Some graphic design projects consist of little more than following your client’s vision. Others require creativity and ingenuity on the part of the designer. When a client comes to you with a request for a new logo, how do you handle the responsibility? If you aren’t sure how to reliably choose the right font for a logo project, here are some things to consider.
Research Your Client’s History
Often the past can show you a clear road to the future. The best logos build off a company’s history while adding something new to the mix. Part of your research should be determining what the client represents. What is their mission statement? What is their branding message? By looking at past logo designs, you can get an idea of how to choose a typeface that maintains a rich legacy.
Use Traditional Letterforms
Graphic designers are artists. With artistry comes a certain desire to stake out new territory, but a logo project isn’t always the best venue for unrestrained creativity. Yes, you should bring originality and flair to all of your assignments. No, you should not choose a font that is so out there that no one can process what they’re seeing. You still have plenty of room for individuality without straying from conventional typeface choices.
Give Your Letters Room to Breathe
One of your biggest responsibilities to your client is to make sure that their logo is readable. This goes beyond simple legibility. If there is anything about your typeface that could create a moment’s hesitation for the reader, you should think about eliminating it. Some designers believe a customer will be hooked if they are forced to work for their understanding. This is a mistake. People are busy. If they see letters crammed together in a difficult-to-read format, they may decide they have better things to do than puzzle it out.
Increase Your Line Height
A good rule of thumb when designing a logo is to choose a typeface whose line height is greater than its point size. This is especially important when designing a logo across multiple lines. You don’t want readers straining to stay with the text. The human eye has trouble making sense of sentences with too little space between the lines. Whenever you encounter an idea that has the unfortunate side effect of decreasing readability, exchange that font for one that enhances it instead. Sacrifice creativity for readability every time.
Avoid Stock Fonts
Experienced graphic designers know better than to use the stock fonts that came with Photoshop or Microsoft Word. There are too many options out there for you to use a stock font on an important job. The only exception is when the client specifically requests Helvetica or Arial or whatever they prefer. Even then, you may want to advise them to choose something a bit less prevalent for maximum “stand out” factor.
Modify Your Choice
Even after you’ve settled on a great font, don’t be afraid to add your own artistic flair. With drop shadows, kerning adjustments, gradients and beveling, you can turn even a drab typeface into something worthy of your demanding client. Again, you never want your artistic endeavors to get in the way of readability, but this is your chance to put your indelible stamp on the project. Don’t be afraid to experiment. The logo doesn’t have to be perfect until you turn it over to the client. In the meantime, have fun exploring your options.
Look for Adaptability
You may be working on a logo intended for a 50-foot billboard, but that doesn’t mean you should choose a font that only works in that context. A key component of branding is using the same logos and colors across a wide spectrum of marketing outlets. A wise company will want to use the same logo on their billboards as they do in their stores. They’ll need a logo that will work well on both a business card and their Twitter account. Choose a font that is readable at both the largest and smallest sizes.
Avoid the Usual Mistakes
Great graphic designers do more than bring their unique vision to a project. They also avoid the mistakes that lesser designers struggle with on every job. If you can cut the following font-choice mistakes out of your work, you’ll immediately see improvements in quality:
- Don’t copy trends.
- Take your ego out of the work.
- Avoid complex fonts that lose legibility at smaller sizes.
- Don’t depend on color for impact.
- Don’t mix too many fonts into one logo.
If you can keep these tips in mind when choosing your fonts, you’ll be ahead of the game and on your way to delivering a powerful, striking logo to your client.
Examples of some really great logo font designs
Instagram Logo by Mackey Saturday
Intuitive mind united
Space by Yoga Perdana
Tee Beast Logo Design
Blikdani / Paprika
Sketches & Logos
Rubin / Ruby
Eat Good Logo Design
Studio Veel Soepz!
Dads & Daughters Logo Badge