Typography tells a story
Well-designed fonts are beautiful to behold. Their angles and forms can be an inspiration.
But they also have a “personality,” and if you tune into what their shapes are trying to say, you can make those traits work for your business.
Let’s say on the other side of your town a company is developing an upscale neighborhood high on a hill overlooking the ocean. They’ve decided to call it “Grandview Estates.” Their tagline is “Rising Above the Rest.”
[Pretty snobby, right?]
Now let’s say you’ve been asked to design the sign that will sit at the entrance to the neighborhood. You’ve been told that the sign needs to “reflect the caliber of people we want to attract to our estate properties.”
You know what that really means.
You need to attract rich people! Time to break out …
Type styles of the rich and famous
Because you know, dahling, the rich and famous won’t be seen with just any old font. Only the best will do!
Here’s what to look for when you’re using fonts to speak to an upscale audience.
1. Classic forms
The rich and famous would like to think that they’ll always be that way. Using fonts with classic forms that have been around since Roman times will help them perpetuate the illusion!
Even though the font should look like it’s been around since Roman times, you should stay away from Times Roman.
Why? Because it’s overused. The rich and famous want to be distinct.
That eliminates the Georgia typeface, too, and any other typeface that’s on the standard system menu when you first fire up your computer.
Instead, try serif typefaces that have some personality, like:
2. Calligraphic feel
Classic typefaces include those that look like they’ve been penned by the hand of a distinguished calligrapher.
What better way to say “I have so much money I don’t know what to do with it” than to look like you have a personal scribe who addresses all your correspondence?
These typefaces have the swashes and flourishes that will do the job:
Now that you’ve chosen fonts from the lists above, let’s look at how we can set them so they communicate the upscale vibe we’re looking for.
One way to accomplish this is to set the serif typeface in all capital letters, and open up some space between the letters. You’ve seen this before:
For maximum effect, don’t spread the letters out too much. You want the words to be readable.
4. …or tight and solid
You shouldn’t spread out the letters in a script font at all. They’re designed to look like a calligrapher has written them in one sitting, sometimes in one continuous stroke. So set the script letters tight together so they flow from one to the other.
The idea below uses a script font set nice and tight, and a serif font on the second line. Fancy, schmancy, huh?
Our little secret
I promise not to tell the rich and famous you used a free typeface to attract them to their overpriced neighborhood!
This post was first published on January 26, 2011, and has been updated with new images. Enjoy!
Choose and use the best fonts for a professional-looking brand
Carefully-chosen fonts are a powerful way to communicate your brand style. And you don’t need special training to choose and use fonts like a pro. Find the font guidance you need in the Beautiful Typography Guide.