How to Nail Typography in Logo Design
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A logo design is one key tool of attraction for any brand. Graphic designers bring a mix of shapes, colors, lines, images, and typography together to create a representation of the brand’s personality. When mixed wisely, these elements have powerful potential to convert a prospect,
Typography is one of the major elements that graphic designers take seriously. When used correctly, typography in logo design can enhance brand communications. Typography can communicate professionalism, humor, grandeur, and formality amongst different characters. Because of this, some iconic designers have opined that typography is branding.
The typography used to be the business of the biggest brands in the market. But now that fonts are available online for free, all types and sizes can use high-end typefaces.
However, with the many typefaces available to designers, it’s difficult to nail typography in logo design. As such it’s important for designers to understand how to use fonts in typographic logos and things to consider before choosing a font.
Whether you’re a designer or a business owner looking to create a typographic logo, this article will show you some tips on how to nail your typographic logo. Check out the rules to follow for good typography.
Understanding Font Psychology
Different fonts convey different messages to your customers. As such, understanding what feeling, thought and behavior each font elicit is important to choosing the perfect logo typeface.
Let’s talk about the six major typefaces that designers use in logo design and the message they convey.
1. Serif Fonts
Serif fonts are the most classic and traditional of all font options. By classic, we mean, the oldest known of all typefaces. You recognize them by their extra detail known as feet also referred to as tags or flags.
Serif fonts are used by companies that want to evoke a formal personality in their logo designs. It also tells customers that the brand is a trustworthy expert, an authority, and a respectable brand.
Their classic nature also allows them to exude grandeur and stability in logo designs.
Often, serif typefaces are ideal in logo designs for academics, consultants, law firms, insurance, and financial companies.
Some of the popular serif typeface options are:
- Times new roman
- Book Antiqua
2. Slab Serif Fonts
We like to think of slab serif fonts as the little serif brother with assertive confidence and the boldness of youth. Slab serif typefaces are chubbier than serifs, but they still have the feet and exude the same authority.
When you use slab serifs in your logo design, you tell customers that you’re impactful with your products or services. You show them that you’re here to stay for a long time with relentless energy.
This typeface appears mostly appear in cars and technology brand logo design.
Popular slab serif fonts you can use in your logo design include:
3. Sans Serif Fonts
Sans serif means “without serif”. It’s that sleek serif cousin that doesn’t bear the flag (no feet). Because of its outlook, sans serif fonts are associated with cutting-edge and tech-savvy brand logo designs.
When it comes to typography in logo design, sans serif fonts are often considered crisp, clean, and modern. They are minimal and give a no-nonsense feel because of their less distractive nature. They indicate modernity, honesty, sensibility, and sophistication. Check out 8 useful tips for making a professional logo.
Sans serif font is usually associated with tech and fashion company logo designs.
Some sans serif fonts you can use in your typographic logo design include:
- Comic Sans
- BR Cobane
4. Script Fonts
Script fonts are usually cursive, looking like handwritten calligraphy style. This outlook makes them fancier and more fun.
This typeface is used to convey a more personal and historic story in logo designs. It can also inspire emotional and creative ideas.
When you use script fonts in your logo design, you convey a feel of feminity, elegance, and creativity. You can also convey a whimsical or traditional brand personality depending on the variance of the typeface. The most important thing is to make the script legible.
Script fonts are more associated with visual brands as well as food and beverages, entertainment, fashion, and children-focused brands.
- Lucida Script
5. Modern Fonts
Yeah, they’re modern and new compared to all the other fonts, they’ve been around since the 18th century, first appearing in 1784 courtesy of Firmin Didot. They are usually simple and legible and effectively combine playfulness and practicality.
These fonts convey exclusivity, style, and intelligence. Their modern flare is good for attracting millennials.
Some modern fonts to include in your typographic logo design include:
6. Display Fonts
Similar to the script, displays convey creativity, and novelty and are usually decorative. Their eye-catching and unique nature can help convey a personalized and stylish message. You can use this typeface to convey a casual, direct, traditional, or modern feeling.
If you’re looking for a creative typography logo design inspiration, this typeface is great for creating a custom logo. They can evoke a casual, modern, or traditional feel, depending on how you tweak and finetune them.
Some display fonts you can use in your logo include:
- Playfair Display
Now that you know the different thoughts and feelings associated with different font types, let’s show you some tips to choose the right typography for your logo design.
