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How to… pick fonts to represent your brand

how to pick fonts to represent your brandFonts can be a game changer when it comes to a logo or brand identity. In all honesty, the biggest change between my old logo and my new one is fonts that were used. Picking fonts to represent your brand can be challenging, but the good thing is that if you get the right one, it can make a HUGE difference.

How do you pick fonts to represent your brand?

I start with magazines, Pinterest and searching the web. There are a LOT of fonts available, a huge amount in fact. These go through fashions, like all design does, and more are being added all the time. There are a few different kinds of font family:

Serif type fonts – these are generally older style fonts and tend to have small lines at the tops and bottoms of the letters. A good example is the Word favourite Times Roman. When I say ‘older style’, there’s nothing wrong with using older style fonts at all. They can show heritage, knowledge and tradition when used correctly. Baskerville is a really nice example of a font that works really well today. You’ll see it’s classic and elegant but not old fashioned. Have a Google!

Sans Serif type fonts- sans means ‘without’ in French, so you’ll find a sans serif font doesn’t have the little extra bits. Generally these fonts are seen as a little bit more modern and feel a lot more curvy and round because there are no extra lines. This can make them feel soft and friendly too. Arial is a popular example of this (again, a Word favourite!), Avant Garde is another good one.

Script types fonts- should make you feel like they have a handwritten quality, even though they’re obviously more uniform than handwriting. They tend to flow and feel approachable too. The font I use for ‘Rhea Freeman’ is a hand lettering script font, but my previous one, Lobster, is also a Script font.

Decorative fonts- usually more elaborate than a Script font and can look incredible if used carefully. Some of the decorative fonts are not that easy to read (of course. some are!), but they should be used with caution in branding… in my opinion. Pick the right decorative font and it can work really well, but there are many caveats.

How to pick the fonts

So now you know the different font families (and it is useful because now you know what you’re Googling!), think about how you might use them. My logo is made up of two fonts – a premium handlettering font called Winsome and Oswald, and I use another font for my website copy. This means I can use these fonts in different ways on my website, social media graphics, etc etc. Size is important as, especially with a decorative or script font, if it’s too small, you won’t be able to see it. And if the person who is reading your website can’t actually read it, you might have the most beautiful font in the work and it won’t do the job!

But how do I know which fonts represent my brand?

Well, you need to think about the values of your brand, your customer avatar (and what they like and expect) and lots more. Some fonts sit better with different kinds of jobs – you’d expect a solicitor to have a very bold, easy to read, no nonsense font. This doesn’t mean it can’t be a premium font or even bespoke. This works with the values of the brand, the serious nature of the business and more. But if you’re an artist or more creative, a more decorative font can help you express your creativity in a way that doesn’t undermine your work… see what I mean?

A good place to start is to look at the kind of fonts that similar businesses use. You’ll probably see a pattern in the families they use and the styles. You don’t have to do the same, but it’s a useful reference point and place to start.

A word of warning about fonts

Less is more. There are so many beautiful fonts available that it can be really hard to pick which to use. The good news is you can use more than one font in your branding, but these need to a) work together and b) be limited. Too many fonts can confuse a message, and fonts that clash rather than complement can feel amateur and a bit manic… which no business wants!

 

Behind iconic design – Hiho Silver’s Cherry Roller Collection

Cherry Roller Bangle

Photo by Sophie Callahan Photography

You may have noticed that I adore Hiho’s Cherry Roller Collection. Well, it’s more than bog standard adoration. I wear the bangle and necklace each day. It rarely leaves my body… and I’ll tell you why.

Why is Hiho Silver special?

Being horsey, I knew, loved and was a customer to Hiho long before I worked for them. I always loved the way the company combined genuine equestrian detail into sturdy pieces of jewellery that looked gorgeous but wouldn’t disintegrate if you wore them on the yard! I have a bit of a thing about wearing the things you love and not just keeping them for best, so this ties in perfectly with that philosophy. Now, I just want to revisit the ‘genuine equestrian detail’ line. I’m horsey BUT I don’t really want to be covered in horse heads or twee jewellery. I’m very proud of my horsiness, very proud, but I want to give a nod to it with my jewellery rather than plastered in horse heads. There’s nothing wrong with horse head jewellery (I feel I am really picking on horse heads today!) and I have seen some beautiful pieces available (can you guess where?!), but I like the more understated horsey look. That is the kind of style that people who are horsey ‘get’ and people who aren’t admire because they see it as a beautiful piece of jewellery in its own right.

What’s the Cherry Roller Collection?

