Breaking the Rules: Unconventional Typography in Branding


Publish Date

June 12, 2023

Reading Time

Do you ever see a brand’s typography and think, “Wow, that’s unconventional, but it works”? In the world of branding, standing out is key, and one effective way to do that is by breaking the rules when it comes to typography. The choice of typography can make or break a brand’s identity, and unconventional font choices and styles have helped many brands make a lasting impression. In this article, we’ll explore the power of unconventional typography in branding, look at successful examples of brands that have taken the risk, and provide tips for how you can incorporate unconventional typography into your own branding efforts. Are you ready to take a bold step forward and break the rules? Let’s dive in.

Typography as brand identity

When it comes to branding, typography plays a significant role in creating a brand identity. A brand’s choice of font can communicate its values, personality, and overall aesthetic. Unconventional typography has the power to set a brand apart and make it memorable. By stepping outside the norm, a brand can convey a sense of creativity, innovation, and uniqueness.

Some brands have successfully used unconventional typography to establish their identity. For example, the New York Times magazine introduced a brand refresh in 2015 that featured a bold, slab-serif font. The new font gave the publication a fresh, modern look while still honoring its traditional roots. Meanwhile, Airbnb used a custom-designed font that reflects the company’s values of community, creativity, and simplicity.

If you’re considering incorporating unconventional typography into your branding efforts, it’s important to approach it strategically. Consider your brand’s audience, values, and personality. Analyze  how you want to be perceived and what emotions you want to evoke. Work closely with a designer to ensure that the typography aligns with your overall brand vision.

In conclusion, typography can serve as a powerful tool for creating a brand identity. By breaking the rules and embracing unconventional font choices, a brand can stand out in a crowded marketplace and make a lasting impression. As you explore unconventional typography for your own branding efforts, remember to approach it strategically and work closely with a designer to ensure the typography aligns with your overall brand vision.

Exploring unconventional font choices

When it comes to unconventional typography in branding, there are a multitude of options to consider. Some brands opt for bold, attention-grabbing choices, while others might prefer something more subtle and understated. Whatever your preference, it’s important to explore a variety of options before settling on a specific font or typeface.

One unconventional font choice to consider is a handwritten or script font. This can give your branding a personal, human touch that resonates with your audience. Alternatively, a bold, all-caps font might work well for a brand looking to make a strong, confident statement.

Another option is to experiment with different fonts and typefaces within a single brand. For example, you might use one font for your logo and another for your headlines. This can create a dynamic, layered effect that adds depth to your branding.

As you explore unconventional typography for your brand, keep in mind that consistency is key. Make sure your chosen fonts align with your brand’s overall vision and convey the emotions you want to deliver in your audience. Work closely with a designer to ensure your typography choices are cohesive and effective.

With a strategic and thoughtful approach, unconventional typography can be a powerful tool for creating a unique and memorable brand identity. In the next section, we’ll explore some successful examples of brands that have made unconventional typography work for them.


Making it work: Examples of successful unconventional typography in branding


With a carefully planned and executed strategy, unconventional typography can be an excellent way to set your brand apart and make a lasting impression on your audience. Let’s take a look at a few examples of successful brands that have used unconventional typography to their advantage.

Mailchimp is known for its playful and quirky brand identity, and their use of a custom hand-drawn font certainly helps to reinforce that image. The unique font is used consistently across all of their branding materials, from website copy to social media graphics to email marketing campaigns. It helps to create a fun and approachable persona that resonates with their target audience.

Coca-Cola is a classic example of a brand that has successfully integrated unconventional typography into their overall branding strategy. The iconic logo features a unique script font that has remained largely unchanged since the brand’s inception in 1886. The font is instantly recognizable and has become synonymous with the brand itself, helping to create a strong sense of brand loyalty among consumers.

Finally, Airbnb’s use of an unconventional, custom-designed font has helped to create a distinct and memorable brand identity. The font features a variety of unique characters and symbols, giving it a playful and whimsical feel that aligns with the brand’s focus on travel and exploration. By using the font consistently across all of their marketing materials, Airbnb has been able to create a unique and instantly recognizable brand identity.

As these examples show, unconventional typography can be an effective tool for creating a memorable and distinct brand identity. However, as we’ll see in the next section, there are also risks involved with breaking the rules.

The risks and rewards of breaking the rules

As we’ve seen, breaking the rules when it comes to typography in branding can have a powerful impact. However, it’s important to consider the potential risks before taking this approach. If executed poorly, unconventional typography can confuse or even alienate customers, leading to a negative impact on brand perception. Additionally, it may not be suitable for all industries or target audiences.

