There’s a subtle secret about the world of design that few people on the outside ever really get privy to: font choice is roughly one thousand times more important than you think it is, because everything you say about your business or your brand has innumerable additional messages tied to it by how it’s presented. This is something that most people notice without ever really realizing it, which is exactly what makes it so important. Whether you realize it or not, your brand’s typeface relays a ton of information about you, what you do, and how you do it, to anyone and everyone who sees it; whether or not that information is positive, negative, or even accurate is up to you and your designer.

There’s a reason that there are thousands and thousands of typefaces out there to choose from (and it’s not just because designers like myself nerd-out over them)—each one has a specific look and feel, and carries a specific identity. There’s a time and place for virtually every font (except Comic Sans, of course), and when someone chooses a truly ill-fitting font to represent them, it’s incredibly hard not to notice, whether you come from a design background or not.

Here’s an example. Say, for instance, that you need to build a stock portfolio:

Even though these fonts are similar in many ways, one of these ends up looking much more appropriate for the service that’s being advertised; the other ends up looking glaringly out of place. This applies to virtually every situation involving the written word, and especially so in branding and advertising.

Every typeface carries a message along with it, and although these messages can be easy to ignore or shrug off, it is imperative to pay attention to them, especially when your brand is going to be represented. Be aware of what your fonts are saying about you and your livelihood, and be sure it’s coming across just right. Your brand will thank you.