5 Reasons Why You Should Use a Font Kit Instead of Making Your Own Fontby Alabaweh Baweh -
You want your brand to be unique. That's only natural; first impressions matter, and you have to make sure that your message comes through both clearly and in a way that's different from your competition.
At the same time, you can go too far in working towards that goal. Fonts are a perfect example. In an effort to stand out in a crowded space, many businesses and brands use typography as a core differentiator that's representative of the larger identity. When that happens, you might be tempted to create your own font.
That step certainly makes sense at first glance. Creating something of your own means no one can steal it, and your look remains both unique and proprietary. However, the disadvantages of this step are actually more significant than you might imagine. Consider these 5 reasons why you should use a font kit instead of creating your own font.
1) The Scope of Work Required
Let's begin with the obvious. Creating an entirely new font is a lot of work. Are you sure you can take on that work? Consider the nuances that you have to keep in mind:
- Will the font look equally good in all caps, all lower case, italics, bold, etc.?
- Is the font unique and different enough from the licensed or publicly available alternatives?
- Does the font look equally well blown up to a large size as it does in small type?
You might have a great idea for a typeface that seems like it will work perfectly. And yet, you will still need to run it through all of these tests and questions before you can be sure. That is incredibly time-intensive, especially if you want your business typography to hold up over time.
2) Accessibility Concerns
Ideally, both now and in the future, a variety of audiences will read the type that you're looking to couch in the new font. Are you prepared for that variety to its fullest? At its core, that question comes down to accessibility.
Even a number of widely-used public fonts tend to be difficult to read for some individuals with disabilities. Serif typeface with a lot of graphic elements can induce headaches for those with slight vision problems. At the same time, sans serif can lead to headaches among those with dyslexia.
Using a font kit allows you to alleviate some of these concerns. It helps you pre-select fonts that are more likely to be accessible, and gets you to the testing phase more quickly--increasing your chance of having actually readable typography for all audiences.
3) Transferability to Web and other Systems
Technically, any font can exist on any website. The problem is that, once you go beyond the basics, your users might not have those fonts and even basic unfamiliarity can induce some degree of cognitive dissonance.
Similarly, you might want to transfer font files to various hardware and operating systems. Creating your own fonts means having to make sure you get the format, sizing, and convertability just right. That's difficult to do, especially if you don't have existing expertise in this realm.
Compare that with a font kit. While still relatively unique, it usually falls within a larger family that users might consciously or subconsciously recognize. The files are also pre-designed to work across systems, making transferability much more simple.
4) The Difficulty of Creating Aesthetically Pleasing Fonts
Let's be honest: creating your own font is extremely difficult. All of the nuances above take up not just time, but also require a significant degree of technical skill. Once you start having to worry about issues like transferability and accessibility, it's easy to get overwhelmed instead of still focusing on the aesthetics.
And yet, that should be the core of your goals. After all, the reason you are creating a font to begin with is to help your business stand apart. Unless you are an expert in font design, that's difficult to do on all fronts. Before you know it, the letters look oddly spaced, or the font simply doesn't fit with other, more standard alternatives that might be used on the same page.
Through a font kit, you can alleviate this problem in a much easier way. Rather than having to rely on your own experience in this issue, you can let the experts do the work. Simply pick through a number of pre-existing designs that match both your preference and business style.
5) The Need to Adjust to Industry Trends
Finally, don't underestimate the importance of keeping up with your industry. A simple look at this year's typography trends reveals just how much things can change and how even subtle items like fonts can have a major impact on the ways your audience perceives your business.
Can you keep up with these trends? Given the scope, difficulty, and expertise required in this type of project, are you able to redesign your font library frequently enough to please and appease your audience? Just as importantly, can you build on existing fonts as you create new alternatives?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, consider the benefits of a font kit. It allows you to make these adjustments almost automatically. When purchased from the right provider, you can be assured that the kit's creation date corresponds with the trend of that time. In other words, when you choose a relatively new kit, know that it reflects consumer wants and needs of the day.
Are You Ready to Improve Your Typography?
Paying special attention to your fonts is the right impulse. Subtle identity elements like typography can have a major impact on the ways in which your audience views and interacts with your brand. At the same time, creating your font might not be the right approach to that issue.
The time and expertise required, especially given that it needs to follow current trends, can be prohibitive even for expert marketers and designers. A font kit, on the other hand, allows you to stand out and be unique even as you stay away from the drawbacks of custom typeface. Created by the right professionals, it can make a drastic impact on the ways your audience perceives your brand.