In today's digital world, typography is a crucial factor for a company's brand identity.
It plays a central role in visual communication and can significantly influence the perception and behaviour of customers.
We show the importance of typography for brand identity and the benefits it can offer your business.
We rely on the expert opinion of Max Niederschick, a renowned art and creative director who has worked successfully with HERZBLUAT for many years.
How your company benefits from this in competition
Typography and brand identity
The role of typography in brand identity
For Max Niederschick, typography is a crucial factor in creating the visual identity of a brand.
The choice of the right font influences the aesthetic effect of a design and arouses emotions and associations.
A well-designed typeface increases the value of a company or a product, strengthens the identity of a brand and represents the brand values.
It also promotes readability, which in turn affects brand loyalty, purchase decisions and recommendations.
First of all: Explanation of terms
Typography, typography that
Alternative spelling: Typography
Word division: Ty|po|gra|fie, Ty|po|gra|phie
Typography is the art and technique of arranging words on a page or screen.
It determines how a text looks and how easy it is to read. Typography includes the choice of font, size, spacing and arrangement of letters.
It is an important part of graphic design and can help to convey a message clearly and effectively.
Good typography can make a text more attractive and readable.
Source and further reading and links: Wikipedia
Word division: Mar|ke
Word division: Iden|ti|tät
Brand identity is what makes a brand unique. It is a combination of brand name, logo, design and personality.
Brand identity helps people to recognise and remember a brand.
It can also help people feel connected to a brand.
A strong brand identity can help a brand succeed and stand out from other brands.
Source: Aaker's model of brand identity
Marketing expert Gregor Wimmer asks,
Creative Director Max Niederschick answers.
1. How can typography help to strengthen and differentiate a company's brand identity?
Thanks for the introductory question!
How can there be brand identity without typography in a company?
Types always play a crucial role in shaping the visual identity of a brand.
The choice of the appropriate font influences the aesthetic effect of a design.
Different fonts have different visual characteristics that can evoke emotions and associations.
A high-quality, well-designed font increases the value of a company or a product:
by strengthening the identity of a brand, by representing the brand values and by such invisible magic as good readability.
Because the legibility of a typeface can decide everything: brand loyalty, purchase decisions, recommendation ...
Apart from the logo and the appearance - both of which are strongly influenced by the typefaces used - it is functioning types that strengthen the brand identity and enable differentiation from the competition.
2. What role does typography play in the design of marketing materials and product packaging and how can it influence customer perception?
Just as - in my opinion - everywhere in design, typography plays a central role in the design of marketing materials and product packaging.
Easy-to-read font sizes, line spacing and contrasts make it easier to absorb information.
Different font types and styles create emotional reactions. Highlighting through font sizes, colours and styles draws attention to important information.
A "functioning type" conveys credibility and quality - it makes it possible to achieve the desired effect with customers and to successfully convey brand messages.
Incidentally, "appealing" packaging design is named as the most important success factor (by customers) in the "Brand Trust" study by pwc (2017).
3. What are the most common mistakes that companies make in terms of typography and how can they be avoided?
Boah ... so honestly:
The most common mistake is not taking typography seriously!
There are many issues that override the importance of good, applied typography in the company.
Important topics such as sales, employees, turnover ...
Unfortunately, in the perception of many companies, typography is not even a drawer that can be opened when needed, but a small box in the "Appearance" drawer.
Yes, and this drawer is usually only opened when you need "someone to make you pretty".
It is essential to make these considerations at the beginning of a strategy or foundation. Later on ... it is difficult to realise the full potential of a functioning script.
How to avoid these mistake(s)?
Take two sheets of paper and go to the decision-makers in the companies with them.
On both, the word "Maßanzüge" is written once in a beautiful antiqua, once hand-scrawled with a half-empty black sharpie ...
I don't think you need to explain the impact in more detail 😉
Typography is often only a seemingly small factor in rapid assessment, but let loose it is a really powerful aspect.
That's all it takes as a basic mindset to avoid mistakes and then:
To let the type do what it can really do: Strengthen brands and ensure economic success!
4. How has digitalisation influenced typography and what new possibilities has it opened up?
Digitalisation has fundamentally changed typography and opened up a multitude of new possibilities.
Today, digital fonts provide designers with an incredible choice of fonts and effects.
Even in phototypesetting days, they relied on physical type sets or limited fonts, whereas now they can choose from a variety of high-quality digital fonts.
To this end, the automation of typographic tasks has led to more efficient production and adaptation of texts.
Whereas the manual adjustment of fonts used to be time-consuming - I only say "rubbing" letters - and tedious, now fast, precise editing is possible.
However, the digitalisation of communication media has also introduced interactive elements and animations into typography.
Designers can now create agile and responsive typography that enhances the visual experience and grabs users' attention.
