The psychology of typography

Typography is a powerful tool in any graphic designer’s arsenal when creating branding that is going to stand out from the crowd. If you’re a graphic designer then you have probably spent hours sifting through different typography styles, in order to find that perfect one for a customer or client. What is it about typography that can change a perception so quickly? We’re going to take a look at the psychology of typography, its importance, and how knowing your stuff can enhance graphic design even further.

What is typography?

Typography and graphic design goes hand in hand; after all, there is no denying that typography is an art form. A mixture of good skills, good taste and a keen eye will ensure your work as a typographer doesn’t go unnoticed. This art form is more than just being able to pick out a certain font, however. Although the font or typeface used does pay an imperative part, typography is so much more than that. Effectively, typography is the parent of typeface and has a lot bigger responsibility than just looking pretty on paper.


What typography can tell you

The great thing about mastering typography is that you can effectively tell a story, through the use of this art form. The correct typeface, for example, can completely change a consumer’s perception of a brand. There is no denying that typography and branding go hand in hand, as many of the big name companies will tell you. Take a look at innocent drinks, M&S, and even Lego, if you want to see the power of typography branding. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular type of fonts and how graphic designers have used them to empower a brand.



Serif – Here we have fonts such as Times New Roman and Georgia; some of the most widely recognized fonts in the world. A serif typeface makes you think grandeur, tradition and even garners respect. Yale, Time Magazine and The New York Times all use Serif to highlight their authority.



Script – Another popular font family, although used in a far different way from our last example. Script is far more feminine and creative, creating intrigue in consumers. Lucida, Pacifo and Brush Script are all fine examples from this family and ones you’ll see on a regular basis. Where? Take a look at Cadbury and Coca-Cola for Script typography.



Slab Serif – Want to attract the attention of the masses? Make sure you use some slab serif style fonts! They are bold and strong, calling attention and perfect for billboard ads. Rockwell and Courier are some of the most used, although there are plenty more from the same family. Take a look at companies such as Sony, Honda and Volva for a prime example of how best to use slab serif fonts.


These are just some of the typography and branding examples we think are the most impressive, although there are dozens more of them everywhere you look. The next time you’re out and about cast your eye over the hundreds of different typography combinations. By understanding the psychology of typography, and its importance in branding, you will be able to further enhance your own skills as a graphic designer.


  • Siobhan Mcgarvey Posted 4 years ago

    Just like handwriting, fonts are so important as the added dimension that can influence in a design.

  • Emma Carney Posted 4 years ago

    I read recently that Steve Jobs studied typography and that it strongly impacted his ideas branding..and there's me thinking it's just a typeface!

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