Your choice of typeface plays a critical role in your brand’s logo design and overall brand identity, especially in wordmark logo design, where the type is your logo. Just like you have to weigh your options when choosing the colors for your logo, you must also pore over your font selection.
Define your brand identity…
Before you can even start thinking about choosing a typeface, you have to identify the message or theme that your brand is trying to get across. What products or services does your business offer? Who is your target audience? How do you want customers to feel when they see your logo? Is your brand strictly professional? Or are you a more playful brand? Take all of those factors into consideration when determining the typeface for your logo.
Then find a typeface that embodies your brand.
Once you determine your brand’s message, the next step is to find a typeface that reflects said message. Let’s take a look at some examples of how you can use fonts to capture your brand’s identity.
If you have a more corporate and professional brand like a law firm or a bank, you’d probably want to go with something more traditional, typically with serif fonts –something to instill trust and confidence in your customers. Like so:
If you are a technology or startup brand, you want something that looks sleek and shiny, and most likely sans serif. You want something modern that shows customers you are on the up-and-up when it comes to tech and web trends. For example:
Alternatively, if your brand aims to be more fun in industries like food, retail or art, you can go wild with whimsical type like this:
To see how important this step in the process is, just take a look at how different some of the most popular logos look when the font in their logo is changed to Comic Sans:
As you can see, a lot of the meaning in the logo is lost without the correct font. So make sure you choose the right font to represent your brand’s messaging.
Don’t be afraid to be creative! Think outside the realms of Helvetica, Arial, Times New Roman, Gill Sans, Papyrus, and Trajan (and of course Comic Sans). There are so many fonts at your disposal, so there’s no excuse for settling for a boring font!
Make sure it’s legible.
This one should go without saying, but it’s so important that it’s worth mentioning. I think we can all agree that there’s no point in a logo that no one can read, right? Stay away from fonts that are difficult to read like script fonts, fonts that are too lightweight, or fonts that are so big and bulky you can’t tell where one letter starts and another begins.
Consider various mediums.
Related to the previous tip, before going too far with your logo design, make sure you consider all of the different outlets it will be printed and posted on. Sure, your logo may look great when it’s 200px x 200px on your website, but how will it look when printed on smaller items like business cards or custom pens? What about when it’s viewed on smaller devices like smartphones and tablets?
On the opposite end of the spectrum, how will it look when it’s large and in charge printed on the side of your building or company vehicle? Beyond just making sure your font is legible, make sure it’s legible no matter how big or small its size.
Anyone with a word processor can choose a font, but it takes a true designer to apply a stylized type treatment. Don’t simply pick your font, add color, and start slapping it on promotional materials. At the very least, adjust the kerning (space between two letters). But you can truly make a font – and your logo – your own by adding specific stylistic elements like drop shadows, strokes, beveling, and gradients. For some examples, take a look at some of the fonts in these logos with truly unique type treatments!
What do you think? What are some of your favorite uses of typography in logo design? Do you have any other tips? Sound off in the comments below!