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Have you ever looked for a listing of fonts by personality or wanted to know which typefaces are best for communicating different types of messages?

(Originally published May 19th, 2015, updated on May 17th, 2017)

Below are listed 23 different and distinctive fonts by personality, each of which tell their own story!

The most important thing to consider when looking at a font to match your brand’s personality and messaging is the history of the typeface, and what it has been commonly associated with through out its life-span. Anyone can easily figure out how the public feels about a font by looking into what it has been used to communicate in the past. Just like we associate cowboy hats with the wild west, so too do we associate calligraphy with antiques.

Another quality to look for when picking the right outfit for your text is the design of the font itself! Is it bold, sloppy, geometric or curvy? Is it wild and crazy, or fare free? Each of these attributes has its associated feelings, so use them to your advantage and create a comprehensive brand experience by choosing fonts that make people feel what you want them to!

Without further ado, here is a primer on 23 fonts and everything you never knew you needed to know about them:

If you have any questions regarding this article, or any other within our branding blog feel free to contact us with the form in the footer, or leave a comment!

Amity Jack has been striking fear in the hearts of baby boomers for a long, long time. Any font in all red caps like this is bound to look like a piranha in a pond of minnows, and this font never disappoints. If you are looking to inspire fear, awe or courage, this font might be for you. Lower case letters are nowhere to be found with this one nearby. Bold, aggressive, and large: just like the shark of cult-classic fame.

A combination between occupying the beginning of the alphabet and extreme simplicity has worked together to make this entirely forgettable font an easy to read staple of the design world. If “T-Shirt & Jeans” were a typeface, this would be it! Like a little black dress, it takes no thought to select, and looks decent enough for most occasions! An interesting side effect of this font’s simple personality is its all-too-common role in depicting virginal and pure brands, like evian.

This font’s been around awhile. Quite awhile, in fact. Developed in 1757 by printer John Baskerville, Ben Franklin brought this to the United Sta… er, American colonies where it was eventually used in the federal papers of the fledgling government. Perhaps it’s no surprise then, that this font carries a personality of 260 years of tradition and authority.

This font gets high scores for being bold, funky, and even retro. If you are into all of these things, then this font is calling your name. If you are trying to be a trendsetting brand, than go big or go home with Bauhaus. Get into the groove of this font if you want to take a stand while honoring those that have designed before you with one of the most classic fonts on the planet.

Named after the typographer employed by Italian nobility and Spanish royalty, this font has become another classic in the consumer world, particularly for Vogue, Calvin Klein (until February of this year), Columbia Records, and even J.P. Morgan (although the JPM logo is based on another font). Its clean lines, history, and use by high-end and luxury consumer brands give this font a sophisticated personality that aspires to be the best-dressed in the room. No frills, refined, and poised.

Everyone has their own style of cursive writing. When using a font like Brush Script, you are meant to be capturing a personal style and attitude, and helping the reader understand that there is a real human being behind the brand. Enjoy making a personal connection with a font like this!

There’s a reason that Chipotle does NOT use this font: it screams the death of a 1000 tacos made from processed meat and rotten tomatoes. It’s rough, uneven, but a predictable stereotype. You HOPE the chain restaurant you just entered serves strong margaritas, because you know that the real deal is served somewhere else.

Another of the world’s more common fonts, this was the selection when our founding fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence. This font has been revived and revived again over the years, and holds a revered place in font history. If you prefer a nod to the past in your work, with class and a touch of elegance, then this is the font for you.

This font isn’t new, by any means, but it gets made new again with lots of offshoots like when used by the recent MICHIGAN rebrand. This font graces letterman jackets in high school  halls all across America and has become ubiquitous with education and sports.  Strong, enduring, collegiate: it reminds us of our teens and twenties when possibilities seemed infinite… and football was everything.

This font hit the streets in around 1995 and hasn’t looked back since. It has been widely used by people with poor taste ever since. Occupying the title of “Most Hated” by designers everywhere, this font is looked upon as a laughing-stock everywhere it shows up. If you are going to swim in the waters of Comic Sans, we suggest you bring a life raft. This font is only appropriate for those with a unique sense of self awareness and an appreciation for satire, because its use will never be taken seriously except in jest!

