Typography is the use of letterforms in design. It's everywhere. In logos, in signage, in websites, everything. Figures that when designing a brand identity this is given a lot of attention. Truthfully, I think people underestimate the power of well selected typefaces. They are certainly just as important as crafting a memorable logo and can make or break a brand identity. So how do you figure out which one(s) to choose? There are three things to consider:
Simplicity, distinction, and appropriateness.
Typefaces selected for your brand need to be easily seen and legible. This means no comic sans, no papyrus, no curly q's. You can't write a paragraph in those typefaces without straining a reader's eyes. When selecting a typeface, consider asking yourself this question: can I read a blog in this typeface and not be annoyed by all of the characters I see before me? If you are, time to change.
There is a fine line between choosing typefaces that are plain and overtly stylized. The key is to understand that a typeface does not need a lot of swirls and flourishes to make it beautifully individual. It could be the way the O's are crafted, the subtle rounding of corners, or sharp, stylized serifs. Whatever it is, I guarantee it doesn't have to be much. A little spice goes a long way with typefaces.
In all things brand identity, you cannot deviate from the core emotional values of the brand. Meaning, if you call people to be gritty and tough don't use a typeface fit for a wedding invitation (and vice versa). Typefaces have an emotional quality to them. Take time to think about what it makes you feel. Do you feel nostalgic or futuristic? Where have you seen this typeface before and what does that make you feel? Whatever you do, make sure the typeface is aligned to the gut-feeling you want your brand to connote.
It's just three things, but they can carry your brand identity a long way. Go snag some typefaces!
You know the problem that users are coming to in hopes of solving (I want to be healthier, I am sick of resetting my password, I have acne, etc), but that is the tip of the iceberg. Diving into the internal desires or concerns a user has surrounding solutions to their problem is core to developing your brand.
For example, in the instance of being healthier, a user might look for a fitness program online. What they are thinking while looking for it is "I want to be healthier, but I don't want to be known as a douchey gym rat. The intensity of most fitness programs makes me feel anxious."
Boom. Now you know that you can position this brand to be something more approachable and less "shredded" if you catch my drift.
What are some other things users might think of when considering a solution to a problem?
Password Management Software: It is daunting to put so much trusted information with one company, it needs to be legit. This let's you know that your brand has to err on the side of professional/trustworthy when marketing the product. You have to, at the very least, appear secure.
Skincare Programs: I'm concerned about the chemicals used on my body, the more natural this is, the more I'd be comfortable using it. This could be accomplished through visuals and language detailing the natural ingredients of a skincare product.
Investment Apps: I'm not even sure where to begin in creating a portfolio, it would be great to be educated from someone approachable. Through voice and tone and branded imagery, some awesome videos giving a walkthrough of how to use the product could be used in a campaign to get more users.
It's not just about the product, but about the user's feelings surrounding the decision to purchase it.
The startup world is cut throat. It seems like there is always some kind of monstrous competitor lurking around the corner ready to devour your company. At least, this is what a scarcity mindset would reinforce.
The sad thing is that even if that monster is beaten there is another one ready to take its place. Concerns about competitors are like a hydra. Cut off one head and two more take its place.
What are we to do?
Walk past them. Don't engage. Your brand has one enemy and that is who it was yesterday. The bliss embedded within such a mindset is that whether you win or lose, it's all up to you.