Branding is essential to the success of any industry. Although there's many ways to promote your company, effective branding is long proven to help achieve higher sales volume. Just having the best product or service is not enough. If your target customers do not recognize your brand, business success will be more difficult to achieve.
The Influence of Colors and Fonts in Branding
The colors and fonts a brand uses determines how it will influence its audience. Choosing them should be carefully planned so they can be successfully associated with your business.
A lot of popular brands are recognized for both their colors and fonts. Coca-Cola, for example, has that distinct script font that is familiar across generations. A deep forest green, on the other hand, is linked with Starbucks. Both companies have mastered the art of branding, which is why their brand design is well-known throughout the world.
Considerations When Choosing the Right Color
There are several factors that must be considered when trying to pick the right color for your brand. These include, emotional response, the trends, industry standards, and combinations.
1. Emotional Response
You always hear about how first impressions last. This is true for colors, so it’s worth careful consideration before picking one. Colors draw out emotions and feelings. According to a study, up to 90% of customers make an initial impression just by looking at brand colors. In short, they impact on whether customers decide if to engage with your brand, or not.
Brands with successful color schemes did not do it by accident. They did their research well and used colors to their advantage. The red color of Coca-Cola, purple color of Cadbury, and white color for Apple are great examples on how colors helped create a solid visual identity for their customers.
Understanding what colors mean is the first step in choosing the perfect color scheme.
- Red - associated with love and passion but it could also induce feelings of excitement, adventure, and violence.
- Pink - related to anything feminine, romantic, youthful and sweet.
- Orange - represents productivity, success, determination and vitality.
- White - signifies purity, cleanliness, and simplicity.
- Purple - has long been associated with royalty, wealth, spirituality, and creativity.
- Brown - denotes nature, dependability, sturdy, and simplicity.
- Black - effective at creating images of elegance, drama, mystery, power, and strength.
Psychologists have spent many years learning about the feelings that colors invoke. Their research findings will help you figure out which colors will best translate your brand message.
For the past few years, many industries are waiting to see what the next “color of the year” might be. It is usually decided before the year ends. Products and designs with the new color will start to come out right after the New Year’s celebrations.
Since the trend changes unpredictably, it can be difficult to pick one trendy color for your brand. This is because it might be less appealing once the hype is gone. What you can do with trending colors is to use them for your campaigns. This is essential if you want your brand to look fresh each year. Anything related to fashion and styling can benefit hugely from following color trends.
3. Industry Standards
You must also consider the colors that are already well-associated with specific industries. Anything related with technology, for example, uses blue, black, and their variations. Delivery services, on the other hand, favor the brown color. Although it might do good to be different, incorporating colors from within your industry gives familiarity to your audience. This is a great first step to building brand recognition.
Colors also interact with each other. Putting two colors that complement each other is enough to make heads turn. You can pick a main color for your brand then match it with other colors to achieve the best combination. You can always refer to the color meanings for guidance and to prevent clashes in looks and meaning.
Considerations When Choosing the Right Font
One of the key players in building brand identity is the font. It must come together with your design and colors to tell your brand story. The perfect font should be unique, legible, suitable for every platform, and should effectively communicate your brand personality.
Since it can be quite tricky to determine which font is best for your brand, there’s several factors that you must consider in choosing the right one:
Just like colors, you can also base your font choice based on the feelings they evoke. You can actually search some websites to see which fonts are available for your industry, or certain subject matter. There’s also a font category that helps you to pair fonts that work well together. This will help narrow down your search to find the font that feels right for your brand:
Originated from the 15th century and they are associated with being traditional, classic, and trustworthy. Brands who want to convey respectability and tradition favor these fonts a lot. This includes Time Magazine, Vogue, and Tiffany & Co. Some examples include Times New Roman, Lora, Baskerville, and Merriweather.
Sans Serif fonts came out in the 19th century, so it is seen to be more modern. They usually look simpler than serif fonts, and are great at creating a minimalistic and clean aura. Some great examples include Facebook, Spotify, Netflix, and Google. Arial, Helvetica, Open Sans, Roboto, and Source Sans Pro are some of the Sans Serif fonts. Slab Serif fonts, on the other hand, are like larger and blockier serifs. This is why it is mostly associated with bold, quirky, and confident brands, such as Volvo, Sony, and Honda. These fonts have made companies look reliable through the years. Rockwell, Roboto Slab, Courier New, and Arvo are popular choices for Slab Serif fonts.
