Typography is an underrated tool when it comes to boosting your marketing campaigns. Well-designed and appropriately-placed typography can amplify your message while bringing visual interest to your marketing materials. Typography comes in endless styles though, so you must be careful to select the one best-suited to the overall needs of your brand. Here are four examples of royalty-free typographic imagery and how best to use them.
Why it works: This is a classically beautiful piece of calligraphic art. The graceful and tightly composed lettering draws the eye along a pleasant and interesting journey. Though calligraphy is an ancient art form, the weighted brush work and light texturing feel very modern. This style of typography is fairly versatile.
How to use it: This style would be a great in industries relating to art, beauty, and fashion; fields that share the same kind of creative handiwork that went into this graphic. Its intimate, handcrafted style would be best used in a personal context. The elaborate nature of the lettering, though, makes it a good match for large, banner-style use, as it would be a bit too hard to read as body text. This style would work equally well in print or web.
Why it works: This easygoing, folksy typography does a great job expressing the idea of healthy food grown on a farm. Its vivid greens and browns suggest grass and soil. The lettering is simple, friendly, and old-fashioned, with lots of texture throughout. It looks like a piece of typography you might see in a rural general store.
How to use it: This art would work best for marketing anything with a healthy or earthy nature. Green and brown are colors used almost exclusively to promote organic / natural products, and the lettering is simple, easy to read, and homey. You wouldn’t want to use this style to promote high-end financial services or trendy nightclubs, but it would be perfect for selling organic food or homemade products. The typography here could be used at different sizes, as it’s not too complex. It would make a great poster, and it would work nicely on the web as well.
Why it works: This glamourous piece of typography is a throwback to the Art Deco style popular in the first half of the 20th Century. Its strong geometry (look at the “O” and “U”) and opulent golden shading suggest old-school Hollywood and splashy mid-century architecture. This is vintage glamour, all the way.
How to use it: This typography is like a sports car – it’s powerful, bold, and dangerous if used the wrong way. If you need to express nostalgia and retro style, it’s perfect. But that vintage flair could look out of place in a more modern context. Also, its detailed gradients and high-contrasted shading effects would look muddled and hard to read in body text, so consider using this in big, splashy headlines and banner graphics. Treat it like a Hollywood star, keeping it front and center.
Why it works: Here’s another example of retro typography, but if the previous one was Marilyn Monroe, then this one is Lucille Ball. It harkens back to the fun, ritzy style of 1950s television graphics with its kooky distortion, dots representing flashing marquee lightbulbs, and a blocky “3-D” build that brings children’s toy blocks to mind. All in all, a lot of fun.
How to use it: There is so much energy in this typography that it would work best in anything highly “retro” in nature. If you’re promoting anything fun and nostalgic, this is the graphic for you. It’s a very specific style, so it would be out of place in something more modern, serious, or both. It would look great on a fun greeting card, an ad for a toy store, or a fun banner for a bakery, but you wouldn’t want to see it on your bank’s new brochure. Always remember your audience when picking your typography style.
In just a handful of examples, we’ve seen how color, size, style can turn our alphabet into an endless selection of moods. Each has an appropriate use, so have fun, do your research, and experiment. You’ll find the right typographic style in no time, and your marketing campaigns will be all the more powerful because of it.
About the Author
Brian Goff is a graphic designer and illustrator who is passionate about branding, creative strategy, and entrepreneurship. You can view his work, and get in touch with him at his online portfolio, www.briangoff.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @briangoff.