Your selection of a font and colors will be one of the most pivotal decisions when branding your company. When you are able to visualize a color or set of colors representing a certain brand, you know its branding is distinct. T-mobile. Facebook. Home Depot. McDonald’s. These companies have obvious and definable colors associated with them indicating their branding is quite strong. Other companies can catch the eye with their logo marks like Nike, Adidas, and most other athletic apparel companies. While logos certainly assist in creating brand representation, colors and fonts seem to have just as significant of an impact to the eye.
When you’re selecting these elements, it’s important to know that they must all work harmoniously.
Psychology of Colors
All colors tend to drive an emotional response, even if that’s not upfront and apparent to the viewer. Color theory matters and colors play important roles in marketing.
Reds tend to represent love, energy, and power. Blues give feelings of trust, intelligence, and security. When selecting the colors you want representing your business, you must take into account what type of emotions you want to associate with your brand. You would never see a lawyer firm or banking company with fuchsia in their color palette.
How Many Colors?
Every company is different. However, at the most basic level, the general rule of thumb you can follow is to select a primary color, a secondary color, and an accent color. A simple design rule is to follow the 60-30-10 rule (also very often used for home decor palettes).
This principle can be implemented when designing a website, advertisement, or print collateral. Remember that all three colors must work together. A great tool for inspiration and to see your selected colors working side by side is Adobe Color. This resource allows you to explore various pre-made palettes and help educate how certain colors work together.
To Serif or not to Serif?
Serif fonts have small decorative strokes at the end of each letter stem, called serifs. Sans-serif fonts are those without those decorative strokes. “Sans” translated from French, meaning “without.” Ergo “Without serifs.” Serif fonts are typically easier for the human eye to read and thus used in most novels.
Just like colors, there are emotional associations with fonts. Serif fonts are typically more traditional looking and “professional,” whereas sans-serif are more friendly, open, and less intimidating. Serif and Sans-serif fonts are capable of working together in a brand. However, they must compliment each other and there must be a plan in place of which font to use and when.
When deciding which fonts to use (outside of your logo), another good general rule is to decide fonts for your header, sub-header, and body copy. These don’t necessarily have to be three different fonts. As an example, the header and sub-header can both be the same sans-serif font, just with different font sizes and weight, and your body copy can be a serif font.
The ultimate goal is to select a palette and fonts that work together in unison. Your branding should be a system that has balance. Each element compliments rather than competes. Each element should give a direct message in your brand.
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