How to use typefaces effectively

By Anna Jarvis,



Have you ever wondered about the significance of the style of words you use within your branding? Or how the use of a particular typeface or font can convey different messages to your customer? Come to think of it, what is the difference between a typeface and a font? Don’t worry, we’re going to delve into the world of fonts and typefaces to help you figure it all out.


What is the difference between ‘font’ and ‘typeface’?

Typeface originally meant a particular design of type, while font is a type in a particular size and weight. Typeface encompasses many fonts, however, because of the advancement of digital design you’ll often hear them used interchangeably, hence the confusion around the meanings.


Serif vs sans serif: What’s the difference?

A serif has a slight projection finishing off a stroke of a letter. And so sans serif, quite literally means without (sans) a serif.

Example of a serif font (left) and a sans serif font (right)


And what does the font say about your brand?

First impressions are incredibly important in the world of branding so make sure your typeface reflects what your brand stands for. Typically, serif is considered more traditional whilst sans-serif is considered to be more modern and current. If your brand has heritage and tradition, consider a serif style, but if you’re wanting to project that your brand is forward thinking and innovative, consider using a sans serif style.


Key typefaces

The most popular and recognisable serif typefaces are:

The most popular and recognisable sans serif typefaces are:

Sans serif is perceived to be easier to read on screens which is why, in this digital age, it has become so popular, even moving into logos.

Many big brands have also moved to use a sans-serif style in recent years to make their logos more digitally viable but also to project a clean and modern style. Here are some big brand examples from the luxury world who have followed this trend:

Old (left) and new (right) Burberry logo
Old (left) and new Diane von Furstenberg logo

Banks have also been following suit, keen to shake their old, traditional images. A new logo using a sans-serif typeface projects a contemporary and fresh feel:

So how about the ones you shouldn’t use…? Do you remember Comic Sans, Kristen and Curlz from your school days? No matter what you’re designing, they’ll always make your designs look ‘childish’. While they’re not quite sophisticated enough for the adult world, they’re the perfect fit for school text books.

Here’s a great graphic we found which shows what big brand logos would look like in Comic Sans…they don’t quite have the same gravitas, right?

Image via lingoapp.com


Despite the simple generalisation that is made between the usage of serif and sans serif, there are always exceptions to the rule and it’s important to use design to challenge perceptions and conventions meaning you can challenge the norm by creating a stylish, modern look using a serif typeface and vice-versa.

In fact, be a trend-setter not a trend-follower and take a leaf right out of the pages of the biggest trendsetter around. VOGUE. A cool, timeless and stylish brand that thinks that serif works perfectly well for them, thank you very much.

Image via vogue.co.uk


Jam with us!

We could chat about typefaces and fonts all day long and so let us know if you need any support or advice in updating your logo and branding, we’d love to jam with you. Get in touch!

Anna is our zen master designer with an eye for detail. If it’s branding, print or digital graphics you’re after – she’s your font-tastic fairy godmother and knows how to make a creative project ‘pop’!

How to reduce stress and increase health and happiness in the workplace

By Raspberry Jim,


To coincide with World Mental Health Day, we decided to take a breather here at jamjar HQ and put the kettle on for a chat as part of the Mental Health Foundation’s Tea & Talk initiative.

“Talking is good for your mental health…People who are more socially connected to family, friends, colleagues or their community are happier, physically healthier and live longer, with fewer mental health problems than people who are less well connected.”

Mental Health Foundation


What is Stress?

Put simply, stress is our body’s response to pressures from a situation or life event.


What are the warning signs that you’re experiencing too much stress?

  • Feeling anxious and irritable
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle tension or headaches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Problems concentrating
  • Eating more or less that usual


Here are some ways to help alleviate stress in the workplace:


Form positive relationships – Chat to your co-workers, share your thoughts and get things off your chest. Annie McKee, in her book How to be Happy at Work, says that:

“Happiness matters at work as much as it does in our personal lives. And when we are happy, we are more successful.”


Organise your day – Prioritise tasks and delegate when you can. Taking on too much is a sure trigger for feeling stressed.

Take a break – Plan regular breaks throughout the day. Stop, take a deep breath and put the kettle on. Problems seem more manageable when you’ve had a little time to think and process. Perhaps even take some time to do some desk chair meditation. Not heard of it before?

Do you have one minute and seven seconds right now? Let’s do a mini meditation from Headspeace:


Keep moving – At lunch go for a walk and get some natural light. Even if it’s just a short walk around the block. Walks through out the day are a way to alleviate stress. Perhaps even try a walking meditation? Take a look at some suggestions here.

Eat well – Reduce sugar to avoid energy crashes in the day which can make you feel low and avoid stimulants like caffeine or nicotine. Pop out and get some decaf coffee for the team’s 3pm cuppa.

Sweet dreams – Aim for eight-hours of sleep a night and try and avoid looking at your phone in the hour before you want to go to sleep.

Here at jamjar the well-being of our team is very important and we always strive to make sure that we are supporting each other in every way we can.

In fact, we have a little jar of mindfulness that you can dip into when you need a little pick-me-up and a reminder of how valued and fabulous you are.


If you have any concerns about anything discussed in this blog, please visit MindCymru or any other Mental Health Charity who are ready to offer you support.

jamjar partners with Cardiff Design Festival to celebrate design in the city

By Raspberry Jim,


The Cardiff Design Festival is returning to venues throughout the city from 10 to 13 October 2019 after a nine-year hiatus.

This year, jamjar is partnering with the festival to offer pro bono PR support.

Design is a big part of our business at jamjar and we’re proud to be part of the thriving local creative scene that the Cardiff Design Festival is celebrating and showcasing.

The festival programme was developed after a call out earlier this year for the local creative community to submit ideas for potential events, speakers and collaborations.

The programme of events, which include exhibitions, talks, socials and workshops, has been curated and hosted by the local design community to reflect all aspects of design.

The festival’s headline event – It Will Glow – will be hosted by Blue Stag at the Depot on Thursday 10th October. As well as creative talks from design agencies Smörgåsbord and the Yarza Twins and award-winning director and artist Greg Barth, guests will be able to enjoy street food, music and a marketplace showcasing the work of local creatives.

During the festival, Rabble Studio is collaborating with The Little Man Coffee Company to host a Hub which will act as a central information point for the festival. It will be a spot for hanging out, drinking coffee and attending workshops plus being able to collect programmes and merchandise.

Festival organiser, Melin Edomwonyi, said:

“This October we want to challenge and broaden the definition of design in Cardiff. The festival is put together to reflect the true spirit of Cardiff’s creative community. It is collaborative in its widest sense. We’ve had so many businesses donating their time and services to make this as well as some Cardiff’s finest creatives.”

The festival first ran for nearly a decade from 2005 to 2013 and was successful in gelling together the design community in the city.

Anna Taylor-Jarvis, Head of Creative at jamjar stressed the importance of the festival’s return:

“We were so excited to hear that the Cardiff Design Festival was being revived this year and we absolutely wanted to be a part of it. It’s so important for Cardiff’s creative scene to have an opportunity to be celebrated in this way and for the high calibre of creative and design work that is coming out of the area to be recognised.

“At jamjar we were thrilled to be approached by the festival to be a partner and we’re also providing pro bono PR support as we want to spread the news of the festival as much as possible.”

Cardiff Design Festival is supported by Blue Stag, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Illustrate Digital, jamjar, John & Jane, Lexon, Proper Design, Orangebox, Rabble Studio and Storm & Shelter.