September 20, 2018

How to choose the right font for your logo

I recently got a message from one of my clients that bought a premade logo design from me for her photography business. She actually bought my best selling design and was in love with the font type. But when she started to use the logo on her photos she found out that the very thin, elegant font she fell in love with was not working out for her. She asked me for advice on what to do. We looked at other font options but finally she decided she wanted to stick with the thin font because she liked it so much. I was able to give her tips on how to make the logo stand out more on her photos so that the logo wasn't only beautiful but also practical. And that got me thinking about writing a post about the subject of selecting the right font type for your logo. There are some things you want to think about before purchasing a premade or a custom made logo design.

Choose a font that matches your brand and personality

These days there are so many beautiful font types to choose from when looking for a logo design. From elegant calligraphy typefaces to the more robust and playful brush scripts. It's easy to get all caught up in scrolling through Pinterest looking for the best font for your logo and brand. And with every new year, it seems that a new font type is in fashion. 

To make a font work for you, it needs to match your brand and personality. It's nice that it's in style right now, but if it's not bringing out the feeling you want to put out in the world with your logo and brand, then it might not be for you. Select a font type that shows off what you and your brand are about. If you're a wedding photographer and you want your logo to carry out that feeling of elegance and style, a playful, robust brush script is not a match. In this particular situation you might want to look more into the elegant calligraphy font types.

And don't go for the stylish watercolor handletter style only because everyone else is doing it. You want to stand out, you want your logo to show off what you stand for, and a more quirky or modern typeface might suit you better than the ones that are in style right now. So think about what it is you want to carry out with your logo and brand and let that play a role in the selection process of a font.

Don't fall for beauty only, your font needs to be usable as well!

We often get so focused on how things look that we forget about their actual functionality. And that can be a big mistake. It's like going into a shop looking for a new coffee machine. You're eye immediately falls on the mint colored, vintage looking machine that would look so awesome with your off-white kitchen tiles. You get overwhelmed by how great it looks, you pick it up, take it to the register and pay for it. Once you're home, all excited, you take your coffee beans and milk to make your first cappuccino with this awesome new machine, and then find out that it does not make cappuccinos but black coffee only.... 

That is what happened to the client I wrote about in the first paragraph. She was so in love with the font of the logo design that she did not even think about whether or not this font would work for her. 

Before getting all excited about the look of a typeface, make a list of the purposes you will be needing the logo for. Is your logo only going to be displayed on a white background for example? In that case most lettering will look good. But, in case you need the logo to put on backgrounds that have many different color tones in them, like a photo, will the font still pop out?

In the image below I've used two different fonts for the same text. Both are elegant, but the second one is a little bit thicker than the first. It's just to show you that within the elegant, thin calligraphy look, there are a lot of options to work with. The same goes for brush scripts. They can be similar, but one might fit your purpose perfectly, while the other one doesn't. Make sure you pick the right one for your purpose.

Uppercase or lowercase, that's the question

Did you know that the look of a logo can change a lot by using only lowercase lettering instead of using uppercase letters a the beginning of a word? It can really make or break your logo. Some fonts look absolutely gorgeous when using only lowercase, so that is something you might want to try.

In the example below I have typed the same name in the exact same font, but the first name has uppercase lettering at the beginning, while the second one only uses lowercase. Do you notice that the all lowercase text looks much more flowy? The designer of this font decided to leave a gap between the letters when using an uppercase letter in front of a lowercase letter. That breaks up that flowy feel. Some will like this and some won't. So play with this when selecting the font for your logo.

Some letters are difficult to work with

Just like every class has a few difficult or unique kids, the alphabet has some letters that can be a challenge to work with. The letters that I'm talking about are for example the Z, the F and the I. They can look much different than expected. And in case of a premade logo clients can be really disappointed when they see their own name in a particular font. I totally get that, so if that happens I always try to find a font together with the client that works for them.

The images below give you an example of what these letters can look like in different font types. The first row is the letter Z in lowercase and uppercase. Especially this kind of lowercase shape for the 'z' seems to put a lot of people off. The second row is the letter F in uppercase and the letter I in uppercase. Honestly, some of them can be swapped and no one will notice if it's even an F or an I.

So if your business name has some of these 'difficult' letters in it, or maybe double letters like two T's or L's after another, you might want to ask for a proof version first before purchasing a design.


If possible, try before you buy

When you are looking at premade logo designs, it might be a good idea to see how your business name looks in that particular font before you commit to the full purchase. In the image below I have typed two different names in the same font. The first name has a sort of flow in this font, while the second name has less of a flow. That could be disappointing to a client.

Of course you have to understand that you can't expect a designer to make you 30 proofs of all their premade designs for free. But you can offer to pay a small fee for a proof of your business name in that particular font.

In my shop I offer the option to try out three premade logos for free. I will create the logo for you in a black color with your business name and I put it on a watermarked background. This way you will be able to decide whether the font works for you or not. If clients want to try out more proof designs than the three free ones I offer, they are charged a small fee per proof version.

On Etsy there are also a lot of designers that have a 'try-before-you-buy' option in their shop. For a small fee (like a couple of dollars) you can purchase a proof version of one of their premade designs. That is always a good investment if you are thinking of buying a premade design.

And in case you are looking for a custom made logo design, you might want to check out the font section on Creative Market. Your designer can purchase (and charge you for it of course) the font to use in your design, but the cool thing is that you can try out the font first with your business name on Creative Market. Let's try it with the Adore font, click here and it will take you to the font listing on Creative Market. Now scroll down the page and put your business name in the text box. And see what it looks like! What a great feature!

So before you fall head over heels in love with a font, check if it will fit your logo's purpose and ask for a preview with your business name if possible!

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