Font choice is a critical element of logo design. By changing your logo font, you can completely change your brand’s mood and message. Your font even has the power to influence your customer’s thoughts and emotions!
But with so many font choices out there, how do you know you’re selecting the right one?
This blog will help you become an expert on logo fonts. From the types of fonts, tips for making a selection, and actual font examples, we’ll cover it all here.
The 4 types of logo fonts
Generally, there are four main types of fonts to choose from. Each offers unique characteristics that can help to convey a brand’s personality.
Serif logo fonts
A timeless classic, serif fonts are traditional and sophisticated. A serif logo font is for brands that exert timelessness and legacy.
Rolex, Prada, and Mercedes-Benz are traditional and luxurious brands that use serif fonts in their logos.
Sans serif logo fonts
Easy to read and modern, sans serif fonts mesh well with most shapes and designs in your branding. Use this font for logos that are more minimalistic and straightforward.
Sans serifs are trending and are a go-to for online brands due to their crisp readability on screen. Check out the sans serif logo fonts below. They’re powerful in their simplicity.
Script or cursive logo fonts
Cursive fonts are formal, elegant, and feminine. But, be cautious. Logo resizing can often cause readability issues. Ideally, logos in this font should be short to maintain legibility.
These font types are playful at heart but aren’t suitable for every brand. If you’re using a script font for your logo, make sure it goes hand in hand with the feeling your brand is trying to convey.
Cursive fonts can fall into the casual or formal categories. Formal script is elaborate and artistic. Think of a luxurious Cadillac or lavish Cartier.
Casual script looks more like real handwriting. They can be a bit more rough, scratchy, but also more practical-looking. Look at the Hallmark, Ray-Ban, and Virgin logos below:
Display logo fonts
Many businesses opt to design their own font to stand out. Display or decorative fonts come in all kinds of variations and are unique.
A memorable logo font can help distinguish your brand and resonate with your target audience. The Disney font below is a rendering of Walt Disney’s signature. This custom font, called “Waltograph” is iconic and fun, pulling from the magical theme of their stories.
Tips on choosing the perfect logo fonts
There are a few important factors to consider when choosing a font for your logo. Let’s go through them here.
1. Consider your brand personality
To choose the perfect font for your logo, you need to align with your brand personality.
- If your brand is sophisticated and authoritative, a serif font would work better for you.
- If your brand is modern and edgy, a sans serif font might be a better choice.
Use your brand personality as the foundation for choosing the perfect logo font. This way, you’ll have powerful branding that’s well-aligned to your target market and brand purpose.
2. Connect with your target market
Keep your target audience in mind and align your logo font to your customers’ needs.
If you’re in consulting or real estate, your audience will need a trustworthy and experienced brand. So, opt for a more traditional and mature serif font to connect to your audience.
Here are a few examples:
Creative industries like design or technology that want to seem at the cutting edge, could use a modern sans serif font for their logo. This will resonate with their target audience more than a traditional serif.
Check out these examples:
3. Prioritize legibility
Here are some pro-tips on legibility:
- Color combinations are critical. Reading light-colored text on a light background makes your logo very hard to read. Opt for colors that create contrast.
- Scripted fonts can be hard to read. Scripted fonts need lots of breathing room around them. So, consider increasing the space between letters and the line height (space between lines of text). Also, Avoid all-caps with script fonts!
- Review the basics of visual hierarchy. Get a feel for how to use alignment, space, color in a logo.
- Pair a thin logo font with a symbol or monogram If you want to use a thin font in your logo, pair it with a symbol or monogram. That way, in places where thin fonts don’t scale well (i.e a favicon) you have the option to use your monogram or symbol!
See how impactful and legible the monogram social media profile photo is?
4. Think about scalability
Your logo will appear in various mediums from digital to print. To maximize its impact, consider this:
Where will your logo be seen?
Account for readability and the amount of time your logo design has to catch someone’s attention. Ask yourself how and where customers will see your logo and adjust your logo font to have the greatest impact in these settings.
What’s the goal of your logo?
Will your logo be on apparel? Or will it be on digital assets? The font choices should differ based on the primary medium your logo will be on.
Smaller assets like profile photos, letterheads, and favicons won’t show off the logo font details, and it will lose its personality. Worse yet, you’re likely to decrease the legibility of your logo, and that’s a big no-no!
5. Don’t rely on color
Color should be secondary to your logo fonts.
A colored logo won’t be available for every medium, so, be comfortable with a simple black and white version. If your brand personality isn’t communicated without color, select a more powerful font that better defines your business.
6. Keep it simple
Simplicity is key to great logo design. Use two font pairs or less, and stay away from unnecessary symbols, containers, and complicated fonts. Only use what adds value!
Logos are often printed on different assets, scaled up or down, and used in black and white formats. Overcomplicating your logo with elements will make it feel cluttered and hard to scale. Keep it simple and powerful!
