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Word marks: a helpful tool to express your identity: an empirical study regarding fonts of word marks as a tool for transmitting an archetypal identity.

Oosterhout, L. (2013) Word marks: a helpful tool to express your identity: an empirical study regarding fonts of word marks as a tool for transmitting an archetypal identity.

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Abstract:Goal - Logos are one of the most important visual elements to transmit a brand’s identity. As a ‘face’ of the brand, logos should represent the identity of a brand. Logos can be a symbol and/or word mark. Within this study, the link between word marks and archetypal identities is investigated. The goal of this study was to determine to what extent archetypes can be visualised with fonts of word marks. Method - To answer the main question, three pre tests and a main study have been conducted. The goal of the first pre test was to determine which groups of word marks people distinguish. The pre test yielded five groups of word marks, namely businesslike, modern, personal, luxurious and playful word marks. To conduct the second and third pre test, 120 fonts were selected. During the second pre test, respondents had to judge to what extent these fonts were businesslike, modern, personal, luxurious or playful. In the third pre test, six experts assessed the physical characteristics of the 120 fonts. Based on the results of the pre tests, 40 fonts were selected for the main study. During the main study, an online questionnaire was used to determine the fit between the fonts and archetypes. Findings - The study showed that fonts of word marks can be used to visualise archetypes. Fonts and their physical characteristics are a helpful tool for a brand to express itself as a particular archetype. Personal fonts, which seem to be written with a feather or fountain pen, fit well with lover brands for example, which is in contrast with ruler brands and their tight, formal and static fonts. It was also found that three clusters of archetypes can be distinguished, namely an Order, Social and Freedom cluster. It can be concluded that fonts of word marks can be used to express an archetypal identity. Added value and limitations - Within this study, new empirical evidence regarding archetypal branding and word mark design is collected. An early step in the extension of the literature in this domain is thereby taken. The results of this study are interesting and useful for both scientists and practioners. One of the limitations of this study is that more physical characteristics could have been added. During the third pre test, 120 fonts were assessed on eight characteristics. Characteristics such as roundness and width could have been added though. Future research - In the future, the fit between archetypal identities and brand names could be investigated. Future research could also focus on the assessment of word marks. Personality traits could influence respondents’ opinion about the fit between archetypes and word marks. The valuation for word marks could influence this assessment as well. It is advised to investigate these topics in more detail.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/64348
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