So, back to the Cherry Roller. Inspired by the bit bearing the same name, Hiho’s most popular Cherry Roller pieces combine sterling silver with rose gold vermeil (vermeil being a thick plating) or solid rose gold beads, but sterling silver only and sterling silver with yellow gold vermeil are also available. The combination of rose gold and silver is truly stunning, but for the horsey amongst you, you’ll also be well aware that a cherry roller snaffle combines stainless steel with copper, which creates the same dual colour look. By substituting the metal, changing the proportions and reviewing, revising and perfecting each element, the Cherry Roller Collection burst into life… and the first piece was the bangle.

I adore the bangle for many reasons. First up, it shows the iconic cherry roller design beautifully, with the curved ‘mouthpiece’ of the bangle following the wrist’s shape, and the clever hinged closure makes it easy to put on and take off, but secure when in place because of the clip. My roller has a solid gold central bead with Hiho engraving which I find myself spinning and admiring way more than I should. I wear it stacked with my Hiho Foxtail bracelet (that’s a whole other blog!) and I honestly never take it off.

Why is the Cherry Roller iconic?

It’s iconic because it’s unique to Hiho, it was created by them and can only be purchased from them, and it’s really led the way in combining precious metals in this space. I love it… and I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t…

Have a look a the collection here – or go and see the team at the tradestand at any of the events they attend to see it in the flesh.

A few minutes with… Athena Cauley-Yu – Meticulous Ink

Meticulous Ink first caught my eye on… wait for it… a vlog I was watching by Tanya Burr! I know I’m not Tanya’s demographic (AT ALL!), but I like to watch vlogs to help improve my own skills, to see what works and what doesn’t… and Tanya’s definitely works! Anyway. On one of them Tanya had a letter from Meticulous Ink, who I think she said had done her Athena Cauley-Yu Meticulous Inkwedding stationery. The envelope and the lettering honestly blew me away. It was SO beautiful and so different. A little Harry Potter-esq. It was gorgeous. As a stationery junkie I had to find out more. Hell, I became absorbed in the world of Meticulous Ink and followed all their social media channels and drooled over their website and gorgeous stationery products for longer than I’d like to admit. I started talking about them to friends and family… and then I emailed Athena, the lady behind this amazing brand, to see if she’d like to participate in this blog. And she said yes. And I did a happy dance. And that’s not even an exaggeration. So here’s a few minutes with Athena Cauley-Yu. You’ll see from the pictures below, her stunning products and her story why I’m now more than a little obsessed.

Tell us about you and your background

Meticulous InkI grew up in North London and was raised by my mum, who would constantly leave subliminal encouragement in my vicinity as a child – things like self improvement books and fancy toy cars. My mum was very good in that way, and was always supportive in my desire to be creative. My first job was working on the phone in my father’s oriental take-away when I was 14 and I have worked ever since. At university I studied Arts & Media, as I was unsure exactly what I wanted to do, and it was a course full of variety. We got to choose classes from Fine Art, Digital Screen Arts, Photography, and Animation, then we’d whittle it down to just one subject to specialise in. I chose Fine Art Printing because nobody else used the enormous print studio at the university, so it was my own personal private studio! After university I worked at two private stationers in London before embarking on the great adventure of my own creative business.

What made you want to start a business?

The huge encouragement from my mum was definitely the basis for wanting to achieve and for believing in myself. My father also ran his own oriental restaurant and takeaway, which definitely added to my entrepreneurial side. I’ve always been extremely positive and optimistic, and when I was ready to leave London I knew it was the right moment to create something of my own. I know there are logical steps to completing and succeeding at anything in life, so I knew that I wanted to go all in and try to build something of my own. 

How is your business different?

Meticulous Ink is an utterly bespoke printer and stationer. This means in each of our projects we aim to create something unique and fitting to the occasion. We understand the importance of first impressions as well as lasting impressions, be it an elaborate wedding invitation or a subtle business card. Our aim is to make beautiful things that will make the recipient proud. Alongside our bespoke work we have a small store full of paper related goods, we wholesale our own brand stationery, plus I run Hand Lettering Workshops to spread the joy of writing.

What makes your products special?

All of our own brand stationery is printed on-site at our store and printworks in Bath. We like to live up to Meticulous Ink Invitationour name, so each and every printed item is individually checked by our small team to ensure it’s perfect in every way. It’s this tactile, hands-on approach that helps to get that Meticulous Ink feel in everything we make.

If you had to sum up your business in five words, what would they be?

Meticulous, utterly bespoke fine stationery.

Do you have a motto or ethos?

Our ethos is to create beautiful things that we are proud to put our name to.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring business owner, what would it be?

Persistence is key to everything you do. You have to hustle constantly in every aspect and every part of the business. If you can be persistent then you will be successful.