On the other hand, the rewards of breaking the rules can be significant. By standing out with a unique and memorable brand identity, companies can differentiate themselves from competitors and capture the attention of potential customers. It can also demonstrate creativity and innovation, which can be particularly important in industries that are perceived as stale or conservative.

Going beyond the font: Incorporating unconventional design elements can further enhance a brand’s visual identity and messaging. By incorporating unexpected colors, shapes, and imagery, companies can create a lasting impression and establish a strong emotional connection with customers. However, as with typography, it’s important to ensure that these elements align with the brand’s values and target audience.

In conclusion, while there are risks involved with breaking the rules of typography and design, the rewards can be substantial. By carefully considering the impact on brand perception and target audience, companies can use unconventional elements to create a unique brand identity.

Going beyond the font: Incorporating unconventional design elements

In addition to typography, incorporating unconventional design elements can also give brands a unique edge. Brands can use unexpected colors, shapes, and imagery to create a striking, memorable visual identity. However, it’s important to carefully consider how these elements align with the brand’s values and target audience. By doing so, brands can establish a strong emotional connection with customers and stand out from competitors.

Moving beyond traditional design elements can be a risk, but it can also offer substantial rewards in terms of brand recognition and customer loyalty. That being said, it’s essential to keep the target audience in mind when incorporating unconventional design elements. Any elements used should align with the brand’s messaging and values, and appeal to the preferences and tastes of the intended audience.

When used effectively, unconventional design elements can help businesses build a strong brand identity and connect with their customers on a deeper level. To make the most out of these design choices, businesses should take the time to analyze their target audience and understand what will resonate with them. By doing so, companies can create a distinctive brand personality that stands out in the marketplace.

Next, we’ll explore some tips for using unconventional typography in your branding efforts.

Tips for using unconventional typography in your own branding efforts

A way to make your own brand stand out from the crowd is to use unconventional typography in your branding efforts. However, this approach requires a delicate balance between uniqueness and legibility. Here are a few tips to help you use unconventional typography effectively:

  1. Choose typography that matches your brand personality: Different fonts have different personalities. Select a typography that aligns with your brand values and personality. For example, a fun and playful font may not be the best choice for a serious business.

  1. Keep it simple: Avoid using too many fonts or styles as this can make your branding efforts appear cluttered and confusing. Stick to 1 or 2 fonts to keep your messaging clear and concise.

  1. Test for legibility: It’s important to ensure that your chosen typography is legible and easy to read. Test it out across different mediums and sizes to ensure it looks good and is easy to read.

  1. Use contrast: Contrast can help you draw attention to certain parts of your messaging. Consider using a contrasting font for important keywords or phrases.

By incorporating these tips into your branding efforts, you can create a original brand identity that matches with your target audience. Next, we’ll take a look at some of the best fonts to consider using in 2023.

Best fonts 2023

As we move further into the future, branding continues to evolve, and typography remains an essential part of creating a unique identity for your brand. The typeface you choose can speak volumes about your brand’s personality and values, making it a crucial element in your branding strategy.

So, what are the best fonts to consider using in 2023? Here are a few suggestions:


  1. Montserrat: This sans-serif font has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its versatility and readability. It’s a great option for headlines, body text, and everything in between.

  1. Cinzel: If you’re looking for something a bit more decorative, Cinzel might be the font for you. This serif font has a classic, elegant feel that can add a touch of sophistication to your branding.

  1. Poppins: Poppins is a geometric sans-serif font that has become increasingly popular in recent years. Its clean lines and modern aesthetic make it a great choice for tech companies or any brand looking to convey a sense of innovation.

  1. Baskerville: This classic serif font has been around for centuries, but it still has a place in modern branding. Its timeless elegance and legibility make it a great choice for luxury brands or anyone aiming for a more traditional feel.

  1. Lato: Lato is a humanist sans-serif font with a friendly and approachable feel. It’s a great option for brands that want to come across as personable and relatable.


No matter which font you choose, remember that typography is just one part of your overall branding strategy. By combining your chosen typeface with other design elements, colors, and messaging, you can create a unique brand that resonates with your target audience.

Unconventional typography in branding may seem like a risk, but when done strategically, it can be a powerful tool for standing out in a crowded market. By exploring successful examples like Coca-Cola and going beyond the font to incorporate unconventional design elements, you can create a brand identity that leaves a lasting impression. Remember to use unconventional typography intentionally and always strive for clarity and legibility. As the great designer Paul Rand once said, “Design is so simple, that’s why it’s so complicated.” So go ahead, break the rules, and take your brand to the next level.

Let’s share a virtual cup of coffee and work together to make your business goals a reality. Contact us to get started.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Affiliate Disclosure is a participant of various affiliate programs which means we may earn a commission when you buy something through links on our site. (at no extra cost to you).