Logo Design: How To Select Fonts

Logo Design: How To Select Fonts

Good Logo Design Means Great Fonts

Font Cookie JarRemember when you were a little and you spent your spare time scheming up ways to raid the cookie jar? Most moms have some kind of limit… no cookies till after dinner. No more than two cookies at a time.

When it comes to logo design, fonts are no different. With so many fabulous fonts to use, the temptation to raid that font cookie jar can be pretty strong. In logo design, less is (often) more. Just because you have thousands of incredible fonts at your fingertips does not mean you can or should be using them all.

Let’s get one thing out of the way: design snobs will tell you that there is a difference between a font and a typeface. True. A typeface is what most people mean when they say font. Helvetica, Times and Myriad Pro are all typefaces, not fonts. That said, it doesn’t change the fact that for laymen, the term “typeface” is slowly showing itself the door. For our blog, we will be calling it all a font. Why? Because everyone cool is doing it.

Go back to the cookie jar analogy: there are lots of different types of cookies to pick from, aren’t there? But you wouldn’t want to eat a cinnamon raisin cookie with chocolate chip cookies. They just don’t go together.  Same with fonts. Some fonts were born for one another and others… not so much.

Start thinking about your logo design. What are some things to think about when putting fonts together for promotional materials?

  • Two fonts at a time. This is a pretty good rule of thumb to follow getting started. Try picking one font that is a little more decorative and one that is more basic, but has lots of styles to choose from.
  • More than two fonts can also be okay. Rules in design are so subjective… it’s good to be edgy and sometimes three fonts can accomplish that. Still, be wary. You want to create a consistent look, so be sure you pick three fonts that can work strongly together. Remember the cookie jar?
  • Pair serifs with sans serifs. Like peanut butter and jelly, cake and ice cream… cookies and milk… they just go together.
  • Create consistent styles. Picking two fonts won’t do you any good if you have a million different sizes happening.
  • Every time you stretch a font, a graphic designer dies. No seriously. Never do it.
  • Keep fonts consistent from one promotional piece to the next. Raiding the font cookie jar doesn’t just mean going crazy on one page.

What are your fonts doing in your logo design, graphic design and marketing materials? Are they working as a team to make your promotional pieces look good? Think of cookies again. No one wants to eat sugar cookies that have been stored with peanut butter cookies. Why? They weirdly all start to taste the same.

Don’t let your fonts taint each other… do you want to end up sick from a font overload? Take a good hard look at the fonts you are using. Maybe it’s time to think about leaving the font cookie jar alone.

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Carolyn Byard