Everybody’s handwriting is different. Maybe your handwriting is looping and elegant and wouldn’t look out of place in a Jane Austen BBC adaptation. Or maybe, if you’re like me, your handwriting is toddler-armed-with-lipstick messy and appears to be the result of writing while juggling on a unicycle. In any case, it’s generally believed that the way your letters look says a lot about your personality. It’s called graphology – the study of handwriting (it’s a real thing, I looked it up) – and if you were to study my tornado scribbles, they would probably say I shouldn’t pursue a career in the circus.
Fonts are the digital equivalent of handwriting, and they, too, can tell us a lot about a person or brand. In fact, there’s a whole psychology behind it. It’s been scientifically proven that different type styles send different subliminal messages to our brain; light fonts convey beauty and elegance, whereas bold fonts convey power and assertiveness.
Choosing the right font to use in your blog’s logo is an important milestone for your brand. Do you want your blog to exude a classic Audrey Hepburn-esqe vibe? Then as sure as Hades, don’t even think of using the Impact font. Or perhaps you want to dazzle your readers with your quirky, off-the-page personality. If that’s the case, you might consider Amatic SC.
What you shouldn’t do, however, is haphazardly spin the Wheel of Fonts and passively accept whatever typeface your WordPress/Blogger theme predestined for you. Instead, think of what aesthetic you want your blog to have, what emotions you want to convey to your readers, and then embark on an epic Fellowship-of-the-Ring-worthy journey to discover the one font to rule them all.
Spot the Trends and Shake It Up
Think of some of the most famous brands out there – Netflix, Coco-Cola, Google, FedEx – their logos are simply comprised of text. There’s no golden arches or castles, no blue birds or apples. In fact, there are no images at all. But despite that, these companies aren’t any less memorable. In fact, it’s just the opposite. And that’s all due to expert font choice. Each brand is tied to a memorable typeface that you’re so familiar with, you could probably draw it from memory while riding that unicycle I mentioned earlier.
But these multibillion-dollar corporations didn’t settle on their chosen fonts by accident. You can bet your pistachios they did their research – and it wouldn’t go amiss if you did the same. As somebody who is very visually minded, one of the first things I notice when I visit a blog isn’t necessarily the content (I know, I know, I’m HORRIBLE 🙈); what initially catches my eye is the blog’s appearance. I notice the theme, the header, and – you guessed it – the font. After blog hopping for a bit, you’ll start to notice some trends.
One such trend is the ever-inescapable Playlist Script. I see this font EVERYWHERE, and I lovingly blame Canva. (For those of who might be caught unawares, Canva is a free and simple graphic-design tool that lots of bloggers use to create graphics for their websites.) One of the free fonts included in its interface is called Playlist Script, and if you were to take a moment to look around the interwebs (especially amongst the book blogging community), you too might notice its popularity.
Am I saying that using this font is bad? No. Am I trying to shame those bloggers who do use it? Heavens to Betsy no. No, no, no. What am I saying is that Playlist Script is popular among a certain group of consumers. This is valuable information to have. Knowing it’s popular tells us something important: that many bloggers like script fonts, brush-like lines, and bold, easy to read letters. We can use this knowledge to our advantage when trying to create our own brand.
After you’ve completed your font research, consider shaking things up by choosing a typeface that is similar, but slightly different, than the ones you discovered out in the wild. This way, you can still be trendy, but also create a completely unique brand that (hopefully) makes you happy-squeal whenever you look at it.
If you like the Playlist Script font but are looking to branch out, then perhaps try using one of these free fonts instead:
Where to Get Free Fonts Legally
The sad fact of the matter is this: you know those standard sans-serif fonts that come preinstalled on your Macbook? They’re nice, but they aren’t that memorable. They don’t exude personality or pizzazz. So, if you’re anything like me, you’re going to want to download some new ones. But this is where things get a bit dicey. You can’t just download new fonts willy-nilly and start using them on whatever projects you feel like.
Due to various copyright issues, you’ve got to have the proper licensing. Without going into too much legal mumbo-jumbo, let me simply point you in the direction of a few websites where you can get your hands on some FREE FONTS (🎉🎉🎉🎉) that are okay for both personal and commercial use. (“Personal” in this context means non-business related and “Commercial” means that you can use them as part of items you’re going to sell.)
For more information on how to download a font, see this webpage for an explaination.
My first and favorite resource is Font Squirrel. As it says right there in the logo, all fonts on this website are 100% free for commercial use. Easy as pie. Oh gosh, I shouldn’t have mentioned pie. Now I’m thinking about sweet things, and my stomach is starting to rumble, and the next thing I know, I’m going to be stopping by the grocery store to buy a pie crust.
The second place I grab free fonts at is the Free Goods of the Week promotion run by Creative Market. (You can also purchase user-created fonts there as well.) Starting on Monday and running through Sunday, you can download 6 different free goodies (at least one of which is usually a font) just because the people who run this website are nice. Yay for nice people!
- Befonts (most of these are Personal Use only)
- Behance (the License type depends on the font, so make sure you check before downloading).
Send the Right Message
Simon Garfield, author of the book Just My Type: A Book About Fonts, explained: “Type is shorthand. It changes the emotion of what we say. We use it to express our individuality. If we all used the same thing, what a boring place we’d be in.”
As Mr. Garfield explained, fonts are one of the many ways we express our personality, and our individuality, online. So, make sure that your font is sending the right message.
Want to try your luck at winning a complete blog design makeover from either me or Tracy? There will be two lucky winners – one will receive a blog makeover from me, and the other will receive a blog makeover from Tracy. That’s two prizes, two winners, and double the chance to win!
The Blogiful Blog Design Makeover includes:
- A blog header
- A blog button
- Customized social media buttons
- A post signature
- Two different post dividers
What fonts do you usually use when you make your blog graphics?
Have you noticed any design trends (with fonts or otherwise) that you find fascinating?
Share your thoughts in the comments!