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Understanding Fonts for Business Logos

How to Choose the Right Font Look
for Business Logos

The right logo can do wonders for any business — it makes you stand out from the online crowd, distinguishes you from your competitors, symbolizes what your company stands for, and makes your brand stick in people's minds.

In Company Logo Dos and Don'ts we outlined important tips to get you started with designs. And what’s great about modern technology is you can now use a quality free Logo Maker app. The sky’s the limit when it comes to playing around with logo ideas, experimenting with what they mean from different perspectives, and seeing how different versions look across a range of mediums.

Another aspect of making cool logos, which many business owners may not be aware of, is the importance of font typography in your logo. This communicates brand feel as strongly as the rest of the design, so it’s important to get it right. And taglines in logos are super important too, because they encapsulate what your business is all about.

Understanding Fonts for Business Logos

When it comes to business logo fonts, first let’s get some terminology out the way:

  • Font — overall design of lettering. It covers weights, widths, and styles, like Bold or Italic. Although ‘font’ is the common word non-designers use when referring to text, most of the time we’re actually talking about a typeface.
  • Typeface — collective name of a family of related fonts, like Arial or Times New Roman.
  • Typography — how lettering is creatively arranged to make it readable and appealing.

Now we’ve cleared that up, the following listing covers the main typeface families. We’ve created examples for each one using our free Logo Maker, so you can get a good idea of the awesome options at your fingertips:

Serif

Serif fonts have the small lines (those squiggly bits, otherwise called ‘feet’) at the ends of letters. The prime example would be Times New Roman used in newspapers. A variation would be slab serif fonts, which are bolded and thicker, designed to be seen from a distance.

Use the serif typeface in your logo if you want your business brand to say: traditional, academic, and classical.

An example of a logo with black text and a green wildlife icon

Sans Serif

This basically means any clean font, without the squiggly serif bits. Most websites use sans serif because it’s easiest on the eye. It’s neutral, so will go well with almost any visual design. Ultra modern san serif fonts tend to use capitals more and play around with the letters, such as using ‘A’ without the horizontal line, or adding a letter back to front.

Use the sans serif typeface in your logo if you want your business brand to say: straightforward, streamlined, modern, and hip.

An example of a logo with black text and a circular purple icon

Script

This typeface is so named because it’s designed to look like handwriting, typically cursive. The thing to bear in mind if choosing this style for your logo is sizing — script font can be hard to read in small form. An example of branding that works with script is Instagram.

Use the sans serif typeface in your logo if you want your business brand to say: elegant, formal and classical. Or with different script fonts it can look fun, childlike and playful. It has lots of personality when done right.

An example of a logo with neutral colored text and background, plus a white dandelion icon

Display

Fonts that don’t fit into the above three categories tend to be more decorative and unusual. Major brands like Disney have a display font, custom designed for them to really stand out as one of a kind. But because they’re generally so creative, these fonts are used sparingly. They’re not clean enough for longer text and taglines that need to be easily readable in smaller sizes.

Use a display typeface for a brand name only, to be very distinctive, bold, and unique.

An example of a logo with white text, green background, and yellow smiley face icon

Key Font Factors

Now that you know the main typefaces and what type of feel they convey, these are the important things to keep in mind about your individual business:

Audience

With business fonts, logo creation needs to resonate with your target audience. Here are some examples:

  • Kids — an informal script font that looks like a playful, childlike scrawl would work perfectly. Or you could go for a clean, easily readable sans serif font. In contrast, a serif font would appear too formal and stuffy for this audience.
  • Hip Millennials — you’d want to go for a really modern sans serif or edgy display font for your logo to appeal to a young crowd.
  • Sophisticated — a stylish cursive script font or serif font would work well for a more mature, grounded demographic. The same applies to more formal industries, such as the best font for law firm logo design would be something like an elegant serif typeface.
  • Broad, Mixed — if your audience spans a range of ages and types of people, like a clothing brand with an extensive catalogue, you can’t go wrong with a clean sans serif font. It’s neutral and super clear on the eyes.

Placement

You may have a good font style, for company name and your audience, but it won’t matter if it can’t be seen, or doesn’t look good in different sizes. For example, will it look good if printed on apparel? Or if a large part of your business involves transport, you’ll want to build brand recognition by having your logo printed on your cars and trucks. Does the logo font look really strong and clean so people can easily read it as they walk or drive past your vehicles?

On the other hand, if you have a social media or digital consulting business where everything you do is online, you won’t need to think about big sizing. But you will need to stand out in the noisy online space, so be creative. An example would be using a modern sans serif font like we described, where the ‘A’ is missing the horizontal line — a logo with triangles would communicate being at the top of a mountain with the best view of your client’s needs.

Grabbing Attention

A key design tip is to use at least one main eye-catching element in your logo. Such as having a sleek icon image, your brand name is a very unusual, bold font, and the slogan in more of a clean, neutral font. The unusual, stand-out font style for company name would cause people to look closer, so the image and slogan would have a better chance of being memorable to people.

Or you could go the opposite route, by having a really eye-catching icon image, then going for a clean, easily readable and neutral sans serif font to offset it. Play around with contrasts between your font, icon and slogan to stand out from the crowd.

An example of a logo with black text and a black horse icon on a white background

While business fonts logo contrasts are great at grabbing attention, make sure they compliment each other. First choose the brand name font that most represents the energy and values of your company, using the guidelines above. This should be the strongest statement font.

Your slogan and taglines should have a more toned down sans serif font, because their purpose is to be easily readable. Also bear in mind that a script font with another script font isn’t a good look, it will appear too busy instead of simple and clean. A good way forward is to get creative with trying out different versions of the same font: sizing, bold, italic, upper and lower case letters.

Takeaway

This article gives you the need-to-know for choosing fonts for your business logos to get a suitable and fully professional look. We’ve explained the three main typefaces (font families), what impression each one tends to give, and other important factors to keep in mind for business logo fonts — audience, placement, grabbing attention through contrasting but complimentary choices.

One other point to mention is high quality file images. The best file types, that a good Logo Maker will give you, are SVG and PNG:

  • SVG — text based vector files, which automatically size your logo correctly. From a small social media avatar or favicon, to a billboard or truck, you’ll be good to go. After all, the last thing you want is to choose great business name fonts and an eye-catching icon, and then have it all come out too stretched or too squashed in different placements.
  • PNG — a pixel-based format and highly popular requirement for websites and print on demand platforms. These files are easily sized without losing image quality.

We don’t give you JPG files with our free Logo Maker, because they don’t support layered images. This means you won’t be able to tweak the font separately from the entire logo. JPG files also lose color quality when they’re compressed, and suffer degradation when they’re edited and resaved.

Why Logo Maker with Namecheap?

We’ve built a 20 year global track record of trust for giving our customers a range of vital web services, from domains, hosting and websites to useful apps and cybersecurity. Namecheap believes in giving people the businesses tools you need without the usual roadblocks — high quality, user-friendly and super affordable (or in this case completely free).

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