Font guide

How to choose fonts for your branding[ 9 min read ]

Fonts are a huge part of your branding and it’s important to choose the right ones – fonts that convey your brand voice and provide the right look and feel.

But what are fonts and how do you pick the right one?

What are fonts?

A font is a collection of characters for text and numbers which can be defined by typeface, weight, colour or design.

There are huge amounts of different fonts available to use – some are free and come with your laptop or standard computer programs like Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop. And, some are premium, downloaded from various marketplaces.
Some fonts are commercial – available to everyone – and some are bespoke, licensed only to one company.
Many look similar and there are also lots of different choices, so it’s easy to find one that works for your budget.

The different types of fonts

Some fonts are sans-serif and some are serif – serif basically means a slight protrusion (line or stroke) from letter characters. Serif fonts are considered ‘classical’ and are often used in newspapers and the like. They are associated with ‘heritage’ and ‘trust’.

Sans-serif fonts are considered ‘clean and modern’/ ‘simple and minimal’. They’re often seen in modern logos. Associated with terms like ‘straight-forward’ and ‘honest’.

There is some debate about which is easier to read, serif or sans-serif.

As well as Serif/ Sans-serif, there are a few different types of font classifications;

Slab serif
Slab serif

– chunky serif fonts that are associated with terms like ‘confidence’ and ‘solidity’


– often swirly, joined up letters and associated with terms like ‘femininity’, ‘elegance’, and ‘creativity’


– looks like someone’s very neat handwriting and associated with ‘fun’ and ‘personable’


– usually unique and stylised and they are associated with those terms!


– have both thin and thick parts of the font, often associated with ‘exclusivity’ and ‘style’

Choosing fonts for your brand

When picking fonts for your brand you need to consider the following;

  • Which type of font classification do you prefer?
  • Are they legible?
  • Do they work across platforms?
  • Do they communicate your brand voice?

Legible and accessible font types

When picking fonts for your brand, try out your brand name in the font first – ensure it can be read clearly and not mis-read as a completely different word. You don’t want to become a funny meme by accident!

Bad font example 1
Bad font example 2

If your brand is for children, or pitched at an audience with potential sight difficulties, then you will want a clean font that has different weights (thickness), and looks good in various sizes rather than a handwritten script type font that only comes in one weight.

Does the font work across all the platforms you need?

Most people don’t consider how they might use the fonts in their brand – for example, are you planning to use it on your website? In graphics, banners, on the side of a bus?

Will the font you pick work on a large scale or is it better in a brochure?

Is it available freely or will you need to purchase a license if you want to use it for any other purpose?

Is it web-safe i.e. will it work across different browsers and look the same no matter which device it’s on?

A lot of people these days use tools like canva to create their own graphics – is your font available on there if you need it? If you do buy your own font, Canva pro does let you upload your own font if you have the correct format.

How many fonts should you use in your branding?

Most people stick to 2 fonts when creating a brand – the maximum you should consider is 3 different fonts or it will start to get confusing and you’ll lose the impact of your branding.

Also, consider that not all fonts go together, each pairing is different.

But you do want to pick fonts with a similar voice – or combined they build up your brand voice. For example, hand-writing or decorative fonts can be interpreted as in-formal, approachable or luxurious whereas a chunky font could be more bold, strong and stoic.

Hints and tips for picking fonts

  • Try one chunky and one thin font type
  • Maybe one with wide spaced lettering (known as kerning) paired with narrow spaced lettering
  • A serif sometimes works with a non-serif
  • A script (like handwriting) is usually paired with a cleaner font
  • Don’t put two decorative fonts or unusual fonts together or it’ll lessen their impact
  • Avoid pairing too similar fonts, there needs to be contrast

How to choose fonts that go together?

So how do you pick fonts that go together? This is where graphic designers and web designers come into their own, as they have the experience to know which font will look right with another.

But, there are tools out there that will help. For example, Google Fonts not only shows you a range of web-safe fonts but they also have a ‘compare’ feature and a ‘pairings’ feature which means it’s a lot easier for you to choose 2-3 fonts that work together.

Google font pairings feature

Where to start when looking for a brand font

There are a LOT of fonts!

And so it can be overwhelming when you first start the branding journey.

The first step if you don’t already have some idea of what you’re looking for is to get a big piece of paper and write down all the words you want to be associated with your brand like ‘approachable’, ‘formal’, or ‘fun’ and ‘personable’.
Also consider who are your target audience, do they need special consideration? And what are your competitors doing – are they getting it right? Do most have similar fonts? Do you want to have a similar air or do you want to be a disrupter?

Then, after reading this blog on the different types of fonts, you may be able to look at other brands to start a mood board of styles and types you like ready for you to create the branding, or contact a graphic designer to create one for you.

If you need help with finding your brand voice, get in touch below or book in for a power hour.




Suzi Smart Bear

I'm Suzi - the owner of The Smart Bear.

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