Top 10 design pitfalls: No.2 - Bad typeIvan | Sun, 2005-05-15 20:38
Have you ever felt that a logo just doesn't fit the great brand that is behind it? That happens usually because of bad or boring type. When you design a logo avoid this mistake like vampire the holy water. So many times I see good logos with good symbols all ruined by a logotype that is just simply a not even a well chosen font. So, what can we do about it?
Logotypes have an equally important role in branding as symbols. When we design a logo we simplify and abstract. By removing the symbol and using just a logotype to get the brand message across one can create a very effective logo.
However, to create your own proprietary typeface like Disney, Milka or Johnson&Johnson requires very special skill. But, even if you don't have the time to make a special type you can still create great logotypes. Once you choose the right font for your logo, you should try to make the logotype somehow special. There are many ways to go about it and there is no foolproof method.
Here are a few examples to demonstrate different things you can do with existing type. To demonstrate the fine like between what works and what doesn't work that well I chose one good (left) and bad (right) for each approach. This of course reflect my taste only.
You can play with the letters to say dynamism, but never distort the typeface.
Use colors to communicate variety, but do it with taste.
Make small modifications to the type to communicate being different, but avoid cliches.
Combine different font weights, but don't overdo it.
Integrate the symbol to the logotype, but avoid childish ideas.
Modify individual letters, but again don't go overboard.
You may not agree with my examples, but I'm hoping I managed to get the point across. Type has many forms and you can use it to communicate a brand message equally well with it as with a well designed symbol.
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