Lots of people know that the font used in your logo is one of the most important choices you need to make. So much can be conveyed with typography, and there really is a different font for every situation. However, while you may know in your head vaguely what font you might like if you can’t convey this then your designer will be left guessing. Most logo designers can instinctually know which font types will be appropriate for your brand but the more information you can give, the better chance you have of getting the right sort of font the first time around.
So, here’s my basic guide to the main fonts to give you some vocabulary to help you communicate better with your logo designer – saving everyone time and hassle in the revision stage.
There are 3 main types of font which are used in the majority of logos:
Serif, Sans Serif and Hand-drawn/Script.
Serif font is the oldest font type used in the Latin alphabet. A serif is the little detail, or flick, on the end of letters. The original serif was the result of the flare of the brush mark used when painting onto parchment, which Roman stone carvers copied when carving out the letters. Serif has been the most standard font throughout the last millennium.
Serif fonts are now falling a bit out of fashion in logo use. They are heavily associated with print media, books, tradition and the traditional professions. Some people also think they are good for use in the food industry – for instance, an Italian restaurant wanting to appear traditional and established.
Most Common serif fonts you’ll recognise:
- Times New Roman
Famous examples of serif logos:
Let’s play with our dummy logo and see how it looks using serif fonts:
Sans-serif font doesn’t have the small ‘flicks’ and embellishments that a serif font has. It is a much cleaner and more modern font which is currently very popular with logo designers. Sans-serif has also become the standard font for online text.
Sans-serif was made very fashionable in the 1950s by the Swiss designer Max Miedinger with his Helvetica typeface. The clean, crisp lines are associated with modernity, minimalism and professionalism – so it is easy to see why sans-serif has become so popular for logos.
Most Common sans-serif fonts you’ll recognise:
Famous examples of sans-serif logos:
Our dummy logo using sans-serif fonts:
Hand drawn and script fonts are the third most common logo font type. They are far more personal and individual and can make a very memorable logo which will continue to be used throughout the years.
Hand drawn and script fonts are particularly good for any company which is selling a handmade product, and certain scripts are particularly well suited to creative or arty logos. There is also some evidence to suggest that hand drawn fonts are better received by women – so if your business sells products or services aimed at a predominantly female market this is something else to consider.
Some hand drawn and script fonts you might recognise
Hand drawn and script fonts are not very widely used outside of design, but these are some fonts you may have scrolled past in Word which you might recognise:
- Brush Script
- Lucida Handwriting
Famous examples of hand-drawn/script logos
Our dummy logo using hand drawn/script fonts:
Other fonts – don’t disregard them!
Serif, sans-serif and hand-drawn/script fonts are by far the most common in logo design. However, there is no such thing as an inappropriate font. Every font looks perfect when it is in the right situation. However, that’s not to say that all fonts were born equal. All designers have favourite fonts and some fonts seem to look great in many situations. Equally, some people have a passionate hatred for particular fonts – Comic Sans is a great example of this. Grunge fonts, Retro fonts and Comic fonts are all highly specific and create very strong associations – they can very easily look wrong, but they can also be absolutely perfect and unforgettable if the match is right.
If you’d like to take a browse through lots of different fonts to see what you like then fontsquirrel.com is a great place to start, as is Google Webfonts.
If you’d like a professional opinion on what font might be best for your business logo you can always give us a call on 01256 845815.