I’ve shared a lot about fonts over the years. Everything from how we got the name (it’s French) to how to choose them, but there’s one thing I’ve rarely talked about and that’s how fonts affect your business and your visual branding. It’s true. Every font has its own personality and should match the personality or goals of the business. Today, we’ll talk about the top 5 most popular types of font personalities.

I like to group font personalities by the personality type and I use musical albums to describe them.  Other brand specialists and other designers might do it differently, this is just how it works for me.

Traditional Forever

These fonts are the old school fonts. The serif fonts, like Times New Roman. The ones who have been around since Guttenberg invented the printing press in the 1400s. They pair well with nearly everything and give off an air of trust and sophistication. They’re the ones who, if they were people, would settle down at the end of the day with their drink of choice and listen to some opera. They’re great for businesses that need to be taken very seriously instantly, institutions like banks and financial firms come to mind.

Childlike Fun

The cutesy fonts. They’re created to appeal to children and the child-at-heart. You’ll recognize them by their easy-to-read look. They often mimic crayon, chalk or other school supplies. If they were a person, they’d be the ones at the children’s table eating chicken nuggets and mac and cheese while listening to Mother Goose for the umpteenth time. These fonts pair the best with Traditional or Corporate fonts, which changes the tone. It’s kind of like a parent in the room, the kids will have fun, but now there’s the adult watching. These are great for businesses that sell baby and kids products and want that childlike feel in all their visuals.

Corporate Modern

Strictly business. The sans serifs, like Helvetica. They originally gained popularity in the 1900s with a lot of the more modern and popular styles being developed in the 1950s. They are all about function. They’re the corporate dynamos who are easy to read, appeal to everyone and pair with nearly everything. They’re the ones who scream modern, functional, professional, and for everyone. If they were people, they’d be hopped up on an extra-large black coffee while humming along to the easy listening music piped into the elevator at their office.  Nearly any business can use these, but they’re extremely popular with big corporate businesses and want-to-be big corporate businesses.

Handmade Folksy

These fonts are the script fonts that are more relaxed. They’re the homey farmhouse fonts that are having a moment of popularity right now. These fonts are the ones who give off the friendly, relaxed and sometimes very feminine or shabby chic vibe while still being polished and professional. If they were people, they’d be the ones inviting you over for a cup of homemade lemonade and snacks with some good pop, folk or country music playing in the background. They’re popular right now and because of that they’re being used for a lot of types of businesses.

Vintage Everything

This is the other group of fonts that are having a moment of popularity. They’re the vintage fonts. The ones that take the fonts and feelings of yesteryear and apply them to modern businesses. Right now, we’re seeing a lot of mid-20th century modern fonts, as well as reimagining’s of art deco and Victorian/Edwardian era fonts. These fonts feel nostalgic, comforting and new all at the same time. If they were people, they’d be the hip grandparent drinking some kind of cheeky vintage cocktail and telling you wild stories from their youth.  Again, these are great for a lot of different types of businesses, but I definitely recommend them more for businesses that want to lean more into the vintage look and vibe well beyond their fonts and graphics.

These are just 5 of the most popular types of font personalities and a little bit about who they work best for! When you’re thinking about creating or redoing your brand visuals definitely think about what your businesses personality is going to be, who your business sells to and what vibe or feelings you want to portray as you choose your fonts.



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