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What's in a Font? Why do fonts even matter?

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

Outside of the design world, most people don't give fonts a second thought. When designing logos or websites, I will ask clients to decide between certain fonts, and the answer is "I don't know, you choose." Which is fine, because I can take the company's branding, industry, and other factors into context and find a great font. Not every designer will put as much thought into your font choices, however, so it's important for you to be able to pick your company's typography set.

A simple font change can change your whole feeling about a company. Don't believe me? Let's do a little exercise, then. Let's pretend that you know nothing about car brands, but you are in the market for a high-end, luxury vehicle, and you are going to choose the cars you will look at by their logo. You see the logo below. What do you think?

Mercedes-Benz logo

Looks nice, right? Silver emblem, high-class-looking font. But what if the only thing that changed about this logo was the font? How would you feel about the company below?

Mercedes-Benz logo with girly, amateur-looking fontface.

Not to great, right? Looking at this logo, I imagine that Mercedes-Benz is some sort of funky car company that only sells tie-dye cars. What about the company below?

Mercedes-Benz logo in punk rock typeface.

This font is cool for a band, bad for a luxury car retailer. This makes me think of beat-up cars with 20 bumper stickers on the back. Pass. And last but not least, what about the company below?

Mercedes Benz logo in Western typeface.

Judging only by the font, I would say that this company sells vintage ford trucks that come with a free Johnny Cash CD.

Your font is a huge part of your company's branding, and believe it or not, it can make or break your chance with a prospective customer. So the next time you are getting a new website or logo, make sure that the font conveys the vibe that you want for your brand.

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