fonts are considered perfect for creating a typography layout. If you are new to typography and seem clueless about font combinations then remember this key-point.
Script: it is a typeface that looks like handwriting and comes in many cursive-styles. It tries to capture the personalized writing patterns that have the essence of calligraphy. These fonts are selectively used, often as titles and short notes, as it might obscure typeface readability.
Decorative: It is a typeface that applies a style to characters. It includes all creative fonts that have a distinct personality. Often the looks and first impression of these fonts automatically determine its role in the visual design. Moreover, it is limited to headings and is cautiously used in the body text based on the design.
Typeface Design Guidelines
The basic rules of typeface combinations are to pair sans-serifs with serifs. But if you do have a keen creative sense then feel free to explore with typefaces.
If not, then these basic guidelines will help you to create your typographic layouts, boosting the visual marketing designs.
This is an important element which is related to typeface readability. More commonly, x-height can be defined as the overall height of the lower case fonts. So, the next rule for typeface pairing is to match the x-heights of the different fonts. This will make the design look balanced and well-synced. Maintaining the x-height rule will also ensure that you use fonts from typefaces that will be compatible.
Typeface Stroke contrast and Thickness
Different typeface designs have different combinations of stroke contrast and thickness. Hence, while font-pairing, make sure that the difference between the contrast and thickness of two different fonts are not extreme. Also, similar font contrast and thickness will take away the design impact and might make it look bland. So, maintain the balance. Another tip that you must remember! Keep the fonts with thick strokes as headings and thin strokes as the body text.
Typeface determines the tone of the message and helps to enhance the impact of the visual design. So, the fonts need to be combined carefully. If your marketing design involves a serious message, then typically sans serifs and serifs are combined. If you have a more playful and creative visual marketing message then use fonts from the decorative typeface. You can combine this typeface with serifs or sans-serifs. Finally, if you are aiming towards a casual message, then you should opt for script typeface. Even in this typeface, you can combine serif or sans-serif typefaces. But, try not to mingle decorative typeface with script typeface, unless confident about your choice. Also, both these typefaces release a distinct mood and tone to the viewers.
I often struggle to maintain the color combination rules, as the arrayed colors sway me away. But, that is the point! Many colors can be confusing and overwhelming. So the basic rule is to select colors of the font that are contrasting with the background. A perfect example is the classic black and white combination. For beginners, you can try to use dark color fonts against light backgrounds and vice-versa.
Typeface Brand Guidelines for Marketing Visual Designs
Now, let’s see how typefaces can be used to create stunning posters, flyers, social media posts, and web banners. To better understand these concepts let’s check out the creative document templates available in DocHipo.
Poster Artwork Typeface
What indirect message and feel do you get while watching this poster?
Simple! the feeling of playfulness.
The mood has been set by the background and most importantly by the placement of the font. The text, “BOUNCE”, is of “Anton” font, which is a modified version of sans-serif. The block-like font design immediately transfers the feeling of sturdiness and the letter placements bring a bouncy effect. The other fonts include “Oxygen” and “Oswald”, which are all under sans-serif typeface. You will further notice that the text “RUGBY” has bolder strokes for quick visibility. Here the combination of different fonts and the manipulation of font thickness creates the desired effect. Now, let’s check the color of the fonts. The white font against the background not only makes the poster readable but also aesthetically pleasing. As the typeface is sans-serif, the x-height is completely at sync.
Flyer Artwork Typeface
Flyers are all about marketing messages. Hence typography plays an important role in the creation of an attractive flyer.
In this flyer, the typeface is primarily sans-serif, as it can be read even if the font size is small. The dominant font of this flyer is, “Open Sans”. This font reflects a professional tone to the message, setting the identity of the brand. The front and back of the flyers have a color combination of yellow and black with white dominating the text-body. The font colors are in the same color scheme to maintain the tone of the flyer. The space in and around the texts ensures clear readability.
Social Media Marketing Typeface
Social media posts are an important marketing strategy. Hence the visuals need to immediately grab attention and quickly transfer important clues.
In this social media post, the fonts have been placed strategically, with the key-notes being highlighted by the yellow background. The font combinations are, “Oswald”, “Parisienne” and “Open Sans”. Here both, “Oswald” and “Open Sans” are of sans-serifs typeface, and “Parisienne” is of script typeface. Hence, you can see how the combinations of sans-serif and script typefaces make the visual design look gorgeous. The fonts maintain the color contrast against the backgrounds, making the visual quick to read. Here, the x-height has not been entirely maintained due to the script typeface. But the font of the word “Istanbul” gives the text a distinct character and emits out a casual touristy vibe.
Web Banner Design Typeface
Social media banners project out your brand personality. Hence banners are potential gateways for your clients to engage with your business.
In this banner there is a clear mingle of serif and sans-serif typefaces. The fonts used are “PT Serif” under serif typeface and “Open Sans” under sans-serif typeface. These typefaces are placed alternatively, which strikingly brings out a clear message without overloading the visual with unnecessary fonts. Both the typeface of serif and sans-serif have similar x-heights which also makes their combination look stable. Also, the font thicknesses are balanced in such a way that it appears comforting to the eyes. The font colors have the contrasting combination of white and deep pink, against the two different shades of pink. This soothing visual resonates with the tone of the brand and the business.
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