Typography tips for your brand materials

The key objective of all your written content is to communicate your brand messages, and good typography practises will help to share these clearly and professionally. A cluttered page with mismatched fonts will be distracting, but implementing good heirachy and tools to guide the reader through your text will be much more appealing.

I thought I’d share a few pointers to consider when working on your own materials.

1. Avoid using too many fonts. Two or three is a good guideline. Try not to pick fonts that are too similar so that you have a good contrast. A simple example is pairing a serif font with a sans serif, or using different weight fonts from the same family. 

If you already have brand guidelines, follow the advice in these to keep consistency within your brand materials.

2. Set the right tone for your brand and content. Are you going for fun and lighthearted, or something more formal and serious? Is your content aimed at adults or children? Fonts all have different moods and uses, so it’s worth doing a bit of research.

3. Consider your line length (the distance between the left and right sides of a block of text). Long lines force the reader’s eye to travel a longer distance from the end of one line to the beginning of the next. Shorter lines are much more comfortable to read, and your audience is less likely to loose interest. 

4. Don’t cram everything in! Pay attention to the tracking (the spacing between letters) to ensure it’s not too tight, or you’ll loose readability. The same with leading (the spacing between lines) – you need to strike the right balance between too tight and too loose for maximum legibilty. If you have too much text, it’s best to cut some of it rather than try to squeeze it all in and end up with an unprofessional end result.

5. Orphans and widows refer to standalone words that hang at the top or bottom of blocks of text. It’s best to avoid these to ensure your text doesn’t look unbalanced, or you end up with too much white space at the end of the page. These can be fixed by breaking lines manually rather than relying on automated breaks. 

6. Keep in mind the readability of your design. You may find a decorative, artistic font that you love, but if it’s tricky to read it may not be the most practical solution.

It’s also good to consider your colour choices – choose colours with high contrast, and check the font weights too. Again, if you have brand guidelines in place, it may be helpful to consult them before making a decision.

I started my career in the editorial department, so I’ve spent years learning all about the benefits of good leading, tracking, kerning and spacing – and I know exactly how to use clever composition to make your editorial attractive, accessible and easy to read. Please get in touch if you’re looking to update any of your own brand materials and I’ll be happy to help.

hello@hannahhowat.com