Why choose a Google font for your corporate font (and why not)
What are Google Fonts?
According to the Google Fonts website, “Google Fonts is a library of 1455 open source font families and APIs for convenient use via CSS and Android. Making the web more beautiful, fast, and open through great typography and iconography.”
Google fonts are free, readily available, and easy to use. For these reasons, one or more may be a good option for your corporate fonts.
Advantages of Google Fonts
All Google Fonts are open-source and free to use. Anyone can download these typefaces for free, even for commercial use. You do not need to pay any fees to use the fonts for both print and web.
Since the fonts are free to download, anyone working with your brand would easily have access to the fonts specified in your brand guide.
Easy online integration
Many online applications and web builders, such as Wix and Squarespace, already have Google Fonts integrated into their platforms. In this case, you can choose your desired Google font right from the font menu.
And adding the fonts to almost any website is easy. If you’re customizing something like a WordPress theme, you can add a single line of code for a stylesheet link, then use the font in CSS styles.
A fast website provides a better user experience and is vital for ranking engines. Linking to too many custom fonts can slow things down. The Google servers will automatically send the smallest possible file based on the technologies that the user’s browser supports. This means they make sites and applications load fast rather than bloating the site with custom font code or less optimized font embeds.
Disadvantages of Google Fonts
Because they are free and easy to use, many sites and brands use Google Fonts. The most popular Google font last year, Roboto, had over three trillion views! So some fonts may not stand out or distinguish your brand.
Even with the number of fonts offered by Google, you may not find something that is a good fit for your brand. Since fonts can say a lot about your brand, it’s essential that you find a fit for your brand and use it consistently.
While Google fonts have a library of 1,455 fonts, MyFonts has over 130,000. With this many fonts, you are bound to find something to make your brand stand out as truly unique and memorable.
Less robust style options
If you’re only going to use one or two primary brand fonts, it’s helpful if multiple weights and styles are part of the font family. Unfortunately, many Google fonts don’t have style variations like bold or light or widths like wide or condensed.
There are other sources for fonts. Built into your computer operating system are fonts that you see when using Microsoft Word, for example. The drawback to these fonts is that they may not be available everywhere you need them. So, if you choose a font in Word to use when you write proposals but can’t find use on your website, you’ll be inconsistent with your brand fonts.
You can also pay for fonts through Adobe, MyFonts, or other independent foundries. Many paid font licenses have limited print or web use and licenses for each user, making them expensive. And many paid web font services are billed annually, so you need to renew each year continuously.
But as mentioned above, there are far more choices of typefaces. And many of them include a fully rounded set of fonts with styles such as bold, semibold, condensed, etc.
Which Google font is best for your brand?
Many small businesses are well served by choosing one or two fonts for their primary brand fonts. There’s no cost, and it’s easy to be consistent across most media.
If you’re not sure which Google Fonts may be a good fit for your brand, Branding Compass can help. After learning about your business, you’ll get personalized recommendations on at least five Google Fonts that would be ideal for your branding and marketing.
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