I’m Georgia. I’m 23 and a Graphic Design graduate from Northumbria University. After recently applying for the position of Graphic Designer at Pace Communications, I managed to bag myself a month internship at the agency. I’m a type enthusiast and specialise in typography and editorial design; after spending so much time studying type and brands at University, I fancied writing about the importance of a typeface to a brand.

Typography surrounds us. It plays a key part in communicating a message, yet when type is applied in a sensitive and appropriate manner, it does its job so well that it often simply ‘disappears’.

International Society of Typographic Designers

When a company takes on a brand identity, they should have an idea in mind of who their target audience is, and so a typographic voice is important, making the correct choice of typeface essential. According to Erik Spiekermann, Helvetica is the ultimate typeface – it is the default, and lacks individuality due to it being so ubiquitous. He mentions in the Helvetica film, “The Marlboro cigarette brand is so recognisable due to its typeface; if they were to replace it with Helvetica, it wouldn’t quite work.”

A great example of a brand that uses a typeface to their advantage is Five Guys; using only Helvetica and Tekton as their main faces, the burger and fries franchise promote themselves with order and clarity. Some people have labelled their branding as ‘crappy’ because of the pure simplicity of the brand, their basic colour scheme and ubiquitous typeface; red, white and Helvetica. Simplicity, however is effective and Five Guy’s straight forward branding means their product is communicated as simple, clean and straight forward, which is what makes them so successful.

Nando’s is another food franchise who have managed to use type to their advantage; employing a hand drawn brush font as their signature typeface, Nando’s apply this to their website, menu designs, serviettes and wall murals making it their prime weapon in communicating a message to their customers. A typeface instantly gives the consumer an idea of what to expect from the product, for example, in Nando’s case, their typeface is fun, friendly and bespoke, which is reflected in their food.

Whilst interning, I look forward to expanding my knowledge of typography and using type to develop brand identities. I also hope to eat more Nando’s, meet with cool clients and make new designer friends.