Typography has become responsive in the digital world to ensure optimal readability and user experience on different platforms.
In addition to technical advances, digitalisation has led to a democratisation of typography that should not be underestimated.
In the past, high-quality typefaces were only accessible to a manageable circle of designers.
Today, there are many fonts available, both licensed and free of charge, which enable everyone to get to grips with the subject of type.
5. How can companies find the balance between creativity and consistency in their typography to convey a consistent brand message?
But creativity means cohesion - that is, consistency.
Creativity that is not consistent - i.e. with regard to a company, a brand - is chaos.
I don't need any knowledge or training for that.
It's enough to "be a bit funny"!
Functioning creativity needs guidelines, rules - then it also works with consistency.
Within these rules, if you take the trouble to think creatively, anything is possible.
To achieve this, companies (and the accompanying designers) need to set certain guidelines and standards (not only) for their typography.
Addressing typography, companies need to define their house fonts.
Types that fit their brand identity and create a unified effect.
These fonts can include different variations for headlines, body text, etc.
I recommend choosing a limited number of fonts to maintain a clear visual identity.
From my experience, a maximum of two font families is enough.
We at nwp work with a really big family (with 56 cuts), which gives us maximum flexibility.
Only with larger amounts of text do we also resort to an antiqua (with 6 cuts).
That's all it takes.
Entrepreneurs/designers must define how their fonts are to be used in different contexts.
This includes rules for font sizes, line spacing and spacing from design elements.
Through such guidelines, companies can ensure that their typography remains consistent and legible, regardless of the application.
True creativity comes through these rules.
Why? Because as a designer you are encouraged to think broadly within a narrow framework. And then it takes off!
"Do whatever comes into your mind ..." - for me this is more of a threat than a motivation.
If you understand the rules, you can break them and still stay within the defined space of the brand guidelines to maintain consistency.
And then you review your own rules. Regularly.
Don't follow every trend - but understand that you have the opportunity to follow a trend!
It must not be forgotten that all internal and external communication materials comply with the defined typography guidelines.
This can be ensured by providing style guides and templates, as well as training and regular monitoring of brand consistency (most securely through external facilitators/feedback interviews).
6. What role does typography play in digital communication, e.g. on websites and in social media, and how can it improve the user experience?
Guys have always been a bit of a stepchild in the digital world; and quite honestly ... somehow they still are.
Big players like Google or Adobe have certainly opened up a bag full of possibilities here.
However, the application continues to lag behind.
The demands on typography in the digital world are no less than in the analogue world:
Good, applied typography creates organisation, identity, emotion and most importantly ... readability. My favourite theme 😉
Sure, you can use an Arial for the thousandth time for the current website, or even in the visual for a social media post, but only good types ensure that texts are more pleasant for users to read and thus promote a longer dwell time on a website or in a social media post.
This in turn generates emotion, conveys messages, appeals to target groups, creates identities and ... promotes brand loyalty.
Using the right fonts that match the brand image helps to increase visual consistency and strengthen the brand experience for users.
In short: Without a functioning typo, there is no functioning brand. Online too!
However, typography helps to structure information and create a clear hierarchy, especially in the online sector.
By using different font sizes and styles, the attention of the user is directed and the user is supported in concentrating on the content.
But please: online there is even less need for font styles or sizes!
Speaking of concentration:
Typography plays an important role in the accessibility of websites and digital content.
The right choice of font, font size, line spacing and contrast ratios helps people with visual impairments or other reading difficulties to understand the content better.
In addition, digital applications/types are also drivers for innovation in the subject area of dyslexia.
Especially here it is important that each letter has its own form and still has a "calming" effect on the reader.
Andika Basic or Open Dyslexia, to name just two representatives, have changed a lot for the better.
I am convinced that a functioning font massively improves the user experience, but that is nothing new, just because the world has become more digital.
It's always been that way with books, and of course with magazines. Take a font that doesn't work and no one reads your book!
Because it's exhausting, you find it hard to concentrate.
This is not witchcraft, but is taken far too little seriously because many publishers/designers do not want to take the time to deal with the subject of typography.
Interposed question: You always talk about typography that works?
Yes, of course. Especially with professional fonts, there are standards that (almost) always work. But there is so much more.
And fonts are not quickly beautiful or ugly.
Fonts work better or less well: If I want to reach users, whether digitally or in print, I have to find a type that works.
Because a functioning typeface is also "beautiful" in its peculiarities, it is balanced in its weights, supports the reader, is perhaps nastily disruptive ... works. For its intended purpose.
7. What advice would you give to companies looking to improve their typography to strengthen their brand identity and appeal more effectively to their target audience?
I could write a book about that now 😉
But, in a few words:
Stop seeing typography as a nice-to-have, but understand that applied, functioning typography is the linchpin for the success of your corporate communication.
