There are more than 28 million small businesses in the US today, with 22 million being self-employed individuals. So how does a small company stay ahead against the virulent onslaught of relentless competition? There are certainly many factors that go into making a business successful, but sometimes, it is the little things that can make the biggest difference.
As most of us have been told, we should never to judge a book by its cover. But I dare say a good portion of our daily 35,000 conscious decisions are made from looking at what we see. So if you are a small business owner, how do you cater to the visually decisive masses who often decide on a whim which steakhouse to try, or even what plumber to fix their leaky sink? Sure, there are plenty of us who depend on our smartphones or apps to check reviews, but sometimes, all it takes is a place that looks professional or visually appealing to procure our patronage. So whether it be a business card tacked to a coffee shop corkboard, or a website found lurking in the depths of Google, how a company presents itself visually can often come down to just one key factor. Typography.
How many times have you seen a menu that looked like it was typed up on MS Word, or a business card with the entire content is tiny little script font? How about a website done entirely in Arial or Myriad Pro? Oh. My.
Logos = Brands
What most business owners might not think about, is that their logo is not the only thing that represents their company. Also having the right font can show style and personality, and give it the panache that can take it over the edge from their competition. And while I certainly don’t consider myself a snob, I know I will be less inclined to give my business to a company who looks like a hot mess of 80’s web fonts on crack. Also is the case if I see everything done in nothing but plain old Times New Roman. Sure it’s cute with its tiny little serifs, but if that is the extent of the company’s attempt at branding, why should I bother?
No Budget? No Excuse
We all know that most small businesses don’t have their own dedicated marketing department. However, if they take the time to put themselves out there, they should also take the time to find the look that fits their brand. This can easily done by finding the right font that can be used across their assets, including website, business cards, clothing, menus, and even vinyl on a work vehicle or signage. I am certainly not saying this is the only thing that needs to be done. Having a logo, a tagline, a color scheme… well, there is a lot to go into personalizing a business. I’m just saying having a logo is not enough.
Why is it so important? By showing consistency, it is also establishing the brand. By displaying a brand, it will appear professional. This also helps with recognition and credibility. Having a smorgasbord of typography is like saying you can’t decide between the lemon meringue, apple crumble or the cherry pie, so what the heck, let’s have them all! While having your cake (or pie) and eating it too is all too enjoyable, it does not do anything for the issue at hand, which is making business more profitable.
So, in short, finding the right font to use with your logo, colors, and other elements, is an important step in taking a company to the next step. And a word of advice, in the case of Comic Sans, this should not be used. Ever. If you think it’s ok to use this font, then step away from the computer very, very slowly.
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