As a graphic designer, I wanted to design several logos to demonstrate how different they can look by using typography, illustrations, and shapes. In the following examples, I demonstrate the exploration through my logo process of choosing different fonts, weight line of characters, and styles.
When considering your own logo, whether you design it yourself or hire a graphic designer, knowing the basics of typography is helpful. Looking at fonts is a good place to start to see what you like.
The two main types of fonts are serif and sans serif. A serif font has small projections on the end of each letter. These fonts are typically used in print versus web design. Garamond is an example of a serif font. A sans serif font does not have serifs. These fonts are easier to read in body text. Avenir is an example of a sans serif font.
A slab font uses block character and are thicker in weight. They are good for headings. Museo Slab 900 is an example of a slab font.
A script font is cursive that uses handwritten-like characters as they flow together without spacing between the characters. These are commonly used in invitations. Edwardian Script is an example of a script font.
These are some basic fonts to familiarize yourself with, which you have probably seen before. Arial is a well known font. It is a sans serif font and typically comes loaded onto your computer. Avenir is another sans serif font. I use Avenir in my logo designs below (logos 5-9). Calibri is a Microsoft font. It is a simple sans serif font. It is typically the default font when you open Microsoft Word in 11-12 point. Cambria is also a Microsoft Font. It is a serif font. Century Gothic is one of my favorite fonts. It is a sans serif font, similar to the Futura font. I almost always use it for graphics, blog post banners, and my portfolio.
Futura is another sans serif font that is widely used. In this article, you see that it was used in NASA’s Apollo 11 Mission to land on the moon. The font was used in a landing plaque that was left on the moon. Refer to the image, Apollo 11 Plaque, to see the font in use.
Garamond is a serif font and is a popular substitution for the widely used Times New Roman font. It is used for printing. Times New Roman was designed for a newspaper in London. It is a serif font used for printing.
This is just a scratch on the surface of fonts available. If you do some research, you will find some interesting facts about fonts. Some of the most basic fonts are used in television since they are easy to read on screen.
Next, when exploring fonts, you will notice that there are different type weights to choose. Most fonts that are pre-loaded onto your computer have a regular weight, italic, bold, and sometimes bold italic. The logo can be uppercase or lowercase, or a mixture of the two.
Shapes are important to consider. A logo can look great without a shape, but designing within a shape or having an outline around the logo can make it look crisp and professional. The main shapes I recommend are square, rectangle, circle, and hexagon. The edges can also be rounded on the shapes. I use an outline square in my first logo example below.
Finally, choosing a brand color is important. Logos look clean in black and white, but you may have a certain color you like based on your preference. It needs to be a color that is distinguishable and can be read easily. I typically choose light colors on darker backgrounds, and dark colors on a light background. In the following examples, I use one color and white space.
1-2. The logo in these first examples was made to look like a cursive. A sans serif font looks great with a display font to balance the two styles cohesively. The logo is shown two ways, one with a square to create a professional look and one with flowers to create a more casual, fun look. This logo can be used alone or in either shape.
4. This logo uses a slab serif font, Bauhaus 93, that flows together and is put on a diagonal to make a trendy, bold look that is easy to read. It is one shape with the letters all connected through the use of kerning the letters close together. I prefer to use logos like this one on t-shirts without a border.
6. This logo uses a bold, slab serif font called Stencil. The serif font is Avenir Heavy. This logo uses thicker weighted characters to stand out more. It is simple yet timeless and stands out well with thick letters. The colors can be inverted in the logo and not have a background.
3. Only one font was used in this logo to make a simple, yet classic look. Symbols such as the asterisk can be used as shapes in a logo, which in this case highlights the type of business that the logo is representing. This logo uses the font Shree Devanagari 74. It is shown in uppercase letters. This font is easy to read, as it is a sans serif with letters spaced evenly apart. Kerning refers to spacing in between the letters and it can be a useful way to make your logo stand out.
5. This logo uses the serif font Bodoni 72 and sans serif font Avenir Book. It has an outline to create a clean, classy look. It states what design services are offered. This logo is informative and professional.
7-9. The type in this logo gives a trendy look. It uses a display font, HT Neon, and sans serif font, Avenir Book. The first logo has a rough-edged circle and has the logo on a diagonal. This logo is shown two other ways, one with flowers and one with simple laurels in a rounded rectangle shape. This logo is a good demonstration of how using different shapes and illustrations can create a completely different style. It can be a neutral logo or can be made to look more feminine.
These logos demonstrate how using different serif, sans serif and script fonts can make a logo look vastly different. I use Logo 1 and Logo 2 mostly. I can use this logo on its own. It is on my homepage as the first thing you see.
I use this logo typically as a header, for invoices, letterhead and stationery. I use Logo 2 with colorful flowers for my branding. I use it as stickers to put on my products I sell. It is also used for all of my social media profile pictures. Here is my Instagram page using this logo.
I also made a banner for my website, online shops, social media banners, and I use it for my business card. It uses my signature pattern with my brand colors and the logo with a rectangular border outlined in white.
I created this brand board where I have my logos, tagline, colors, fonts I use in my logo design, a script font, and my social media and contact information. This is helpful to have so that I can streamline everything I design for my brand, from web design to printed designs. I use my logos and colors all throughout my website. I print my business cards, stationery, sticky notes, pens, and anything else I may need for marketing with my colors and logo.
Next in this blog series, I will talk about website design and social media. Once you have your logo, it is easy to set up your online presence!