How to nail typography in logo design
Choose Your Typeface Carefully
Nailing typography in logo design is all about choosing the right typeface. To choose the typeface, there are certain factors you need to put into your consideration:
- Consider the brand’s history
This is especially important when designing an established company logo. The company already has its history. There’s a certain image it already portrays. So, when modifying a company’s logo design or recreating based on rebranding, consider infusing design elements of the brand’s personality in the new typography choice, if you’re not retaining the old one.
- Understand brand personality & brand identity
Typography is used by the designer to give a logo design or any other graphic design a befitting brand personality.
Before you choose typography, there are questions you need to ask:
What image are you trying to portray? what do you want your customers to feel and think when they look at your logo design?
To easily identify these, consider describing your brand using 3-5 adjectives. These words would guide your brand message & tone which are critical parts of your brand identity.
Once you identify these, you can then go on to identify the typeface that can convey the visual communication of the message.
- Know your competitors
Whether you’re designing a product label, logo, new website, or merchandise for your business, the most important function of any design is to help you stand out in a world of other rivals. So, going blindly into the logo design process without knowing what your competitors are already doing is a bad move.
There are design elements that are popular within industries, so you don’t want to get into the pitfall of looking exactly like your competitors’.
Check out how your competitors are using typography. What are they doing right or wrong? Ask yourself how you can bet better and smarter with your own typography.
While you may draw inspiration from your competitors’ typographic logo design, it is important to avoid plagiarizing. Plagiarism may lead to legal situations and may mislead your new customers.
- Know your target market
Who are your ideal customers? Children or adults? Men or Women? Where and how are they buying your product? What type of brands appeal to them the most.
It’s important to appeal to your target audience when designing your typographic logo. You have to understand how typography affects their choices; what shape, style and color make them tick. The best way to know this is to create a buyer persona or survey your existing customers.
For example, if you’re selling to children, you may want to use more playful and creative typefaces in your logo that appeal to children. If you’re selling to adults, cooperative organizations, and more formal people, you might want to use fonts that they already associate with formality and professionalism. Script fonts also appeal to women better.
Create A New Typeface
If you’re a new brand looking to explore typography logos, you might want to develop a new font. There’s nothing greater than owning your own typography. It allows powerful brand recognition and allows you to customize your brand message. You can express your unique message in a way that you deem fit.
The coca-cola logo design is a classic example of typographic logo design inspiration to follow in this regard. This style remains in trend because it’s specific to the brand.
Tweak and Refine to Add Personality
If you cannot create a new font, another way to nail typography in logo design is to be creative with how you use existing fonts. You can tweak company initials in different unique twists to fit that brand message.
Some creative ways to customize your typographic logo would include utilizing negative space as in the FedEx logo, designing individual letterforms like in Unilever’s logo; combining letterforms like in Yves Saint Lauren’s logo; altering letterforms like in Dell’s logo; playing with colors like in Baskin Robbins logo, or transforming letters into images or icons like the case of LG.
Aim for Versatility
Typography is a craft that requires flexibility. Aside from being flexible in the choice of fonts, consider how the typographic logo looks when displayed in different formats.
Your logo goes on various platforms, so you need a font that is attractive across boards- billboards, brand communication, brand merchandise, websites, and other branding and advertising materials.
Utilize Psychology of Spacing
Tracking and kerning are important when executing typographic logos. Both concepts deal with the consistency in the space between letters. The inconsistent spacing could be bad for the outlook of your logo.
When used effectively, spacing can draw in potential customers and convey your message more effectively.
Make it Simple and Readable
Readability and legibility are not ignorable when designing logos. Regardless of the design and the message you want to pass across with your typography, your font should be simple.
This allows you to be easily identified and memorable. Check out the simplest guide to making a logo.
Typographic logo design inspiration
Let’s look at some of the biggest brands that are excelling with typographic logos.
In a world where logos are the first point of contact with your potential customers, you can’t afford to miss out on choosing the right font. Whether you’re using creating a plain sans serif logotype, or a crafty display wordmark logo, the key to nailing typography in logo design is to understand font psychology, understand your audience, and your competitor, and have a good grasp of your brand identity. Once you figure that out, you can choose your fonts wisely and be creative with how you express your brand message with your typographic logo. Also, check out the guidelines for what is typography and why is it important for designers. Also, explore the best logo design ideas you can inspire.