Whether it’s well done or terrible, every company has a brand aesthetic.
When you start a company, you need a logo. And what is that logo comprised of? These days, many logos have an iconic mark to associate the brand, but they’re almost always accompanied by a type treatment of some sort. Sometimes, that iconic mark is even a type treatment in itself (think ligatures and monograms).
Needless to say, typographic treatments are an essential aspect of aesthetic branding.
Aside from lettering artists, there are a variety of different kinds of creative professionals out there that provide logo design services.
Not to say a hand lettering designer is always the best choice for every job, but you should take some things into consideration before picking a typeface and calling it a day.
What’s In A Typeface?
A fundamental fact that many tend to overlook is that typographers are artists and the typefaces they design actually begin with hand-lettering. That’s right — they start on paper and are meticulously refined and perfected through countless iterations.
When a typographer sets out to make font, they do so with the objective purpose of evoking a feeling.
For example, many serifs evoke professionalism and sophistication. Bold sans fonts are slick and clean. Flourishy scripts are elegant and fancy.
The adjectives that you use to describe a typeface aren’t a coincidence. The choices that the type designer makes are done so deliberately to evoke these descriptors.
Now, a graphic designer might pick a certain typeface that reflects adjectives the brand wants to evoke. It’s not hard to make a brand look cohesive by picking a complimentary font.
But simply picking a complimentary font can be considered a cheap way to cut corners.
Shoe-horning An Existing Typeface To Fit A Brand
When you use a font, you’re basically using someone else’s hand lettering. Not in the sense of intellectual theft. It’s perfectly legal to license fonts for commercial use. But unless you hired a typographer to design a font just for your brand, you’re settling on a font that was not designed for you. Therefore, your brand aesthetic is not exclusive to your brand.
When you take this route, not only are you recycling yet another font, you’re also at risk of blending in with other brands. How many times a day do you see something branded in Helvetica or a bastardized version of another generic font? Talk about cutting corners…
Every year, new typefaces come out and quickly gain popularity. And just as quick as they blew up, they become overused.
How many times have you seen Papyrus used? Papyrus became so overused that it’s now considered a design faux pas.
And sure, a designer can always modify the type treatment of a pre-selected typeface. However, they’re only obfuscating a predefined system that another typographer has established. And chances are, they’re not the first.
Hand Lettering Allows Flexibility
When it comes to brand aesthetics, the most visually interesting typographic treatments are seldom ones that can be achieved with a typeface.
For example, consider a more complex style like cursive script. The way one letter connects with a certain letter is different than the way that letter connects with another letter. Typefaces cannot account for this.
A hand lettering artist can also make words curve and wrap. They can tastefully bend the rules of typography to give letters and words unique spacial relationships.
Beyond just picking a style of text that compliments the brand, the letters and words are composed in a way that could only be done so by hand.
This ability to achieve this level of uniqueness is what makes custom hand lettering so special. There are so many typefaces out there that it can become difficult to tell them apart.
But no two lettering pieces are the same. And your brand shouldn’t be an exception.
Your Brand Is Unique
If you want your brand to succeed, having strong brand aesthetics is an absolute must.
For the majority of your audience, your logo is going to be the first impression. Therefore, it’s crucial that the first impression resonates.
Do you care about your brand enough to leave that impression?
The most successful brands invest in their visual aesthetics. So if you truly believe in your brand and think of it as a unique entity, why would consider compromising or taking shortcuts?
Don’t cheapen your brand by taking shortcuts. Invest in making it as amazing as it can be.