Fonts can speak volumes about a brand. Whether you’re selling your company to your target audience or promoting a particular product, brand can be communicated through the choice of font and text styling. Adding a little something – like an icon or a carefully placed line can considerably change the tone and meaning of a word. The theory of ‘less is more’ and ‘simple is best’ are timeless principles that never fail to produce the best of brand logos. Legibility is key – and if a typographic designer does their job properly then readability should be a priority.
The less that you say about a brand – the more people will try to relate visually to it and make something of it. If there is well-designed imagery and words that support it - that all helps. We aren’t referring to brands that have developed a brand mark, such as Apple. If the brand name is simple and the colour, form and font are easily recognized then that logo becomes the brand mark in itself, often referred to as a Wordmark.
Let’s shout about some familiar font based brand logos… with a twist!
Google and its tilted vowels!
You may not have noticed, but the twist on the Google logo is the two ‘o’s and the ‘e’ characters. They’re turned at an angle. Meanwhile, the stark colour combination makes it instantly recognizable. This serif font logo is developed with characters from the font Catull, which was designed in 1982. One fun fact for typography nerds is that this, the largest web search engine logo in the world, was not designed to work as a webfont!
Next and its neat ‘t’
Interestingly, this brand used to be an uppercase serif font, something similar to Garamond or Times, then it changed to lowercase sans serif font – which is bespoke designed. Ultimately, the simplicity of the word and the clear use of it as white on black keeps it distinctive. Its neat shortened character ‘t’ makes maximum use of the height of the logo. We’ll be talking more about the importance of ‘wordshape’ later!
The Frankie & Benny’s scribble!
This was developed by Rose-Innes designer, Michelle Rose-Innes from handwritten jots written by people in the design studio of RJS design associates, where she was a designer. Its twist is the loosely styled signature – as if it were handwritten on an angle. With typographic software, this could easily be developed into a styled font.
Soft and simple Skype
This is a great example of the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) concept. It uses a version of lowercase Helvetica font, softened by some adobe software that consistently curves the edges. Connected up letters enhance the message of connections in communication and the simplicity of the bubbly shape gives the brand logo its twist and shout.
Ikea - wide chunky and loud
Ikea have developed their own heavy serif font – Ikea sans. The ‘shout’ of this uppercase brand logo is its highly visible colour combination, whether yellow on blue or blue on yellow. Its containing shape is squashed into a box – which says rather a lot about a flat pack furniture brand!
ITV – smiling!
This recent rebrand has produced and curvy bendy twisty font that can be colour picked to change palette depending on the theme of TV program or season. Its fonts have been joined up to make a fun thick sweep of happiness!
Top tips for your Wordmark
The overall shape of a successful brand logo.
Notice all these logos are designed to fulfill a basic shape – the rectangle. Draw a line around the outer edges of the logo and join them to form a shape. This is the overall space that the brand logo commands. 18 years of experience as a brand logo designer tells me that the most useable and visibly effective shape to work towards is a rectangle or… squarish rectangle! Look at our brand logo designs to find out just what we’re talking about and to get a little more inspiration for your own design…