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Using type font characteristics to communicate brand personality of new brands

Abstract

This research explores whether the type font used to represent a brand name (such as in logos or packaging) influences consumers’ perceptions of the brand's personality. Drawing on the semantic influence of type font framework, we conducted three experimental studies involving type fonts with a wide range of design characteristics: Study 1 shows that type font characteristics (naturalness, elaborate, harmony, flourish and weight) influence brand personality perceptions (excitement, sincerity, sophistication, competence and ruggedness). Type font naturalness, harmony and flourish emerge as the most important type font characteristics evoking higher levels of most personality dimensions. Study 2 extends the research to new brand names and finds that the effect of naturalness in type font designs is a key driver to eliciting brand personality dimensions. Study 3 then explores whether type font characteristics and type font color interactively affect brand personality dimensions. The results show that the influence of type font color on brand personality perceptions is independent of the impact of the type font itself. These results provide initial guidelines for type font selection to achieve desired brand personality and raise questions for future research.

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Authors

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Correspondence to Bianca Grohmann.

Additional information

1holds a PhD (2002) from Washington State University and is Associate Professor of Marketing and Research Chair in Consumer Research at Concordia University, Montreal. Her research interests include branding, brand personality creation and sensory marketing (including visual brand cues).

2holds a PhD (1995) from Washington State University. Currently she is Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Oregon. Her research interests focus on consumer responses to information, including: feelings as information in making consumer judgments and decisions; design (including typeface) influences on consumer responses; the role of interpersonal communication on consumer responses; and influences on customer satisfaction and retailer commitment.

3holds a PhD (2010) from the University of Oregon. He is currently Assistant Professor of Marketing at Loyola University Maryland. His research interests include the creative industries, knowledge-based product innovation, product design, entrepreneurship, and corporate image and reputation.

Appendix

Appendix

Table A1

Table A1 Illustrative examples of type fonts and brand personality perceptions they evoke

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Grohmann, B., Giese, J. & Parkman, I. Using type font characteristics to communicate brand personality of new brands. J Brand Manag 20, 389–403 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1057/bm.2012.23

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Keywords

  • brand communication
  • brand personality
  • type font
  • color