When thinking of a logo, most people imagine fancy artwork involving a rainbow of colors. Having unique logo designs are a little more involved than that though. One of the most important elements in any logo is the text you use and how to incorporate the wording so it flows seamlessly into the overall design.
What font will you use? What color will look best? Should you use serif, sans-serif or even slab-serif? How about script?
All these choices can make or break a logo. It needs to be so much more than aesthetically pleasing. It has to represent your business. The wrong choice can be disastrous.
From color to styling, the font you use has to be easily readable by potential clients. It has to demonstrate what your business has to offer, whether you are a modern technology-driven company, or a more bookish, old-world traditional accountancy.
Before you can choose a font, you need to know what each style is suitable for. To work that out, you need to know what a Serif is and how it differs from sans-serif or slab. You’re probably wondering why does it even matter?
It matters because the choice could be the difference between making or breaking your business.
Serif refers to font styles that have small lines at the top and base of the letters. An example of a serif font would be Times New Roman. Think roman numerals like VII, you see the little extra lines on the top of the V? Those are the serifs.
Serif font has a traditional feel and portrays the persona of steadfast and trustworthy. The business types that could use this font want to exude reliability steeped in tradition. Businesses like law firms, accountants, and insurance companies.
A slab-serif is a more modern version of serif. The serifs are thicker and more block-like. A bit like slabs. This family of fonts is also known as Egyptian. Slab-serif fonts emit strength, boldness, and confidence, whilst still holding on to the reliability of tradition. Examples of this font would be Rockwell and Memphis.
The overall feeling of both serif and slab-serif is old-world. Businesses or business genres that have been around for years. Set in their ways and do things in a tried and tested manner. Which is a great image for a well respected law firm.
It’s not so great for an interior design company. A company in this genre would need to look bright and of the moment. The image they would need in a logo would be clean, fresh and modern.
Sans-serif means without serifs. With this font, there are no little lines kicking out from the main strokes of the letters. Arial and Calibri are sans-serifs.
This font has a modern feel. The clean, no-frills lettering has an edge to it that just screams new. Sans-serif is particularly suited to web use. This is why technology companies love this style of font. Think about the logos for Facebook and Google.
There are also decorative fonts such as script and handwriting. Both mimic the style of a handwritten text in either cursive or block style.
Decorative styles are best suited to artistic, or creative businesses. Instagram and Disney both use a variation of a handwritten style.
In some cases, this font can look incredible. However, depending on the handwriting style you choose, they can also look informal or childish.
Another problem would be the changing nature of fashionable handwriting styles. Different generations of people are taught to write in different ways. Your preference in style could accidentally make your business look older than it is, or young and inexperienced. These styles can also look outdated really quickly. Just like with actual handwriting, this style can be the hardest to read.
Fonts have been around for some time and most have become associated with specific attributes such as being safe, reliable, and traditional. They create an unconscious understanding of that attribute within the mind of the customer. If a potential client thinks traditional when they see a slab-serif font, your web design company trying to portray modernity is going to confuse them. It’s sending a mixed message.
Picking the wrong font can make your logo look unprofessional or worse untrustworthy. It can give the wrong message about who you are and what your business has to offer.
The right font is as important to your logo as the choice in color and graphic design. Logos are only as good as the sum of all their parts.
A logo needs to be adaptable. When you think of the number of things it would need to be on, it has to be sized up or down without losing structure, quality or readability. Some fonts don’t look good online. The characters could be too thin, or too close together causing issues with reading, especially on a screen. Coupled with the fact most people use mobile phones online, readability becomes an even bigger issue.
When considering the font for your logo, also consider your branding and marketing strategy. That logo needs to support and mirror the message you are sending with your marketing campaign. The message has to be uniform across all your marketing channels. Otherwise, instead of a brand image promoting a professional company, you’ll have a miss-match of activity that undermines your business integrity. The font used on your logo has to be suitable for use throughout your marketing scheme.
Choosing the right text for your logo sounds intimidating. It doesn’t have to be. Spend some time doing your research before you start designing the logo. Check your competitors and see what fonts and styling they are using. Look at the logos of companies you do business with. What do their logos say about their business? Does the image tie in with their target audience?
Whatever font style and color combination you choose, it should enhance the overall design of your logo, not detract from it.