What Does Your Font Say About You and Your Business?

I read a great article in The Australian Financial Review last Friday entitled “True to Type” from Simon Garfield’s book “Just My Type” that discussed the use of fonts in the corporate world, their history, development, meanings and associations – for a PR person like me, it’s fascinating stuff.

It occurred to me that some people place a lot of importance in choosing a font to represent them and/or their company – in the article it mentioned that President Obama uses “Gotham” font, which it describes as bold, new-age and strong, while Secretary of State Hilary Clinton uses a font that is predominantly used by the legal world, which makes sense as her background was in the legal fraternity.

It got me to thinking while the folks mentioned above clearly chose their fonts for strategic purposes, I wonder how much time and thought goes into the choice of fonts for most businesses for their websites, their letterhead, businesses and overall corporate ID.

When I first established Publicity Queen, for me I know this was an exciting and important decision.  Issues to consider are matters of style – do you want the traditional and old-school imprimatur of Bookman, or are you a funky and cutting-edge design firm who would be better represented by Impact, or are you all about retro/cool and more keen on Cooper Black?  Are you more of a serif (with hooks) than a sans-serif (without hooks) – meaning do you like clean and crisp looking letters, or those with loopy tails and flourishes?  These are important questions… no, really!

Rather than going with the same-old Arial or Times New Roman, it might be worth investing a little time in choosing a font that really represents you and your business and gives the right impression to your customers.  Think about going beyond the standards fonts offered in your existing IT setup and looking up all of the fonts that are available on the internet.

So be individual, and while I see the value in being innovative, it’s worthwhile not being TOO clever – I just made a new business contact who uses are very space-age futuristic font, but the problem was when I tried to add his details to my database, the font he used made it difficult for me to know if the name of his company ended with an ‘n’ or an ‘r’ – you just can’t afford these kinds of confusing issues… if you want to grow your business, that is.

As a starting point, perhaps consider looking up the websites of companies and individuals you admire, or those in your industry, either to emulate their style or to find a point of difference.  You might find the font that speaks to you, and in the end speaks FOR you, in a way that suits your business, your goals and what you want to achieve.

Publicity QueenYours in PR


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