We looked recently on this blog at famous fonts, most of which became famous because they’re tied to a logo that everyone knows. Some of those logos – and plenty of others – are nothing more than the name of the company or brand; put another way, the font is the logo.
Take a look at our collection of fonts in use to see how many fonts work for one specific style – some of those beer bottle fonts wouldn’t fit any other product, and the shop and restaurant signs are tied so deeply into their company’s identity that they just wouldn’t work for an alternative approach.
Perhaps you want the hint of rough-and-ready that comes with distressed, grunge-style fonts or your product sells best with a hint of the 20s, 60s, 70s or some other era’s retro stylings. If your logo will repeat the same letter several times, you might prefer that they look the same or that the font has alternates to provide a more naturalistic feel.
What kind of brand is this? Will your logo need to look good on a storefont sign, a website, a chocolate wrapper, a bottle, or all four?
Now is the time to start playing around. Knowing you want, say, a grungy font with rough edges for the main logo gives you a general area to work in, but this is the fun part – trying the same thing in different styles and seeing which ones really stand out.
In the grunge example, you can get two very different styles of distressed script by comparing the same phrase in Againts by Celcius Designs and in Lickety Split by Tyler Finck. Either one might suit your brand better, or you might choose for something that has a raw off-the-printing-press style – and even then, consider the difference between Device’s Forge and the off-kilter genius of Addlethorpe by Typodermic.
There are a lot of famous logos that wouldn’t look right without a little something extra by the text. Seeing Cadbury bar logos without the Cadbury swirl is just plain odd, and many brands switch to a less distinctive font to add a strapline, whether that be an advertising phrase, a date of establishment, or something else.
Once you have a logo font you’re comfortable with, the next step is finding one to complement it. You might consult our guide to font pairing here or simply experiment with sans-serif, serif or slab-serif fonts that match your chosen.
Try as many as you need. Your logo is something you really need to get right.