Article originally published on Marketing Hub.
Typography can be one of the most challenging design elements when it comes to web and digital design. In the past, designers had to stick to a handful of fonts that would render consistently across websites which led to much frustration, for brand consultants and designers alike.
Why digital branding needs personalized fonts
With the growth of digital communication, digital branding is becoming more important than ever. Recent studies have shown that properly branded digital assets can increase brand recall, message recall and can generally make people trust content more. Recollection is a natural reaction, considering that we usually associate people, messages and other types of communication by their content and appearance.
Social networks make it especially difficult to be on brand due to the fact that customization is limited. Most branded pages look the same and there is only little differentiation. This is why ensuring that your own digital assets are on brand is essential.
Mastering your digital branding is not only about consistency and looking good, but also about increasing positive brand opinion among consumers. When visiting a corporate website, reading news mail or watching a video online we must create trust, positive sentiments and increase awareness at the same time.
How new fonts saved branding
Thanks to new font licensing models, supported by major font foundries as well as new online services that make the use of web fonts extremely simple, we can choose from thousands of fonts and use them legally on the web. Fonts.com, one of more than seven available web font delivery services, has 10,000-plus web fonts ranging from Monotype, Linotype and ITC.
Web font delivery services such as typekit.com make it easy to add custom fonts to your website, and with a little bit of tweaking it can be up and running in a few hours. The advantage is that there are no harmful effects on search engine optimization as was the case with previous font-embedding techniques. Even with custom fonts, the text of your website would still be plain-text HTML; users can select your text, copy and paste, and search engines can index your site too.
Are we seeing progress?
Font quality is in fact improving. While fonts originally designed for print media were not automatically optimized for screen usage, web fonts render pixel-perfect on devices and produce much better results for the user experience.
In terms of Arabic content, designers need a little more patience. The number of Arabic web fonts is limited and web browsers are still not rendering Arabic consistently. Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox do a good job while Chrome is still behind in this area and requires some tricks here and there to make it work well.
In order to progress in the region we have to recognize that web fonts enable designers to create online experiences that achieve a higher level of differentiation and brand awareness.