How to choose colours and fonts that fit your brand

There is a lot more to using colour and fonts in your brand than you might initially think. In our experience, many clients request a font type and colour as a personal preference rather than seeing it in the context of their brand messages and target audience.

It is our job to ensure that all these elements come together to create empathy and synergy. This enables the key communications to be clear and accessible to the audience, almost without noticing the fonts and colours that have contributed to creating the messages. 

Typography is almost always at the heart of a brand’s recognition. It has the power to persuade, dissuade and sell. The font used is key to reflecting the correct messages and tone, but crucially, is only 100% effective when the communication is on message, well crafted and fits with the language of the brand.

A font has to hit the right tone of voice for the message being conveyed as sincere, authoritative, or even jovial. It has to complement everything, sometimes be the boss and sometimes merely whisper.

There’s a very important yet subtle psychological element to how we react to certain typefaces. Countless experiments and studies have shown that information presented in one font will be taken far less seriously than when shown in another. Would you trust medical notes designed in Comic Sans, or Times New Roman to market a cool nightclub?

Colour is also an important element when creating a brand identity. There are no clear-cut guidelines for choosing your brand’s colors. “It depends” is a frustrating answer, but it’s the truth. However, the context you’re working within is an essential consideration. It’s the feeling, mood and image that your brand or product creates that matters.

In a study entitled “Impact of color on marketing,” researchers found that up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on colour alone, depending on the product. Regarding the role that colour plays in branding, results from another study show that the relationship between brands and colour hinges on the perceived appropriateness of the colour being used for the particular brand (does the colour “fit” what is being marketed?).

When it comes to picking the “right” colour, research has found that predicting consumer reaction to colour appropriateness is far more important than the individual colour itself. If Harley Davidson owners buy a product in order to feel rugged, colours that work best will play to that emotion.

Brands can sometimes cross between two traits, but they are mostly dominated by one. While certain colours do broadly align with specific traits, e.g. brown with ruggedness, purple with sophistication and red with excitement, nearly every academic study on colours and branding will tell you that it’s far more important for colours to support the personality you want to portray instead of trying to align with stereotypical colour associations.

If you would like to discuss your branding and how colour and typography can work for you, give us a call and we will get the kettle on!

Posted by: Kylie Elson

Date: 30 May 2017

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