Brand identity and font selections

By Wendy Rall Volume 5 Article 1

How your fonts reflect your visual brand image.

The fonts used in your marketing play a large part in your overall brand image. I was inspired to write this article after viewing direct mail circulars. I saw that three fast food restaurants were all offering similar deals. Each coupon has a very different feel to it, and I wanted to share this with you. This will help you see how a font impacts your advertising.

First lets look at McDonalds. This is very clean and stylish. They used a green for some text, and it is a nice contrast to the color of the photography. This ad is clean, stylish and colorful. It has a sophistication that gets the point across without screaming at you.


Now let’s look at the Arby’s coupon. Arby’s chose to make all of the text black, keeping the focus on the photography and the logo. The font is casual, as opposed to the McDonald’s modern fonts. The “free” offer is a bit louder which makes this coupon look very “mass market” and less sophisticated.


The visual brand image of McDonald’s is different from Arby’s. Arby’s is offering a bold image. They look to attract the meat eater and portray a casual western image. On the contrast, McDonald’s has rebranded their image. The new image is contemporary and modern, which is reflected in their advertising.

I later came across a similar coupon from Subway. Now here we have an entirely different look. Their coupon screams the word “free”. Their photographic image is larger. These elements make this coupon a bold, attention getting offer. Like the McDonald’s coupon, Subway used a font color that contrasts with the prominent color in there photograph. Notice that the McDonald’s prominent color in the photo is red, and they chose green as the font color. The prominent color in the Subway photo is green therefore they used red to contrast, for the type.