Learn the basics of creating a terrific typographic logo by analyzing these 20 memorable examples.
You’ve seen them everywhere. Some of the most popular brands use them. They are easy to memorize and easy to associate with a brand they represent. Very often, people think of them as the simplest form of logo design. Still, their simplicity makes it rather hard to design excellent, memorable, and unique ones.
Most major brands have typographic logos. You can probably name at least a dozen from the top of your head. Google, Netflix, IBM, Coca-Cola, Vans are just some of the brands that recognized the power of conveying their brand’s message through well-designed logos.
What is a typographic logo?
We usually refer to text-based logos as typographic logos or logotypes. They typically contain only text or initials and are focused on the company’s name. Although sometimes they might have some discrete imagery incorporated in the design, they mostly use letters. Even though the brand might also have a distinguishing logomark, the typographic logo should convey the brand message on its own without the logomark’s aid.
Sure, it may seem as easy as picking out a nice-looking font to design this type of logo. Still, a good designer knows how to tell an entire brand’s story with a good logo design. They know how to combine both the business and the art and make something memorable.
A few essential rules when making a typographic logo
Logo design is an art form. Therefore, there’s no exact formula for creating a logo to captivate the audience and stand out from its competitors. However, few rules make an entire process more accessible and more uncomplicated.
Make sure that you have legal rights to use the logo for commercial users
People tend to overlook this, mainly if they use some of the fonts already installed on their computers and available in the design software such as Adobe Illustrator or Affinity Design. Most of the fonts are available for personal use. However, they do require monetary compensation for commercial use. It is an excellent place to check whether the font you picked is free to use commercially or not is Font Squirrel.
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This rule doesn’t apply if you decide to use a custom logotype or a custom font. Netflix, for instance, decided to redesign its logo in 2018 by using a custom font named Netflix Sans. The company potentially saved hundreds of millions of dollars on licensing fees for various fonts it previously used by choosing to do so. A similar thing was done in the past by companies such as Apple, Google, and Samsung.
Make sure the style fits the brand
Since a typographic logo doesn’t have a logomark, it should communicate the brand message on its own. That’s why you have to do your homework and do a thorough research of the potential customers and the industry.
Selecting the right font style can be a challenge. There are thousands of fonts available, which makes the decision of which one to use even more challenging. Most of the fonts can be divided into four categories which can make the selection a bit easier:
- Serif fonts – Have decorative serifs on the letters, and fonts from this group are usually perceived as consistent, tasteful, traditional, reasonable, dependable.
- Sans serif fonts – As their name implies, they don’t have serifs on the letters and are usually perceived as modern, clean, approachable, or objective.
- Decorative fonts – These fonts have unique design styles and can be visually extremely different. From all the font groups, they are sometimes the most challenging to use in a design.
- Script type – Fonts that look like handwriting and are usually perceived as imaginative, warm, and sometimes elegant.
For example, Emporio Armani targets an audience that is chic and refined. As a brand, they convey a message of elegance and high status. That is why they are using a serif font, which is sophisticated and serious. On the other side, Lego targets children, their parents, and adults that still love to play. As a brand, they want to send a message that they are playful, imaginative, and for all ages. That’s why their custom logotype is less serious and more cheerful.
Make sure to use the right colors and few
Colors play an important role when you try to communicate your brand’s message. Yellow, for instance, is considered to be optimistic and warm, red youthful and bold. Each color has its symbolism. It’s always a good idea to see if the color you consider for your logo aligns with your brand’s core message and with your target audience. The practical thing is to check what competitors are doing and what the trends are in your industry.
One of the rules you will frequently hear when it comes to using a color on your logo is never to use more than two at the same time. It would be best to avoid breaking it unless you are or have hired a fantastic designer.
Make sure that everything is perfectly aligned
You probably don’t remember, but in 2014 Google had a logo redesign that almost no one noticed. Well, almost no one. It was noticed by skilled designers with a very sharp eye for symmetry and alignment.
You want things to look neat and perfect and that all custom-type layers are in line perfectly. That is why you should always use a grid system when designing logotype. Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop have few grid systems already available. They will help you a lot in tidying your final design.
Make sure that one size fits all
In 2021 the logo needs to be responsive, just like the webpages or the apps. Sure, a decorative font might look fabulous on a giant billboard. Unfortunately, it might make your logo completely unrecognizable as a sticker on WhatsApp.
Company logos appear on screens with different sizes and resolutions, print materials, t-shirts, banners. For that reason, you have to check how your logotype looks in various sizes. Is it easily legible and identifiable? Can you turn it into easily recognizable initials?
20 typographic logos that grab attention
The only type of logo design that never goes out of style is logotype. No matter what font family is in favor of the Gods of Design, or color pallet or design trend, a good typographic logo is always on the trendy list. This shortlist of 20 logos is here to inspire you and give you an idea of what good typography can do for your next logo project.
This playful logotype shows that a bit of play with the letters’ position can create interesting results.
This custom logotype is halfway between typographic logo and calligraphy art. The lines connecting the letters make it look like it was created with one smooth hand movement.
The specific custom type used in this logo makes it visually interesting. Squares inside the O’s make you subconsciously give this logo a second look.
This combination is a very good example of logotype and logomark paired carefully and compliment each other.
The font picked for this typographic logo is sans serif, simple, and modern, which works quite well with the chosen logomark.
6. Think Drink
The playful design on this logo looks like a modern twist of a vintage Flavor Aid logotype with its wavy letters.
7. Seafarer Cold Brew
This logo shows that carefully paired fonts from different font groups can work quite well together. The combination of fonts gives this logotype an additional vintage feel.
8. 21 Tattoo Gallery
Most tattoo galleries don’t shy away from using decorative fonts, calligraphy, or additional graphic elements. This logo is no exception. The combination of fonts, colors, and visual elements works quite well together. It gives you confidence that you won’t leave this tattoo studio disappointed.
This minimalist typographic logo looks ok until you figure out that the word “divan” means sofa in Turkish.
Creating a custom typeface or using calligraphy for these kinds of logos always opens endless possibilities for design.
This handwritten logotype goes well on its own or together with a logomark that also looks drawn by hand.
This elegant font picked for this brand makes it a supreme choice. Pun intended.
13. Kati Mae Photography
A serif font and script type on this logo tell its target audience that they can expect elegant, sophisticated, warm, and personalized service.
14. Foto Kulka
Another logo for a photo studio on this list. This time the font and the overall design communicate a message of modern, minimal elegance.
15. Much Love
This playful take on a negative space makes this logo for bow ties boutique almost perfect.
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16. TFLo Cafe
This modern typeface, combined with the bright yellow color, quickly draws attention. It easily distinguishes itself from the sea of similar logos for cafes.
Minimalist, elegant play on the word spaced makes this logo one of the favorites on this list.
This logotype is another excellent example of the use of negative space in a typographic logo design.
19. Caramella Dulces
Just looking at this logo makes you want to find this place and try all their delicious things. The combination of colors, two different fonts, and graphic elements make this logo easy to communicate to its core audience.
20. Chatalbash Piano Lessons
The combination of decorative font and graphic elements makes this logo self-explanatory. Maybe a different font on the tagline would be better.
By now, you know that designing a good typographic logo requires time and craft. It’s not as easy as picking out a font from a list; however, it’s not mission impossible. It’s a process that takes time, patience, and quite a few iterations. And if you are not a designer, it’s always nice to have one to help you through the process.