Custom fonts are becoming a hallmark of every strong brand, so they are considered an indispensable part of the visual identity design process.

In this article, we deal with the issue of custom fonts, their usefulness, their value for the strength of the brand in relation to the use of free fonts, and their value in logo design.

YouTube Sans - custom font solution
YouTube Sans – custom font solution for YouTube

Custom fonts: brand strength & brand recognizability

Each brand tries to be a micro-world for itself, providing customers, ie users and fans, with a completely unique new reality.

The companies perform branding in all fields, emphasizing their recognizability and uniqueness in as many ways as possible. One of the key ways is to create a custom font because the font is what permeates the entire brand. From the logo through the website to all other communication platforms or marketing materials.

The strength of the brand and the originality of the visual identity, it is safe to say, without a custom font are not complete, it is not a complete story.

The top design concept inevitably involves the creation and design of custom font solutions. This approach is not only about the font, but also about the colors. It is known e.g. that the Nivea brand had legally protected rights to use a special shade of blue. The company believes that the decades-long duration of their product, in addition to the quality of the product itself, is based on the recognizable dark blue color. Scientific analysis has concluded that this color has such a psychological effect on people that it evokes the emotion of “closeness and a friendly feeling.”

Font plays a similar role in building brand strength. The font radiates the special recognizable energy of a brand and evokes unique authentic emotions in people. It is not a lie to say that a brand that does not have a custom font is not essentially a brand, but remains at a lower level, at the level of a product, not a brand. The branding system must include a custom font solution.

Audi Type - custom font solution
Audi Type – custom font solution for Audi

The importance of custom font solutions in building brand strength:

  • uniformity of the complete branding system
  • absolute exploitation of the potential of brand communication
  • uniqueness, recognizability, originality
  • absolute and complete originality of visual identity
  • the credibility of the concept of visual identity (top-level – brand, not level below – product)

Custom font and logo design

The first goal in the design of any logo is recognizability. It is superfluous to explain the role of the font at this level. A custom font can be a basic element of a logo’s recognizability.

Hence the growing popularity of simple text-based logos, which we wrote about in previous articles.

Google Product Sans - custom font solution
Google Product Sans – custom font solution for Google

In fact, if we go a step further, we conclude that a text-based logo is not possible without a custom font solution, or at least, such a text-based logo solution that would not include a unique custom font cannot be called a design solution to create an original and unique visual identity.

The custom font gives what you might call the logo’s personality. Unique recognizable logo line. Again, the big question is whether a text-based logo can be called original without a custom font solution.

All of this applies in the first place to text-based logo concepts, but not only to text-based (acronym/initialism) logos but in general – no matter what logo concept you have, a custom font is what will complete your visual identity and branding system completely. A custom font will make your product and company a brand.

Importance of custom font in logo design:

  • achieving absolute originality and uniqueness
  • achieving the element of brand personality
  • achieving wide application of your branding concept

Custom font opens up the possibility of wider (absolute) applicability of branding

In addition to creating uniqueness, recognizability, and personality elements in the brand, there is another important thing, and that is the possibility of what we could call “brand diversification”.

The absolute applicability of branding through a custom font solution and custom font logo is probably one of the key reasons why companies decide to take such a step. Simply put, spreading the energy of the brand through the application of the original custom font on all platforms and communication channels.

Zilla Font - custom font solution of Mozilla
Zilla Font – custom font solution for Mozilla

The custom font is applied on all marketing materials, on all platforms and communication channels, wherever technically feasible. In this way, the custom font and custom font logo have the role of strengthening the complete communication and branding system. The effect is reciprocal, as the wider application of a custom font strengthens the strength of the custom-font-based logo itself.

The company Audi explains it well: “Audi Type ensures uniform brand perception across all points of contact – from smartwatch to TV commercial. Here, few elements are more striking in terms of perception than Audi Type Extended. Applied in headlines – from Normal to Bold – this font style is a key distinguishing feature of the brand.”

A custom font solution can be very expensive, but it still saves you money!

It is known that the design of a custom font solution can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in most cases, you will spend tens of thousands of dollars to create a custom font. However, this investment, in the long run, can actually be a move that saves the company money.

With the growth of the company, there is a need for greater and wider application of a certain font, so, in the final calculation, owning your own custom font is a saving of money, unlike using a licensed paid font.

Some fonts are paid on a monthly basis, some on an annual basis, and there are different ways to use fonts, so licenses can be assigned for use for print purposes, web use, and so on.

Can a custom font be a problematic thing?

Yes. It can. However, this is nothing that cannot be solved. Do not worry!

Businesses in which the speed of loading the website is very important, such as online shops and various e-commerce businesses, require special supervision of web developers when applying custom font solutions.

Reith font - custom font solution for BBC
Reith font – custom font solution for BBC

You need to have a cleverly organized and combined system of using a custom font and some standard font solutions for branding communication in the digital sphere to avoid all possible technical problems when using e-mail communication, websites, and mobile applications.

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