These fonts are perfect for brands who want to evoke elegance and uniqueness. The cursive handwriting design gives that distinctive impression. This explains why some brands remained recognizable for decades. Companies that have used script fonts for their branding include Johnson & Johnson, Cadillac, Ford, and Instagram. Lucida Script, Allura, Satisfy, and Pacifico.
These fonts are perfect if you want to appear approachable and artistic. They give a playful aura which may work on specific audiences. Knewave, Just Another Hand, Permanent Marker, and Patrick Hand are all good-looking handwritten fonts.
These fonts are diverse, as they come in different shapes, forms, and proportions. This helps to create a dramatic, distinct, and highly stylized look. It makes a brand instantly memorable, as shown in the IBM, Disney, and Lego brandings. More decorative fonts include Bangers, Lobster Two, Fredericka, and Fredoka One.
A classic font can help establish your branding. The result can often be that you might not even need a redesign in the next couple of years. However, you should consider using a font that will still be popular and recognizable across seasons. Helvetica, for example, has endured plenty of years and yet it is still used by many brands today.
3. Font Pairing
Some brands use multiple fonts, which can often work just fine. One font can be used for the logo and other prominent details. The second is usually suited for body copy in articles. What you must consider, though, is that the fonts should not clash with each other. They must complement visually so there’s no confusion for the viewer.
How To Make Colors and Fonts Work
As you can read from above, choosing the color scheme and font involves a lot of research work. You have to find the best ones that will work harmoniously with the branding that you want to instil to the customers.
Here are some tips in order to make colors and fonts represent your brand and what you stand for:
Find an Inspiration
Be observant and analyse inspiring content. You can use it to help you associate color according to how it impacts you. Look for photographs that might stir emotions, get to an online color generator, and see which colors are produced from the photos. This is very helpful if you want to produce a certain emotion from your audience. For example, a photo using pastel and neutral colors can make the customers feel calmed and nurtured.
Pick According to Brand Personality
Matching your color and font choices according to your brand’s personality reinforces your message. The style and tone variations convey different impacts. So, you must try a combination which will be able to perfectly deliver your point.
Stick to your colors and fonts and use them throughout your branding materials. This should apply to both digital and print marketing materials, so that all channels are covered. You have to make sure that the audience recognize you from your colors and fonts.
It is best to create a harmonious mix of colors if you want to use more than one for your brand. Mixing both classic and modern fonts can create a professional and corporate look. You really can’t go wrong if you look at the psychology behind the use of colors and fonts. One thing to remember when using different colors and fonts in a design is that they should both draw attention and support one another.
Be mindful of your instincts when choosing colors and fonts for your brand. Enjoy the process! Instead of getting overwhelmed, you have the choice to have fun and just play like a kid playing with colourful clay dough. Experiment with colors and fonts that affect you in a positive way. Whilst being mindful of color psychology, you should trust your gut. If it looks good and feels right then go ahead. Find something else if it doesn’t.
Tools and Resources:
Here are few tools you can use to generate and identify which colors and fonts suits your brand best:
Color palette generators:
Font pairing tools:
Reminder: Know About Licensing Requirements
Although a single color can’t be branded, some brands trademark color and font combinations. Tiffany & Co, for example, has trademarked their distinct blue color back in 1998. So you can actually be in some legal trouble for using colors and fonts that are registered by established brands. It is a must that you check this before getting too invested in your color and font choices. You can always create your own color palette or use free open-source fonts to avoid any issues with ownership.
Knowing about color psychology helps you see how people’s perceptions and behaviours are affected by colors. Fonts, on the other hand, help create a well-defined brand personality that is identifiable to the audience.
Both colors and fonts are key components in increasing brand awareness. They should communicate your brand personality effectively. Failure to do it right could hurt your chances of achieving the full potential of your brand. We hope this article point guides you to choosing the color schemes and fonts that will lead your branding efforts to success!