My problem with Comic Sans is that it’s just not my type
Welcome to Get In My Basket, the newsletter that will tell you everything you need to know about digital marketing for direct to consumer brands.
In this newsletter, you will find insider knowledge, tips and tricks to get your brand into more baskets.
In this issue you will find:
- A paint brand shaking up the industry
- Why is your font so important?
- Is it time for a rebrand?
- Scroll through your watch history on TikTok
- A clothing brand that’s doing all the right things with their ads
What’s HOT?!?! This section of the newsletter showcases brands and businesses doing something innovative in their space.
Lick has been shaking up the paint market for a while now, and we’ve been keeping a close eye on what they’ve been up to. Their ethos, to waste less decorating, started with samples and a commitment to making decorating easier.
Launching in March 2020, on the day that the UK went into lockdown, Lick saw rapid growth in its first year. With people all over the UK spending all their time at home, the decor surrounding them became a huge focus, and Lick’s simple process was easy to make use of.
As a new brand, that was exclusively DTC, it was imperative that the brand was built with a personality that could connect with the consumer right from the beginning of their journey. They have achieved this with their branding, a short, catchy name, and a great use of font. Lick’s branding is easily recognisable, and not easy to forget. The design-led font that they chose has allowed them to challenge existing, established brands such as Farrow & Ball and Little Greene, who both use ‘fonts’ over logos. Lick’s name, logo and font have become a huge part of its identity and it works on everything from a billboard to a paint can.
We love the concept of Lick; where simplicity sits at the core of the brand. This ethos is echoed right the way through the customer journey with a vibrant, and eye-catching aesthetic, the personality of the brand is certainly something that shines through. Offering a concise range of colours, Lick delivers on all that it has promised. In addition to this, Lick also hits the nail on the head with their sustainability and environmental impact and we love this about them.
Can you remember how long it took you to decide which font to use? Do you remember why you chose that font? In today’s newsletter, we are going to look into the reasons why certain fonts are used, how you can develop fonts and where to find fonts.
If you’re a DTC brand, you often prioritise imagery, colours, logos and other forms of creative but can fall into a trap of overlooking the font you use. However, we think you will be surprised by how using the right font can be a useful tool to build brand identity and thus affinity.
What do we mean by the right font? A brand’s font can make a massive difference to the impact on its audience. Audiences will feel more engaged and connected to a brand when they subconsciously or consciously enjoy the aesthetic that it portrays. The right font for you then is one that resonates with your audience and is an extension of your brand and the other identity markers you already deploy (logo, colours, imagery etc.).
We are all aware of how much time and money the biggest brands in the world spend on getting their branding right. So why should this be different for DTC brands? The truth of it is that you don’t need to spend an absolute fortune to get the right font for your brand, but you do need to spend some good time understanding what is going to resonate with your potential audiences to create your identity.
We recommend, when it comes to building out your brand identity, to start with your font. Font can be the root of everything. Once you have chosen it you can:
1. Develop it to become your logo
2. Use it to decipher your visual representation in marketing materials – bold, sharp, whimsical, angular etc.
3. Identify your tone of voice – corporate, retro, educational, colloquial, personal etc.
Of course, these components of your branding feed into each other, and you can start with a different element, but with font, although there are millions of options out there, we find it easier to be decisive about it. It is also easier to do consumer testing on it. Even if it’s just with friends and family, it’s an easy thing to get feedback from, especially when compared to something like establishing your tone of voice.
So, if it is this important, how can you find your font? We’re not going to lie, it will still take a while. As much as we want to simplify and speed up the process, it is something that we recommend investing time into. BUT, there are some nuggets of wisdom we can share with you to help you find the font your brand needs:
But there is a catch. As much as branding can often start with a font, the development of a font is what can take your brand to the next level.
What do we mean by this? Well, in the simplest form – bold, italics, headers etc. There are many different ways you can use a font, and these developments are what can really make your brand. It’s therefore important to consider these developments when picking your font.
For example, how many fonts do you think have been used here?
It’s only one. Helvetica. 12 of some of the biggest brands in the world are using the same font, but you might not have noticed. The reason being that they have spent time tailoring the fonts to make it unique and different. This process also means that they end up making a font resonate better with the audience they are trying to target, as well as ensuring that the font is representative of the brand.
At this point we thought it might be useful to shout out 3 amazing brands in the DTC space that we think have done an amazing job at nailing their fonts:
- Black Lines – hard lines playing on words.
- Tony’s Chocolonely – cartoony and playful.
- Misfits – extension of their name.
So is it time for a rebrand? Well, no.
Take a look at the graphic below, we are sure you will recognise some of the big brands on the list. All of these brands haven’t necessarily gone through a ‘rebrand’ but have had evolutions. Small changes over time to keep them relevant but not completely lose their identity by starting from scratch.
What we think is interesting is that if you look through the tech list, a lot of the brands now look quite similar compared to where they were before. Let’s just say Spotify was very wild back in the day!
So what does this mean? Well, we think it is a great example of developing a font in some cases and making sure your brand is growing with the times. But also these big brands will have spent time understanding what audiences resonate with, which might be why they all look quite similar.
What we hope you take from this is firstly, to invest your time in finding the right font if you’re at the beginning of your journey. It is a great place to start when building your identity. Once you find your font, start building out other parts of your brand to create a fuller picture – logos, TOV, creative aesthetic etc.
The other key thing to take from this is that fonts evolve with brands. You do not, and should not, have constant re-brands, starting from scratch to keep up with the ever changing digital space. We get it, all the changes in demand, consumer behaviour and competitors popping up can have you feeling like you’re chasing your tail to keep up and stay relevant. But a dramatic overhaul isn’t always needed and can actually be damaging. Look into evolving your font and gradually building it out to keep you relevant, rather than starting all over again.
If you want to see a documentary showing how some businesses found or developed their identities, we recommend watching Abstract on Netflix. We found Paula Scher’s episode in Season 1 and Season 2’s with Jonathan Hoefler particularly insightful.
With such a focus on branding, it’s got us reminiscing about the logo quiz. Give it a go to see if you’ve still got it and give you some inspo – it’s Friday afternoon after all! QUIZ.
- TikTok adds a GIF library
- Instagram allows all users to tag products in feed posts
- “Watch History” feature being tested on TikTok
- Looking into the relationship between mental health and exercise, Asics asks athletes not to exercise for 7 days
- 95% of text messages are open in 3 minutes
- LinkedIn launches ‘career pathfinder; to map our educational pathways for professional opportunities
- Instagram tests a fully immersive feed that will include posts, stories and reel content
To finish off our newsletter we want to highlight some of the best creatives that we have seen recently, and tell you why we think they are a slam dunk win.
✅ Makes use of a variety of fonts
✅ Abstract style that captures the attention of the viewer
✅ The use of fonts and graphics stands out from the asset
✅ Clever integration of fonts and video to get the selling point across