How To Choose A Perfect Font For A Logo

Toyota font logo

One of the key components of a good logo is definitely the Font. It conveys the message of the designer, tells the customer what to expect, and reflects the essence of the company. And it is really important to choose a proper font, based on at least a partial knowledge of what it is, and what types there are.

According to Wikipedia, “The word font derives from Middle French fonte”[something that has been] melted; a casting”. The term refers to the process of casting metal type at a type foundry.”

Typography, as we know it today, emerged with the invention of printing, but it actually has more ancient origins. Many of the fonts which are in common use today evolved from ancient scripts. Mesopotamia, Babylon, and Ancient Greece — all used stamps and seals as the earliest typographic methods.

capital letters of ancient Rome

Many of the serif fonts we use today also come from the capital letters of ancient Rome, which were used to write on walls and buildings.

In the middle of the XV century, a new epoch in the development of script appeared. Around 1440 Johannes Gutenberg invented typography. For his books, he used one of the Gothic typefaces, widespread in Germany at that time.

In the XVI century,the Roman type became more popular than Gothic and kept its leading positions until the XVIII century, when the fonts we all know today started appearing. The most characteristic forms of classical typefaces were formed at the beginning of theXIX century— Didot (France) and Bodoni (Italy).

fonts Didot and Bodoni

The first sans-serif typeface was created by William Caslon also at the beginning of the XIX century, but it was too radical for those times, so the innovation of the designer had to wait for almost a hundred years until it got its recognition.

The best known early sans serif typeface is Futura, created by the German typographer Paul Renner in 1927. Renner was inspired by simple geometric shapes, which becomes pretty obvious when you look at Futura letters.

futura font

Now let’s have a closer look at the most popular styles and fonts for logos, and their meaning in marketing and branding.

Serif Fonts

Serif fonts are all about elegance and timelessness. They are also believed to keep attention on the line, and the transition from thicker to thinner lines in letters makes the inscription set in a serif-font extremely beautiful and sophisticated.

The most famous serif fonts for international brands are:

Didot

Didot Font

Created in 1799 and named after the French publishers’ community, Didot became a font, which is synonymous with fashion editorials, such as Vogue and Bazaar. The font is also used for the Dior logo and Giorgio Armani.

Garamond

Rolex font logo

Designed by Claude Garamond and Jean Dannon in the XVI century, the Garamond font became extremely popular after the Paris Worlds Fair in 1900. Today it can be seen on Abercrombie & Fitch and Rolex logos.

Bodoni

ck logo

Bodoni is pure elegance and finesse. Created in 1700 by Giambattista Bodoni, the font has the same mood as Didot, yet the style is different. The most famous example of Bodoni use in contemporary branding is the Calvin Klein logo.

Handwritten Fonts

davidoff logo

What about handwritten cursive fonts? It is a bit more complicated. On the one hand, it can accentuate the humanity of the brand. On the other hand, a handwritten typeface sometimes conveys the elegance and luxury of a brand. The elegant cursive with elongated lines will perfectly suit any brand connected with vaping, resembling thin smoke curves.

Sans-Serif Fonts

Sans-serif fonts have their own appeal. Right angles, clean lines, and the strong character of the letters make these family of fonts suitable for almost any design. They have their special aesthetic and confidence.

The sans-serif fonts you most often see in large brand’s logos are:

Futura

paypal Futura Bold Oblique

One of the most popular sans-serif types for visual identity design, Futura, was created in 1927 by Paul Renner and is considered to be the most successful font of the XX century. You can see Futura in Domino’s, Nike, and PayPal logos, along with many other international monsters.

Helvetica

lufthansa

Another sans-serif legend, Helvetica, was designed by Max Miedinger in 1957. It is a neo-grotesque font, which is very simple and clean, yet classy and good-looking. Among the loud brands, which use Helvetica for their visual identity are Lufthansa, Skype, Panasonic, and Xerox.

Frutiger

frutiger font Flickr

Frutiger, created in 1975 and named after its designer, Adrian Frutiger, is another super popular sans-serif font for contemporary branding. One interesting fact about the typeface — since 1985 it has been used for all the lettering on Swiss passports. But if this is not enough, you can see Frutiger on the logos of such companies as Flickr, Ericsson, and Shutterfly.

Custom Fonts

We are lucky to live in a wonderful time when literally everything can be designed for individual needs. Archaic lettering, ornaments, retro-style fonts — there are endless opportunities to express yourself and your business in just one word.

Typography can make or break a logo design. The right typeface can enhance the impact of your logo (and brand), while the wrong typeface can kill any positive associations.

The font must necessarily match the direction of the business, be readable and balance with other elements of the logo. If you found not one, but several good fonts, you’d like to use, that’s great, but be careful. The most typefaces you can use in one logo are two, but one is still a better choice. Harmony is what really matters, always try to imagine a complete picture you want to get in the end, when choosing the direction. This rule works not only for business strategy but for visual identity design as well.