If you are an old school character that likes to take up a lot of space, this is the typeface for you! All kidding aside, Courier is the go-to typeface of double-spaced term papers everywhere. As a result of this common application, this font has gained a sense of purpose over the years. Commissioned by IBM, this is a thinker’s font, and conjures up images of higher education. If you are promising a great curriculum to your clients, this could be the way to do it!

If you believed the entry on linotype.com, you’d see that this font takes on the shape of bent, twisted metal. Then again, some people still believe the earth is flat. This is a favored “font to hate” and it’s not getting away from its less-than-chic personality anytime soon. It echos middle school love letters with its near-bubbles over the letter “i” and annoys designers everywhere. When used, it seems limited to candy, ice cream, and pet grooming shops. We doubt “twisted metal” will ever sit with Curlz in the lunchroom.

An early foray into modern, bold fonts, Franklin Gothic makes a perfect outfit for an opinionated and wise person, who appreciates some subtly in their communications. Not quite as brash as a font like Bauhaus, Franklin Gothic is a happy medium for anyone looking to make headlines.

Yes, the font and movie title say it all. There’s a reason Michael Jackson’s Thriller used a similar typography. Thanks to Jason, this font will forever echo slasher-horror flicks where the last thing anyone should do is go outside to check out that noise. A little uncertain? Imagine the title of a nursery rhyme written in this font, perhaps Rock-a-bye Baby. Will that help you fall sleep faster, or check the closets first?

Variations of Futura (light, medium, bold, italics, condensed, etc) are used in a wide range of logos and brands. For good reason: this font was designed in the late 1920’s based on circles, squares, and triangles, omitting any clutter and unnecessary detail. Highly modern and radical at the time, it’s held onto that modern, elegant persona even as it gracefully approaches 90 years old.

Gotham is one of the most recently designed fonts on our list, having come on the scene in the year 2000. Known as Barack Obama’s campaign slogan font in 2008, it is closely associated with change and sleek modernity. If you are attempting to evoke one of the most powerful men in the world, this could be the font to do it with.

Helvetica is the little black dress of typefaces, appearing everywhere, all the time, and always fitting in beautifully. If you need a classy outfit to suit any occasion, and must appeal to everyone, everywhere, this font will work. Perhaps the only typeface with a movie named after it, Helvetica has been showcasing world class corporations such as BMW, Crate & Barrel, CVS, Energizer, GM, Harley Davidson, JCPenney, Jeep, Lufthansa, Mattel, Panasonic, Post-It, Scotch, The North Face and Toyota (to name a few) ever since 1957.

Fun, bubbly, sure to make the trip to the dentist a little more interesting, this font is described as “dancing a whacky line between discord & rhyme” on myfonts.com. We’re not sure about the rhyme aspect, but this font definitely reminds us of the closest thing to bubble gum our mothers would ever let us chew around her. Youthful, less-than-serious, and a bit cartoonish, make sure this is how you want your target audience to think and feel about you.

Tall, thick and bold are three words that sum up this title font. If much of what you say and do is meant to be front page news, you can’t go wrong with this showstopper.

Not only did this font become canonized on a pack of cigarettes, it reminds even non-smokers of the Marlboro Man and the wide expanse of the west: Marlboro Country. If a masculine, rugged, warrior-hero cowboy is the image you want, this font may help. The hazards of smoking (and death of several Marlboro Men) hasn’t seemed to detract from this font’s cult-like personality.

Visible everyday on the West Coast, yet perhaps out of thought, but definitely embedded into our subconscious. This font will forever be linked with the location stamped on license plates: sun, carefree, beaches. If your personality is a barefoot surfer, this font will burn that onto your forehead like skin cancer on a lifeguard.

This font needs no introduction. It is a classic beauty, and perhaps the most read and renowned font in the world. When you need to appear as a classic authority with a strong foundation, Times New Roman is the perfect choice.

According to many, this iconic lettering is a stylized version of Walt Disney’s signature. After almost 100 years of the Disney brand longevity, this font will instinctively take on the ideals associated with the Walt Disney Company: family-friendly, fun, and, perhaps a little bit of an inner child.

If you have any questions regarding this article, or any other within our blog feel free to contact us!

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