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Serif vs. Sans Serif: How To Choose the Right Font for Your Brand 

Deciding which type of font to use is like deciding how to decorate your home. You have a lot to consider, and how you want your space to make you and others feel is at the top of the list.

There are many aspects of your branding you have likely already decided on, but something else to give serious consideration to is choosing the right font for your brand and considering what it says to customers.

There are two main types of fonts or typefaces available: serif fonts and sans serif fonts. 

 

Choosing the Right Font Is Important

Branding is about messaging and curating the right message to project to your customers. Decorating your home, as mentioned earlier, is similar. You decide how you want your space to feel – cozy or eclectic or traditional – and choose items based on that preference. 

Choosing the right font is the same, but because branding is about what you want your customer to experience, you have an enormous opportunity to curate those emotions by being thoughtful about choosing the right font.

 

What Is the Difference Between Serif and Sans Serif Fonts?

There is one main difference between serif fonts and sans serif fonts.

Serif fonts include something called a serif (we know – go figure!). A serif is a small detail or embellishment at the end of the letters, sometimes referred to as “feet” or “tails.” 

A sans serif font, on the other hand, is “sans” serif, which literally means “without serif.” So a sans serif font will not have those little tapers or feet at the end of the letters.

 

 

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What Does a Serif Font Say About Your Brand?

Because serif fonts have been traditionally used for print media, they provide a feeling of establishment and trustworthiness. 

Serif fonts are the best choice for brands that want to instill a feeling of seriousness, loyalty, or classicalism. 

Businesses providing things like law or medical services, car manufacturers, or even long-established family businesses may opt for serif fonts to further that feeling of experience and longevity.

 

Serif Fonts Examples in Web Design

The most commonly identified serif font today is Times New Roman, but serif typefaces themselves date all the way back to the 18th century and are still the predominant font for newspapers and books. Both Honda and J.P. Morgan use serif fonts in their logo designs.

Even though serif fonts are more popular in print material, they can still be an excellent choice for your brand and website design

example of serif font
example of serif font

 

What Does a Sans Serif Font Say About Your Brand?

Sans serif fonts do have a less serious feel to them. Sans serif fonts provide a sense of modernity and approachability. They look very clean both in print and online and are easier on the eyes digitally than serif fonts.

Sans serif fonts are great for businesses that want their branding to project freshness, innovation, and simplicity. This type of font is often used by companies that provide entertainment and travel services, cosmetics, and something otherwise artistic and more casual.

 

Sans Serif Fonts Examples in Web Design

Sans serif fonts rose in popularity with the boom of the digital era, and they are easier to read through a screen. In fact, many web-based services like Hulu and Airbnb use sans serif fonts to attract their customers. 

Like serif fonts, there are countless options for sans serif fonts, but the most easily identifiable one is Arial. 

example of sans-serif
example of sans-serif

 

Tips for Choosing the Right Font for Your Brand

Consider the message you want to project.

The first thing to do when choosing the right font is to decide on the message you want to portray. Do you want your customers to feel protected and get a sense of loyalty or establishment? Or should they experience a deeper sense of approachability and simplicity? 

Decide which type of font best fits your message.

If you’re an entertainment company or personal brand, you might lean toward the more casual sans serif font. If you’re creating a website or logo for a law firm, you will likely find that serif fonts provide the emotion you’re looking for. HubSpot recommends exploring the study of typography online to choose the best option for your brand.

Explore the serif or sans serif font options that suit your brand best.

After deciding which typeface works best for your brand message, explore all of your options for that type of font before choosing which one works best. There are so many options for each type of font, so take your time and compare the ones you like side by side.

 

Serif vs. Sans Serif: Final Thoughts

Choosing between serif fonts and sans serif fonts may seem overwhelming at first – you have a million things to decide about your brand imaging already – but taking the time to ensure your font styles match your aesthetic can provide a cohesive branding experience for your customers. At Bend Marketing, we’ve helped hundreds of clients over the years with their branding and website design. Let us know if you want a free branding and website assessment to get you started in the right direction. No strings attached.