Finding the right fit for your firm
Allow us to set the scene: You’re on the hunt for an expert law firm — one that will give you the guidance you desperately need. Word on the street is that Last Name & Partners is the best firm in town when it comes to your specific situation, so you give them a Google and click on their website only to be met with:
Last Name & Partners
“We’ll fight for you”
On a scale of 1-10, how quickly are you clicking away? While Comic Sans is a perfectly fine font (ahem, for your kid’s macaroni art project,) it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence when your freedom/family/future is at stake — and law firm owners that want to make sure their firm’s values and ethos are communicated through every branding detail need to be thinking seriously about their chosen typography.
What is Typography?
Typography is not just a fancy word for “font,” and in many ways it refers to the way that you express your brand’s identity through text. Sure, what you say is important — but using the wrong font to say it (like the above Comic Sans,) can send the wrong message altogether. Typography encompasses the many details of your brand’s visual identity, including font and typeface, and can be a valuable tool in ensuring that your messaging aligns with your brand.
Who’s Doing it Best?
There are only so many varieties of typography available (though new additions like those included below are beginning to pop up) and many of the biggest global brands have fonts in common. Sans-serif lovers (fonts which lack decorative details in favor of clean, minimal lines) include Bayer and Energizer, while the serif Bodoni font might be the only thing Vogue magazine and Nirvana have in common. Chances are these brands are all instantly recognizable — an attribute largely owed to their dialed-in brand typography.
Why Typography Matters
While design geeks may spend hours defending the “aesthetic beauty of a sans-serif typeface” or drooling over the font package they just bought “that looks like Helvetica but is not Helvetica,” we’re more focused on the functional purpose of typography. Don’t get us wrong, we love a good font (have you seen Neue Haas Grotesk?!), but typography is less about how a chosen typeface looks and more about what it says about your business. In the same way that brand colors can elicit emotion in clients and customers, different typography details can change how people perceive and interact with your content.
How to Choose Your Brand’s Typography
Despite the relative uniformity of law firm typography, there are a few key factors that will help firm owners choose the right typography for their business and stand out in a sea of uniformity.
What you say only matters if people can understand it, so opting for clearly legible typefaces is key. Penn State University’s accessibility department lists sans-serif fonts as being more legible than the thinner, more decorative serifs (i.e. Verdana over Times New Roman,) and there are hundreds of highly legible fonts to choose from when shaping your brand’s typography. One font in particular, Dyslexie, is leading the accessibility charge as the first font designed to ease reading and comprehension among dyslexic populations. While typography may seem like a minor detail to many, improved legibility and accessibility can have a major impact.
Your personality is part of what makes your firm different — and part of what made your clients choose you over a competing firm — so your brand’s typography should be an extension of that personality. Maybe you’re all business, and clients come to you when they want a lawyer straight out of a John Grisham novel. In this case, your personality might shine through best in classic serif fonts. Or maybe you’re a small-town family lawyer known for clocking out at 4P on Fridays to go for weekend hikes with your rescue dog; your brand might shine better through a handwritten-style font. Who you are is a major contributor to your firm’s success, so make sure your brand typography showcases your personality.
Despite the fact that many still equate surfing the web with plugging away at a computer, 54% of global web use was on mobile as of Q4 2021. For this reason, brand typography should be optimized for both mobile and desktop use. Seeing as typography will reflect across every platform — from desktop and mobile web to social media and advertisements — there are many considerations firm owners need to make when deciding on a brand typography, but this attention to detail will not go unnoticed by prospective clients.
Not to be confused with quirkiness (no curly letters or Wingdings here), uniqueness is a crucial element of effective brand typography. By deviating even slightly from the run-of-the-mill typography that many law firms employ, firm owners can distinguish themselves from competitors and solidify their brand identity. A collection of recognizable and appropriate typefaces will help you stand out — whether they appear on the web, in print ads, or in client correspondence.
The Final Word on Typography
If you thought choosing typography for your firm’s brand was as simple as selecting a free font and calling it good, hopefully this blog from LegalEase has convinced you of the significance of strong typography. Still on the fence? Hop on over to our side for a brand audit and see how typography fits into the big picture.