The History of Typography – Animated Short by Ben Barrett-Forrest

I thought this 5 minute video on the history of typography by Ben Barrett-Forrest may help you as you wade through the thousands of fonts available. As you design your logo and marketing message, the fonts/typefaces you choose will say a lot about your company before they read any further. Choose with care and by running it by your potential target audience.

Before I go any further, Comic Sans has NO place in business correspondence, marketing materials and the rest. Just stop.

Fonts not only affects your branding, but your communication with others. Let’s start at the top:

BRANDING/LOGOS and TAGLINES:

Assuming you have a great designer and not a “$99 Logo special” designer, let them do their job and create the lettering for your company name and tag line that reflect your mission statement and appeal to your target audience and future clients.

This needs to be legible at many sizes and resolutions. If you do any type of banner advertising, keep it clean. If it is very small – can you actually read it or do you need to lose the tagline for small ads and stay with your memorable logo?

WEBSITES: INCLUDES BLOGS AND SHOPPING CARTS:

RESPONSIVE sites – that means many devices can still display your site so it is clear, easy to navigate and not frustrating. But did your fonts go along for the resizing ride? Can they be rendered clearly? Before you commit to a font run a test page on ALL devices and ALL browsers to see how they render. Do this from DIFFERENT computers as some people may not have some fonts installed. This is the time to decide on HOSTED fonts for your site, STANDARD or GOOGLE hosted fonts.  See a previous post on Webfont Smackdowns

CORRESPONDENCE: EMAIL SIGNATURES

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Resist the temptation to create a chaotic signature in your emails that is filled with colored and multi-sized fonts. Pull your act together and settle down. Also, only include no more than three links in your signature. Create a catch all connect page on your site or use your about.me profile. Too many links in an email can toss your thoughtful communication into the spam folder.

As for the body of the email, go with the basics. Arial is there for a reason – it’s EASY to read on all devices.

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