Typography is one of the key design elements. If used strategically, a typeface can add some personality to the design. Experienced designers use typefaces to bring robustness, softness, humor and such character to a logo design as per the clients’ design requirements. Wise use of this element surely sends out right signals to the potential customers.
A piece of graphic design, including logo design, attracts viewers due to a wise use of different elements such as colors, images, lines, shapes, etc. But typeface is one of the most visible elements, besides colors. When we see a logotype, which is the logo based on the company’s name, the typeface dominates the design.
A logotype is basically the company’s name incorporated in a logo. But the logos that are symbol or images based also have some portion of text involved. So, most of the logos have the use of typography.
The legendary graphic designer Elizabeth Care Smith has outlined the importance of typography by saying that type is branding. In fact, many iconic graphic designers have highlighted the significance of typography in their own way.
A graphic designer has many choices to make when using typefaces. Once expensive typefaces were only for the designers and clients who had a big budget. But most of those fonts are now available free online without spending much on them. This means that modern designers have access to high-end typefaces. In turn, this helps the designers in coming out with unique design personalities of logos.
But more options of typefaces have also created the problem of plenty for the designers. Sometimes, it is difficult to pick a perfect typeface for a logo, out of many available. But if you keep certain tips in mind, you can make a perfect choice of the letters for your logo.
Remember that choice of typography can make or break a logo design. We know that fonts express certain emotion and have a personality that wise graphic designers use to represent a business. Use of software has only made it easier for the designers to incorporate typography but such an ease also has resulted in the irresponsible selection of fonts.
A logo designer must possess the skills to use typography injudicious way in keeping with the business message of the client. Use of typography is widespread in varied materials such as currency notes, coins and almost on everything we see around us.
Though it is difficult to set hard rules of typography and they are meant to be broken, but a designer must consider some rules when creating logos. One of the rules is that capital letters are usually for highlighting a message aggressively while lowercase letters express softness.
Note also that serif typeface should be used when you want to create a business like the professional message through logo design.
San serif fonts are simple and clear. They are the perfect choice to express softness. For this reason, most of the headlines are in san serif.
Another point to remember is that different points of fonts also can change the personality of the same typeface. So, keep this i mind when selecting a typeface and point size.
Typefaces come with different personalities and graphic designers must be aware of this fact while creating a logo design. The right business message can only be conveyed through the right personality of a typeface. For instance, you cannot use comic sans in a corporate logo design.
There are lots of other aspects of typefaces that a designer must consider before finalizing a particular font for a logo design. If a client can afford and is willing to pay you a higher fee, you should prefer creating a unique font that will convey a business message. Creating a unique font is not easy and so the cost of the design will escalate. But if your client is a small business, then try to select the fonts that have been in use only rarely. This will give an impression of uniqueness.
Here Are Some Crucial Aspects When Picking A Typeface For Logo Design
01. Know Your Competitors
It is very important that you are well aware of your competition. Who are the nearest rivals of your client’s business in the target market? You must ask some specific questions to your client regarding the competitors. Then, visit their logos. Remember that you need to come out with a logo design that is entirely different from that of the competitors.
If a business owner has not provided adequate details about competitors in the design brief, ask questions. Visit your client personally or send the questions online. You should be specifically asking about the history of your competitor businesses. Know what visual communication strategies the competitors adapt to stay ahead. Then, you should use the typefaces that are entirely different than the ones used in the competitors’ visuals such as logos.
02. Know Your Client’s Requirement
Make sure that you understand what exactly your client has in mind when asking you to create a logo. So, ask the right questions about the target market, target customers, products or services and future aspirations. This is the right way to make a strategy to select and incorporate the right type of fonts in a logo. This helps in creating a logo and brand identity of a business.
Read the design brief carefully. An ideal design brief contains all the relevant information. The clients usually are particular in expressing their wish about how their logos should look like. So, you can expect a lot of details about typeface as is there about colors.
03. Know The Brand Personality
Typefaces are mainly used by the designer to give a logo or any other graphic design a personality. Colors evoke emotions, while typefaces give a certain look of the personality to a logo. Once you understand the personality type of your brand, you can then pick the typography to express it.
For example, if your client makes toys for children, you would like to use handwritten typefaces. But if it is a rock music band, you may use solid and bold typefaces to express the loudness and robustness of the music.
Any mismatch of brand personality and the use of typeface can ruin the logo design. Not only that, it can even cause damage to the prospects of the business.
04. Understand The Message
Before you start creating your logo, get your brand’s business message clearly. Write it down in a few sentences. This is important. When you have finished making the logo, match the design with the brand message. Find out if the design is expressing the words you wrote in the sentences.
When the brand message is clear in your mind, you can then pick right typeface for a better visual communication of the message.
05. Be Flexible
You should not be rigid in your approach when using typography. This is because designing is a creative process. You should be therefore willing to adopt new ideas whenever it strikes your mind. So, if you have already incorporated a typeface, be prepared to replace it with a better one, if you later get the idea.
Do not essentially stick to the design theories regarding the use of typography. It is important that how you visualize the logo design. Your creative mind should provide the visual solution to your client. So, be flexible.
06. Consider A Brand’s Heritage
This advice is specially considered when designing a logo. The company has its own brand heritage. People have a certain brand image of the company. So, when tweaking a logo design or recreating it, make sure that you do not make sweeping changes in the typography.
Do not let your ego overpower you. Instead, go with the flow and consider the company’s design history. Respect the design elements that the company has been using for its other marketing materials such as website design. Do not deviate too much away from those elements.
07. Create Own Typeface
Can you create your own typeface? If you can then nothing is greater than having such a unique typeface for your logo. Such typography is more appropriate for a brand as it expressed the message in its own way. The example of classic handwritten typography in the Coca-Cola logo is ideal in this regard to follow. The logo is still as fresh as before despite many decades.
So, get a unique and refreshing typeface. If possible get an illustrated typeface if your brand personality permits. Such unique typefaces bring powerful brand recognition.
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08. Manipulate Letters
Another tip to use typography in logo design is to explore the potential of the letters. You can create company initials, for instance, in many ways. You will find that most of the fashion brands have logos with twisted letters. This way, the logo appears different than the competitors’ logos.
Sometimes, manipulating the other elements can highlight the typefaces. For example, there is a wise use of negative space in the FedEx logo. The negative space between the letters E and x creates an arrow. But space gives new look to the letters as well. The plain sans-serif logotype thus becomes a legendary design.
Typography is a key design tool to convey a brand message effectively. There are many typefaces available to modern designers but not all of them are useful for logo designing. Therefore, first know your brand message, client’s business, target customers and market, You should consider the brand personality and brand heritage also.