And thus also for your brand identity, customer loyalty ... in other words, your economic success.
It's never too late to start thinking about "this issue", preferably at launch, but you can always implement typography that works.
Talk to your creatives, your designers ... and if they can't help you, then look for new partners!
It doesn't have to be someone who has a pet name for every glyph 😉 But it should be a designer who is able to get everything out of types for your company, your brand.
And there are a few of them in Austria as well ...
This is, admittedly, a process, a decision.
Mostly within the framework of a corporate design process, but if (to put it simply) the topic "house font" is defined and a corporate design is in place, then you have created the basis for all communication steps. In the long term.
So: take typography seriously.
See the possibilities. Use them!
Your brand, your target group will thank you.
8. How can typography help communicate a company's ESG values and sustainability goals?
As much as I would argue the opposite, typography is unfortunately not going to save the planet 😉
But there are already opportunities where - yes - types that work help to better communicate ESG values and sustainability goals.
I assume that many in the population are already very jaded about the ESG or sustainability topics mentioned.
That means you have to communicate these issues gently.
A clear and legible font ensures that messages are easy to understand and that readers do not face difficulties in perceiving or deciphering the content.
This promotes transparency and openness to the important messages in ESG communication.
All things that I have already mentioned before - in relation to information transfer as well.
And no, there are no sustainable fonts (to my knowledge), and no, a green headline does not make the text more sustainable 😉
In the printed sector, you can of course support the effect of a typographically well-executed means of communication by using sustainable papers and environmentally friendly printing processes, but ... yes, I think that typography can only contribute to communicating content more clearly, more transparently. But that's already something ...
9. Are there certain aspects of typography that are particularly relevant for the presentation of sustainability and ESG issues?
As just explained, typography can (to some extent) help to visually communicate sustainability and ESG issues and create a positive link to environmental and social values.
However, without considering typographic design in a wider context and combining it with other visual elements and clear content, these goals cannot be achieved.
A minimalist design with good readable font and a reduced visual design can convey sustainable topics.
Less is more - a simple and straightforward design communicates messages more clearly and concisely.
This also includes a friendly high-contrast design so that content can be perceived quickly ... but these are things that actually apply to any design: Clarity, openness, comprehensibility, function ...
But "Less is more!" is not only true in typography, but at many points in the design process: a maximum of two typeface families are sufficient in a project.
Two. Not three.
Four pages less in the brochure do the environment good, but also slim websites, because servers and co. need less power as a result - but that's a completely different, unfortunately hardly noticed topic ...
Typography in marketing materials and product packaging
Typography plays an important role in the design of marketing materials and product packaging.
Easy-to-read font sizes, line spacing and contrasts make it easier to absorb information.
Different fonts and styles evoke emotional reactions and draw attention to important information.
Well-designed typography conveys credibility and quality and enables the desired effect to be achieved with the customer and brand messages to be successfully communicated.
Common mistakes and how to avoid them
One of the most common mistakes companies make when it comes to typography is not taking it seriously.
Typography should not be seen as an afterthought, but as an integral part of the brand identity.
Companies need to recognise the importance of typography and incorporate it into their strategy and planning.
Effects of digitalisation on typography
Digitalisation has fundamentally changed typography and opened up a multitude of new possibilities.
It has increased the availability of typefaces, improved the efficiency of text production and adaptation, and introduced new forms of interactive and dynamic typography.
It has also democratised typography and made it accessible to a wider audience.
Creativity and consistency in typography
To convey a consistent brand message, companies need to find the balance between creativity and consistency in their typography.
This can be achieved by setting guidelines and standards for typography, including defining house fonts and setting rules for their use in different contexts.
Typography in digital communication
Typography plays an important role in digital communication.
It helps to structure information, create clear hierarchies and improve the user experience.
Well-designed typography increases the time spent on a website or in a social media post and promotes brand loyalty.
Improve typography to strengthen brand identity
Companies that want to improve their typography to strengthen their brand identity and address their target audience more effectively should take typography seriously and use its possibilities.
They should work with their designers to develop typography that works, reinforces their brand identity and communicates their messages clearly and effectively.
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What does that mean for you?
Typography is a powerful tool that companies should use to strengthen their brand identity, communicate their messages effectively and appeal to their target groups.
By integrating typography into their strategy and planning, companies can portray their brand values, influence the perception of their brand and strengthen customer loyalty.
26 letters, a few special characters and punctuation - what's next?
If you would like to learn more about how you can use typography to strengthen your brand identity and engage your target audience more effectively, contact us today.
HERZBLUAT has been working for decades with experts such as Max Niederschick together to help you strengthen your brand identity through effective typography.
We look forward to working with you to create a more sustainable and successful future for your business.
Thanks to our expert Max Niederschick for the informative interview.
You can find his LinkedIn profile here: Max Niederschick on LinkedIn
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