One thing that helps you run your business more effectively 

We switched to Xero for our accounts last year. Although it is more work it gives me a much clearer idea of what the business looks like from the inside out on a daily basis.

Best thing about running a business?

Particularly having a creative business – being able to think of a product or design and then translating that into a physical reality. I get huge satisfaction from imagining a card design for example, and then being able to follow that from drawing it, to creating the plates, to the printing, up until it is on the shelf and a lovely customer purchases it.

Worst thing about running a business?

The constant stress. Being a business owner is the most stressful thing you will ever do; the hardest job you will ever have, but also the most satisfying and the most rewarding.

Top business blog you follow

I’ve recently begun following Fizzle which is really great. I like their tone of voice and the way they write. I’m also a big fan of watching the Ask Gary Vee show on YouTube – he’s really inspiring and so motivated! Plus I like Tim Ferris’s podcasts – he interviews incredible people, from athletes to huge business moguls.

Top business books you’ve read

The Success Principles – Jack Canfield

The E-Myth Revisited – Michael GerberMeticulous Ink Wax Seal

Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki

One thing we might not know about you

I have a black belt in Shotokan karate, which I got when I was 17.

Top business achievement

Our Collaboration with Mulberry, where I taught a series of calligraphy workshops at their flagship store in London, then at their store in Paris. It was fantastic.

Where can people follow you or your business online 

Website: www.meticulousink.com

instagram: http://www.instagram.com/meticulousink

Facebook: www.facebook.com/meticulousink/

Visit us in person! 134 Walcot Street, Bath BA1 5BG

Why I use moo.com

If you need to get any business cards or other business stationery sorted out for yourself, there are lots and lots of providers out there. I’m not saying you should use my choice, which is Moo, but I’m going to tell you why I chose them and, hopefully, highlight some points that you can have a ponder about before you take the plunge.Why I use Moo.com

What is a business card? Really?

Let’s just think about what a business card is. At its most basic, it’s a way of giving people your contact details, but it has the power to do a whole lot more. Like a website is your online shop window, a business card can have a similar power. Hand over a scrappy bit of paper and that’s what people have to remember you by. A scrappy bit of paper. And that’s not how you want to be seen. Is it?

More than a place to put your phone number…

In my opinion, a business card can be so much more. At one end you have the scrappy bit of paper or poor quality card that bends and stains and just looks rubbish. At the other end you have clever business cards. I’ve seen ones made out of wood, with liquids in – just have a Google. It’s a bit mind blowing. I’m looking at the happy medium area. As much as I’d love a business card made out of wood, I don’t think I’d like to give them away, and I would need a suitcase on wheels to carry them around. And I don’t need more bags!

But, luckily, there’s a big area that sits between scrappy paper and wood/metal/full on amazing business cards. There are a few things to consider when you think about your business card…

  • Design – you want your design to align with the rest of your branding
  • Copy – make sure the key info is on it
  • Colours – again, like design, you want these to align with the brand
  • Size – there’s more than one size
  • Quality – the thickness of the card that you use
  • Cost – goes without saying, but is often linked to the quality
  • Finish – matt or gloss
  • Extra touches – like spot gloss, embossed detail, foil spot and more
  • Quantity – again, no awards for guessing what that means

I know this is just business cards, but the above applies to other business stationery too.

And here’s why I use Moo.com!

This can seem like an overwhelming list if you’re just starting out. But it’s not. A lot of these things you’ll already know if you have a website, a logo or any kind of branding. It can be difficult to get inspired, visualise different finishes and card quality, but what I’d suggest is a bit of time on Google and ordering a sample pack or two – here’s a link to the moo one. If you’ve had a designer work on your website or logo, ask them for their ideas too. As for why I use Moo…

  • They do a great range of business cards in different sizes and different qualities and have a range of extra touches too
  • The customer service is second to none
  • There’s lots of inspiration on the site if you’re at a bit of a loss
  • They also produce ‘flyers’, which I use as compliment slips, stickers, postcards and other stationery items that match
  • I had an issue with one lot of postcards I had printed and they replaced them for me, for free, really quickly. I then had another issue with something that was entirely my fault but I didn’t like and they fixed that for me too. Really exceptional.
  • You can upload your own designs or customise theirs
  • The process sends you emails at different times so you can see where your order is

Of course, there are LOTS of people who print business cards out there, and I am sure many of them are very, very good. However, I’ve only personal experience of Moo, and I have no plans on changing in the near future. Definitely check them out.

I’d love to see your business card designs or ones that have caught your eye on the web. Please post below, or tag me on Instagram (@rheafreemanpr) with your business card in action!