Typography 101 for Logo Designers

Good typography makes a huge difference to your logo designs and, in fact, any kind of communication. Learning typography enables you to see things that you were once not able to see.

With software on the increase it has become easy to do typography badly. I have even witnessed professional designers using display typfaces in body text. All you need to do it well is a set of rules and an eye for good practice.

The first rule is to always trust your eyes. Typography, like all good design, is an art and not a science, although applying a few simple rules to your logo designs will make them pop and give them the desired effect upon the untrained eye.

This article is aimed at helping student and amateur – even some professional – designers get a clear grasp of typography for their logo designs. So such things as widows – one word left on a line by itself – and rivers – huge, running gaps through a body of text, usually caused by justified buttons in your text editor – or anything to do with body text will not be appearing, although I will be covering this in a later article.

I am writing this to help designers make educated type choices within their logo designs and brand identity guidelines.

Typography is everywhere from digital to print, from pound coins to pound notes. It is the visual form of language. Anyone can write a sentence on a word processor, however, there are certain elements to doing it well.

Rules are there to be broken, however, setting to a strict rule set gives you consistency through out your work. A logo needs to be legible and readable.

Capitol letters shout loudly and can be portrayed as aggressive.

Lowercase letters are much quieter and speak softly upon their viewer.

Serif faces are very professional and business like in nature – they’re a natural

progression from calligraphy.

San serifs’ are very clear, simple and to the point, which is why we saw the modernists

from the Swiss era using them for clarity. We also see them in a lot of headlines
because of this fact.

However, we can overcome some of these aspects. When using capitols – remember that we can give the logo a lighter typeface so that it doesn’t scream. Although, having said that… keep in mind that when designing for screen displays that a lighter typeface is not recommended.

I am very old fashioned and fussy about this next subject. The meaning of font has somewhat changed over the years. 12pt Helvetica Regular is a different font from 14pt Helvetica Regular. They are the same typeface but a different font.