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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Font for your Logo

by | Aug 11, 2011

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: your brand is the face of your business. And choosing the wrong font can be disasterous. I’ve singled out 5 common font fiascos to avoid the next time you’re thinking of designing — or redesigning —your brand.

Graphic designer’s know the secret to a great logo is finding the perfect font. The tricky part is there are millions of them out there. So how do you know which is right for you? Sometimes it’s easier to focus on what’s wrong. Here are 5 common font errors, and how to avoid them.

  1. Standard Fonts:
    If you’ve chosen a font that comes standard on your Word processing program it’s probably too common for most logos. Dare to step outside the box and look for something more original to represent your business. There are dozens for font websites out there with great tools for helping you choose a font that fits. I love Myfonts.com for their affordable options, vast selection and font preview which lets you type in your text and see it onscreen in any font you choose.
  2. Trendy Fonts:
    Just like clothes, fonts follow the trends. That’s fine for an ad that will disappear with yesterday’s news, but not so great for a logo that will brand you for life. If you tie your business image to a font or style the gets over-used your brand will look cheap and dated in no time.
  3. Delicate Fonts:
    Swirls, distressed type and even thin serifs may look great on your signage or company t-shirts, but lose quality and visibility when sized to fit your address labels. Try to take all the possible uses of your logo into consideration when selecting a font. If you’ll need embroidered logowear, a detailed delicate font will not reproduce well.
  4. Font Spacing:
    Kerning, also known as the space between letters, is a tricky craft any good designer will learn to master. But everyone should beware of it’s pitfalls, If the ‘Y’ on the end of your logo appears to be hanging on for dear life, or there’s a river of white space running between your ‘W’ and ‘A’ you better tighten it up. Kerning is a good designer’s secret weapon. And a D.I.Y. nightmare. But it can be done. Here’s a handy article that shows examples of good & bad kerning. And believe me, it’s the tell-tale mark of a well-designed logo.
  5. Disconnected Fonts:
    If you think of fonts as having a personality, look for ones that suit you and your business. If you’re a rock band, a bold jagged-edge grunge type would be logical. The same typeface for a retirement village might be a bit alarming to future clients. Check out these hilarious examples of font choices gone wrong.

Just remember, your company logo is a screaming billboard of who you are, and what you do. If you want it to scream, “I’m a professional, I take pride in my image and I will do the same for you,” then be sure you apply that same approach to your logo design. This is one area where seeking the advice of a professional might be a good idea. Even if it’s just for feedback, or to tweek the work you’ve done on your own. After all, you wouldn’t give yourself a facelift…would you?

1 Comment

  1. gloria durst

    I like how you say that the spacing of words is important when choosing a logo. It would be good to consider how far apart things are in order to ensure that it is done right. My brother is looking for a logo, so he’ll have to consider one that has good word spacing.

    Reply

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About the Author

Brandy Wheeler

Brandy Wheeler is the Creative Director and right-brained partner at Visitors Media. She’s a pysanky-making figure skater with a knack for finding Petoskey stones at the beach. Armed with an Albion College degree in visual art and 25 years of experience in graphic design and marketing she loves to share her expertise in writing. You can also find her on-camera as the founder and voice of the Traverse Traveler brand.

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