Updated: Jan 11
If you’re diving into brand design, web design, or graphic design in general, you’ve probably heard the word typeface many times. So, what is a typeface, what’s the difference between that and a font and… why does it all matter?
A typeface is a collection of letters and symbols designed in the same way. A common example of a typeface is Helvetica, designed by Max Miedinger in 1957. Helvetica serves as an umbrella term, under which a font is found. A font is one design variation of its typeface, like Helvetica Bold, or Helvetica Oblique. While it’s good to have this knowledge from a technical standpoint, the two terms are commonly used interchangeably.
"While it’s good to have this knowledge from a technical standpoint, the two terms are commonly used interchangeably."
Do fonts and typefaces matter?
Choices in font subtly (and sometimes, not-so-subtly!) help users perceive your brand message, values, and demographic through even the quickest of glances. Consider the styles below. The left side evokes a fun and funky energy, and would probably be used best in a youthful context. Meanwhile, the text on the left is cleaner, more professional, and clear, and likely used for more refined market.
Pulling It All Together
Fonts and typefaces both add character and an edge to your logo, brand, or marketing designs. A few great resources for well designed fonts at a low cost are Creative Market, Behance, and Dribbble. If you have questions about whether or not the fonts you've chosen work best for your brand, schedule a consultation for a professional opinion!