Your voice matters: brands & meaningful typography

The written form of communication is everywhere we go. We read it on our phones, see it in advertisements, and experience it on any kind of website. These letterforms are encapsulating specific kinds of characteristics and emotions to where a brand can create a level of meaning for any kind of reader.

A distinct voice matters within the brand, and if the brand wants to achieve an intentional effect through its voice, then it needs to be meaningful in how it voices its typography. 

TL;DR How to have meaningful typography for your brand’s voice

  • Use brand’s emotions as guides
  • Choose the typography that aligns with defined emotions.
  • Keep the type consistent

Photo by Ali Hegazy on Unsplash

Meaningful Brand's from The Past

Using typography to increase the expression of a brand's voice isn't a new concept, as humans have been doing this since early civilizations. From the letters forms that distinctly represented the Egyptians and Romans that symbolized the ruling governmental brands of the time, to other parts of the world including woodblock type in Asia and classical calligraphy within Europe. It was all very meaningful and distinct in representing the brand of the time. 

Each historical society had a voice encapsulated in how it communicated through text, their brand and specific aesthetic was authentically crafted into the typeface used; and the significance hasn't gone away even through advancements in typography today.

As typography has become more digital in its representation currently, it has brought a whole new realm for how the brand voice is experienced throughout the internet and digital devices.

Photo by Paul Zoetemeijer on Unsplash

Web of Noise

With an open realm of voices on the internet, there is now a heightened noise of voices all calling for attention which creates a need for brands to be distinct in how their voices are received through typography. Facebook ads, instagram stories, and YouTube thumbnails, there are so many platforms coming into play how does a brand go about having meaningful typography in their messaging?   

Here are a few simple rules for that:

Use Brand Emotions as Guides

The emotional values of a brand are characteristics that can drive the specific kind of typographic voice used throughout any brand's mediums. Question like 'how do you want your brand to make people feel?' or 'how would you brand be described in only three emotions?' are good ways to find what the emotions could be.

An emotion of luxuriou. charliewasasinner.com

Choose the typography that aligns with defined emotions

This one can be tricky, but a very important one to take your time with. You'll need to find a typeface and font that can be reliable in expressing the key emotions as well as hold up its character across the many mediums your brand will be on.   

The glory is in the details. Are you needing something that makes your voice seem intelligent and calm? Then maybe an open serif typeface (Adobe Caslon) will be your answer. Or, is your voice more oriented around feeling new and exciting? Maybe a strong, and thick sans-serif can be your new friend? These little characteristics can affect how the voice is read throughout the written content.

Consistent choices for type. mrmarcelschool.com

Keep the type consistent

It can be very tempting to use all the flavors across typography when spreading the voice of the brand, but the best way to maintain the impact and tone is to keep the usage of typography consistent When it comes to variety, limit the choice to no more than two kinds of typefaces but only if it aligns with the values and character of the brand's voice; sometimes all you need is one typeface.

The value of keeping the voice consistent, is the coherence that is received wherever the brand is being read.

Whether that be in a web article on the brand's blog, printed poster, or its interfaces on the web or a mobile application, the effect of the voice is compromised when that consistency is broken.  

Communicating Clearly

Typography has adapted to a lot of changes in the mediums that have been used throughout society, but what has remained the same is its service as a vessel for distinct communication. Any brand's voice should be cared for by being meaningful in the typographic choices being made because the voice matters.

The voice is what audiences latch onto, and it's what they might take in as a value for themselves giving them a resonation with your brand and the significance it brings. 

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