Fonts and Branding: How Typography Affects Your Identity in the Music Industry

Posted by on Thursday, October 20, 2016 Under: Building Your Brand

What does your typography say about you? It speaks volumes about your music brand and what it stands for. As visual creatures, most people respond to the look and feel of your music’s branding as much as its sound. According to the Social Science Research Network, 65 percent of the population learn visually. Since your branding is often the first impression people will have before hearing the music, it pays to craft it in a way that best reflects your identity.

Chris Lake argues in a recent Econsulancy article that typography, at least in terms of artist or band web design, doesn’t matter as much as it once did in a world where eye-catching visuals are king. However, attractive visual elements are only a part of the complete music brand identity experience.

Why Typography Matters

Typography plays a key psychological role in how people view your music. If you want to attract new fans and retain loyal ones, it’s important to consider your visual representation in print, online and everywhere in between. A picture says a thousand words, but people spend an extraordinary amount of time reading text.

A particular type of font can invoke a wide range of perceptions and emotions, ultimately creating an image of that particular artist. For example, handmade typography and decorative fonts help musical artists stand out from others and invoke a more personal, intimate image. Meanwhile, sans serif fonts, such as Helvetica, are essential for clean visual identities that rely on expert use of white space and simplistic styling elements.

Making the right typographic choices matters when it comes to certain brand identity elements. This is especially true for business cards, which often serve as the gateway to future gigs and business relationships. When it comes to business card printing, a card that features well-matched font choices combined with brilliant design cues can easily draw in potential clients and leave brilliant first impressions.

Examples of Typography

Serif fonts feature a horizontal line at the end of each stroke. These fonts are often employed not just for readability reasons, but also to lend an air of gravitas and professionalism. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service, for instance, uses the Times family of fonts for text-heavy publications and in several versions of the official IRS logo.

Meanwhile, Sans serif fonts do not have a line at the end of each stroke. These fonts invoke a crisp and modern appearance. Microsoft developed its own sans serif font family, Segoe, to re-establish the company’s identity. In addition to being warmer and friendlier to readers, Segoe also provides the visual clarity and legibility needed to work for the Windows 10 and Windows Phone user interfaces.

Formal and decorative script fonts provide a sophisticated and sometimes feminine image. American Standard’s new typographic identity uses a handmade script font to full effect. Decorative fonts offer unique opportunities to stand out from other brands.

What Works and What Doesn’t?

Typography speaks volumes when it comes to your identity, which is why you want to avoid crossed signals. Choose your fonts carefully. Everything has a time and a place— a playful script font would be out of place for a serious image and a stodgy serif font is no good for an energetic brand.

Finding good typography that corresponds to a desired brand identity is often a trial-and-error experience. By understanding the underlying psychology behind typography along with some basic tenets of design, it becomes a bit easier to craft a strong, long-lasting identity that speaks directly to your company’s vision.

by Mackenzie Carlin

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In : Building Your Brand 

Tags: branding  typography  visual 


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