Here are some font pairing choices to try out:
- Serif logo text + sans-serif slogan
- Handwritten or script logo font + sans-serif slogan
- Modern logo font + slab-serif slogan
- Funky logo font + sans-serif slogan
Top 15 logo fonts for iconic branding
Let’s dive into some iconic logo fonts from both past and present.
1. Proxima Nova
Modern and geometric, Proxima Nova was designed by Mark Simonson in 2005. Brands like Spotify and Mashable use Proxima Nova to elicit a modern, edgy look with an approachable aura.
Modern brands that exist largely in digital mediums (like websites and apps) have used this incredibly versatile font.
A real classic, Didot is a serif font that originated in the 1800s and has held its own since. You’ll find it mainly used in the fashion industry, from Vogue magazine to clothing brands like Georgio Armani.
This font (like most serifs) bodes well for more sophisticated and traditional branding. However, it may be hard to read in long-form digital formats.
Bodoni took the modern font world by storm in 1798. Designed by Giambattista Bodoni, it’s widely used in the fashion industry by brands like Gucci and Elizabeth Arden.
This font has a stark contrast between thick and thin strokes, giving it an elegant and sophisticated look. Believe it or not, the band Nirvana used Bodini for their logo!
Garamond originated in the 16th century by designer Claude Garamond. It’s readable and holds the title as the most legible serif body font.
Fashion brands like Rolex and Abercrombie and Fitch have used it as their logo font. Notably, sophisticated serif fonts have been embraced by the high-end fashion industry due to their authoritative and luxurious appeal.
Bold and beautiful, Helvetica was designed in 1957 by Max Miedinger and is one of the most widely used sans serif fonts. It’s been used by brands like Apple, Adobe, and Xerox, due to its modern and powerful look.
It’s best for brands that are looking for a simple yet powerful way to brand a modern and edgy business.
What does fashion house Dolce and Gabbana have in common with Domino’s pizza?
The Futura logo font. Futura was designed by Paul Renner in 1927 and is a powerful sans serif. It’s widely used for digital as well as printed assets, making it a loved and versatile font to this day.
7. Avante Garde
Released in the 1970’s Avante Garde is anything but retro. Designed by Herb Lubalin and Tom Carnase, it’s a geometric sans serif for bold brands like Adidas and Remax.
It’s an extremely versatile font and is better suited for edgy and contemporary brands that push traditional boundaries.
An organic rendition of geometric sans serifs, Avenir is made for long-form reading with its eye-pleasing shapes. Designed in 1988 by Adrian Frutiger, it’s been used by Toyota and AliExpress to get their message across.
Futura is great for minimalistic logos and long-form copy.
A true powerhouse, Myriad Pro has versatile and diverse usage options. It has a slant on the “y” and “e” giving it an identifiable quirk.
Brands like Apple, Walmart, and Linkedin have used Myriad due to its effortless versatility. Released in 1992 by Adobe Systems, it encompasses a new age look.
10. Open Sans
Open Sans is a humanist sans serif font designed by Steve Mattson in 2010. It has sublime legibility in any format, and variable weights to suit a logo font or lengthy copy.
Open Sans is amongst the most popular humanist serif fonts with brands like Google, IKEA, and WordPress using it for their branding. It has a friendly and open appeal, best for modern and contemporary brands.
Released at the turn of the century in 1896, Akzidenz-Grotesk was designed by Berthold Type Foundry in Berlin. Coined as the original “Helvetica” Akzidenz ushered the use of geometric sans serif into the new decade.
Akzidenz-Grotesk is used in the New York subway signage, as well as in posters from that century. Both bold and assertive, it’s Solidified as an internationally used font.
Released by Adrian Frutiger in 1957, Univers was the first font family to have a comprehensive number of weights and widths. The letterforms are a bit slanted, moving away from more rigid sans serifs in that era.
It’s used by brands like British Petroleum(BP) and Unicef to name a few.
Choplin is a geometric slab serif with clean-cut serifs balanced by smooth curves. Designed by Rene Bieder, it’s both unconventional and bold. Seen in editorial settings like magazines and photography, Choplin is a font with messaging you can’t ignore.
Montserrat is the embodiment of urban typography in the early 20th century. Designer Julieta Ulanovski created this font to preserve her city, Montserrat, in a timeless way.
Montserrat is a versatile font with a balance of traditional and modern elements.
15. Gill Sans
Designed by Eric Gill in 1928, Gill Sans led the way to a humanist sans serifs, inspired by traditional lettering. This makes Gill Sans easy to read, yet modern in appearance.
Pixar and BBC use Gill Sans, with a newer rendition focusing on digital legibility. This font is best for brands that are both modern and traditional.
Logo font takeaways
Choosing fonts for logos takes time but is a pivotal part of branding your business. Keep these main takeaways in mind as you design your logo.
- Consider your brand personality
- Connect with your target audience
- Prioritize legibility
- Think about scalability
- Don’t rely on color
- Keep it simple
Use Looka’s logo maker to create a logo that’s both unique and timeless!