A considerable part of the total created logos contains letters or words. It means that a logo designer should be able to wisely play with letters. Even if these are small, common and many times ignorable, a good logo designer knows that the types used may enhance or ruin his work.
Typography, the art of arranging types, is a complex area and any logo designers should have at least, a primary theoretical background in this respect. No one should forget that small details make the great difference. Choosing a wonderful font seems a simple task, just search for it and the Internet will provide simple awesome solutions. Altogether, this solution doesn’t always work…or more exactly, it seldom does. The huge majority of design projects requires the use of more than a single font. If you want to say that in this case two beautiful fonts are needed, you are wrong! Unfortunately, two great fonts don’t automatically mean that their combination is also great! Many times, a good matching of fonts is extremely hard to achieve!
Any logo designer is aware that playing with fonts is a science, but making great font combination is art and these skills are error trial improved. Across time the designers noticed that some font combination work better and, in this way, some best practices were developed.
This article has the special purpose of sharing some tips about how to combine the fonts into a logo. Some best practices of font combinations partially work for logo design, so it’s even more complicated for a logo designer to play with letters. Typography applied in the world of logo design is a very complicated matter and a single post won’t ever cover all the aspects. In this case, we consider that it will be extremely useful for both us and you to share your ideas about how to better combine the fonts into a logo. We are waiting for your ideas and experiences!
#1. Each font has its own personality
People that consider a font just a collection of letters and numbers are totally wrong! A font expresses some traits and only fine designers manage to understand these aspects.
The “physical” differences between the characters of different fonts are small, but the overall influence of these is pretty important. There are fonts that are modern and contribute to creating a fresh atmosphere while other fonts create the sensation of solemnity and cordiality. Of course, other fonts express joy or that help creating a vintage environment. In conclusion, the same as colors, each font subtly communicates something. The best logo designers knew how to match the message of the fonts used with the message of the logo. It’s a great thing to create the perfect match, but across time one may develop a special sense in this regard.
#2. Don’t combine fonts, combine ideas
A logo designer that adds two different fonts into his creation just because this fact was requested by the client makes a huge mistake. Also, it is a mistake to combine fonts to have a trendy logo. The use of fonts should have a purpose- to better convey the message of a logo. Consequently, the fonts should have a functional role and not a pure aesthetic one.
#3. Serif vs. sans serif
First of all, in order to combine fonts into a logo project it is highly recommended to have a clear idea about the fonts, their classification and even about the anatomy of a letter. Fortunately, we posted many articles about typography and you may check them anytime. One of the most common font combinations in web design is to use sans in the headers and serifs in the copy content. Coming back to logo design, we don’t have headers and content, but the association sans vs. serif is still working. I guess that the next examples are suggestive:
#4. Opposite or similar fonts don’t work best
When dealing with font combinations into a logo, finding the best solution may be applied from our daily life. The idea is simple and effective: the extremities are never useful. Using a strong font in combination with an ultra-thin one would never have a good result- the difference will put the viewer into trouble.
The same, two very similar fonts is not a winning combination. Why would a designer add two fonts into a logo if they are very similar? There are projects when two fonts are necessary and the normal question one should ask himself is which kind of fonts are compatible with each one. There is no precise rule but in the huge majority of cases a neutral font in addition to one having a stronger personality represents a good choice.
#5. Play with letter sizes
Altogether, some logos using types need two fonts to convey better the message, but there are some tricks to avoid font combinations. One of the most common and efficient trick is to play with the letter sizes. Yeah, by using various sizes a satisfying contrast may be created and in this case a second font isn’t necessary.
Another trick to create differences is to increase/decrease the tracking/leading (modifying the space between letters). It’s simple and efficient, therefore use it in your projects!
#6. Don’t go wild
Nowadays, the market is full of extremely good logos and it’s almost impossible to create a standing apart one. Many logo designers consider that using an unused font will make their logos special. I can’t deny this fact, but it works in few cases. Using well-known fonts isn’t a sign that the respective designer has limited imagination. A good font remains a good font no matter how frequent is used by other designers.
Some big brands have logos that use very common fonts: Microsoft – Segoe UI Semibold Font, LG – Helvetica Black, Skype – Helvetica Rounded Bold, LinkedIn – Myriad Pro, and it didn’t negatively affect the success of these huge brands.
I hope that all these tips will help you create better logos. According to some statistics, the famous logos formed from text and shapes or just text are around at 94% from the total amount of famous logos. I guess that this fact convinced you that it’s impossible, as a logo designer, to neglect the typography aspects.
– Written by Daniel –