Lately, I've been getting many emails from fellow designers asking for suggestions on designs they're working on (which is usually a Company Profile or Identity Design). Many are asking questions that do not have a simple or short answer, such as "which font looks best?" I’m sorry to say I just can't help you determine which typeface looks best without the design approach.
These questions got me thinking, I had to analyze my approach and try to find answer. Apart from the answer, explanation was also very important. And now I'm finding ways to redefine and rethink the way I design, the way i make a choises, so here are some tips and methods I have outlined to assist you in determining typeface to be more relevant for a logo as well as to improve your typography decisions.
Know the History of Font Making
"Is it necessary that you know the history of font making and text?" "Is it necessary that you know when to use a sans-serif or a serif font?" The answer would be yes. Choosing an appropriate and relevant font to the logo design starts from the basic understanding of the history.
A good type designer / font designer are not only merely create beautiful fonts, but the typeface itself is designed to fit on a particular era or style of contemporary and fits in a specific medium. Instead of telling the history of typeface, here are some articles and books for further explanation and learning.
I'm not saying that you need to know to learn all the things contained in the article about any tipeface there, but doing some homework will take you to a way which takes considerable time in choosing the best font solutions for your logo design.
Get a Feel of the Curve and Shape
Next time you select a font, try to zoom (zoom in) and then analyzes the curves and shape of a writing sample.
Let us compare the lowercase letter 'A' on FF Absara and Bienetresocial (free font); letters A to Absara typeface has a sharper curve and straight in comparison with Bienetresocial which has a circular curve (rounded). Letterform Absara writing-carved look to emerge, while Bienetresocial look more fluid and smooth.
So what can be done by knowing the above when determining the typeface of a logo? Well, a logo design with drastic angles and corners will probably look better when paired with Absara, because the expression tipeface Absara way more noticeable characteristic that represents the logo, while the logo design that has a typical circular or obtuse angle would look better when combined with Bienetresocial.
Also, many logo designers will redesign or modify an existing tipeface to get a logo blend with suitable feel.
Just like when you define music, car, or home design, it must be in accordance with your personality right? Now let's look at the Public Gothic (free font). As the designers stated that the character is 'industrial or slightly vintage'. Now let's look at the use of Public Gothic on the proper use (not related to the logo, but for the purposes of the example).
Below is the website of Happy Cog'aoke, designed by 'Happy Cog', is using Public Gothic as the masthead (the head of the newspaper or headline) Happy Cog'aoke them.
Typeface or design elements on their website areas compliment each other well. Characteristics 'industial vintage' of Public Gothic texture goes well with the background and used a line similar to the circuit box on the website. A winning combination of a great overall look of the website.
Think about the look / taste-display and feel of the market, your client's target market, and the overall impression that you're trying to give through your logo and then combine it with the characteristic / personality type font (including puns in it). If you are in conditions that do not allow you to specify keywords that are similar among the target market, sign / symbol, and or tipeface then there must be some place-something that needs to be adjusted, removed and modified. Actually this is the purpose of graphical knowledge.
Contrast is important in a design, it gives the differences and emphasis where it is needed. Try to incorporate the sign or form a thicker-more striking with a thinner tipeface to add atmosphere, space and or emphasis.
For example, a new identity for Armani Exchange (A | X) using a combination of thick, solid, and firm square with a tipeface that has good contrast with the thin lines to add contrast to the emphasis areas of squares and lines thicker to add a niche the black square.
It is also a good example of an emphasis on shape and form, as a thing straight, long and horizontal, Serif standing perpendicular to the line of the square. Which brings us to the next point in common.
In contrast (again, including puns) in the above, try to balance the weight of the tipeface logo mark that has been selected to create a stronger relationship ties.
Let's look at the following examples Exact identity. The lines on the symbols 'equals' (=) as thick as the thickness of the form letters in the word 'exact'. This creates balance and relationship between the two design elements are separate from each other and work to bring them together. Instead the emphasis we now have the element of uniformity.
When designing for any medium or subject, you should not let a style blocking design. More important, the style should not hinder usability, and in this case is the readability of a tipeface.
Choose a logo that is not only good to use on the large size, it should also excellent in a small size. Make sure it looks perfectly fine in 18-point font size on your screen, but remember that the logo is often placed at a narrow corner or on a business card, it requires the ability legibility at very small sizes.
When testing a tipeface, do not forget to shrink their size on the screen as an additional step when printing them on the small size. If it's hard to read it is probably not the best solution.
Finally, two thoughts
Contrary to the above, according to the basic principles - a logo should not be made based on a sign or symbol. Many of the most successful logos are those that use paper-based logo (logotype) that is memorable and wonderful, featuring tipeface or custom design type.
Secondly, the integration of the logo typeface is not only associated with the logo and symbol mark. Many of these tips above can also be used in all these forms of typography-to determine the headline for an article, for example, is a technology or a way to determine the hierarchy of a bird-themed books.
Not to say that you should start designing tipeface or simply knowing how to identify each tipeface on the market, but to have a strong understanding of typography, rules, and history will take you and the results of your design on a long journey.