Say it with Type: The Power of Text Based Logos

Wooden printers typeface

We’ve talked here before about how, when it comes to design, often less is more. You might be struggling over picking the right colors, shape, or style for your business’ logo or sign. It can be tempting to over-design; trying to cram every symbol that represents your business or industry you can think of into a very small space.

Don’t forget to consider that sometimes, the letters themselves can have tremendous impact. There are thousands of different typefaces, and they generally can be broken into three categories:

Serif Type: Typefaces like Times New Roman or Georgia fall under the “serif” category. These typefaces have small decorative lines that push outward from the edges of letters or characters. Serif typefaces have been used since the days of ancient Rome, and are often are used to convey authority, prestige, or vintage qualities. GAP, Google, and IBM all have recognizable and well-respected serif-type logos.

Sans-Serif Type: This means just what it sounds like. Sans-serif typefaces have no decorative flourishes on the characters: clean, simple lines only. Sans-serif fonts evoke the feeling of modernity and forward thinking and sometimes a sense of fun as well. FedEx, Nike, and social media networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter have sans serif fonts comprising their logos.

Script Type: Script typefaces can appear as anything from simple handwriting to elaborate calligraphy, their modes ranging from fancy and high end to fun, low-key, and approachable. Coca-Cola and Cartier have two of the world’s most recognizable calligraphy-esque script typefaces. Ray Ban and Chick-Fil-A have script typefaces that are more casual and fun loving.

Currently, minimalism is in. Flat icons, sans serif fonts, and white backgrounds are extremely popular. You always want to consider, of course, your own personal tastes and what you want your business to represent to potential customers.

Be sure to browse the websites and ads of other businesses in your industry and see what other successful companies are using for their typefaces as well. Of course, the sign makers or designers you select will be happy to help you make a tasteful and informed decision as well.

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