May 3, 2023
By: Alisha Shibli
Best fonts for logos? A simple question with a complex answer.
Choosing good logo fonts can be tricky. The beauty and complexity of font types for logos, combined with an exhaustive supply of options and innumerable combinations, can make the decision difficult.
Fret not! While there’s no easy-to-follow formula, there are rules and tried and tested principles that can help you choose the best font for logos. There are different fonts that work well together and if you work through the system with patience, there’s a high probability that you’ll find the best font for your logo.
One of the first things to do when choosing a font is determine how you want your audience to react to the text. The reaction is your goal, and it’ll guide you in your designing process. If you’re the business, you’ll know how you want your audience to feel; if you’re a designer, this directive will come from your client. Whatever may be the case, the font you choose for your logo needs to strike a good balance between:
This is easier said than done, and in design, each of these elements demands a certain degree of independent consideration. One way to address this is to break down the font selection process into objective and subjective parts. Legibility and readability are more readily quantifiable than mood, so it’s best to address that first.
A key things to remember is that there’s no one “right” font for your business logo design. What's there are a few rules you should consider when choosing your logo font.
Firstly, your logo font should be aligned with your brand's personality. It should immediately build a connection with the audience you’re trying to reach and reinforce the message of your brand. Your brand personality is essentially the “human” aspect of your brand; it guides the way you talk to your customers and influences the visual identity you create to showcase your business – like your logo!
The question then is – how do you know the best font for logo that will suit your brand personality?
There are three to five main font families, and each with its own “personality traits”, or messages that they communicate. For example, serifs – fonts with little “feet” at the end of the strokes – have a more traditional and timeless feel, while sans-serifs (fonts without the feet) are considered more modern, friendly, and relaxed.
Then there are other families that include scripts, which often have an elegant and sophisticated look and give off the feeling of adding a personal touch, while modern fonts and slab serifs tend to be edgy, contemporary and creative.
So, if your primary audience is youngsters in their thirties who enjoy second-hand books, you might decide that your brand personality is creative, independent, and progressive. To express that in your logo, you could consider going with a vintage-looking script like Belinda or Thirsty Script, or a modern font like One Day or Cooper Hewitt.
Legibility is the typeface design as in the width, stroke, whether it has serifs or not, and if there are any unique elements in it. A legible typeface makes it easy to tell one letterform from another. For example, decorative fonts have low legibility because they’re meant to be seen at a glance and not something you read at length. This is where serif and sans serif fonts come into play, designed in blogs and website content because they have high legibility. When looking for the best font for logos, consider how legible you want your text to be.
Tips for choosing good logo fonts that have high legibility:
Readability is when type style, size, leading, color, tracking, and all other design elements come together to form an overall impression. They determine how easy it is to read the text on your logo. For example, you could use a font with intentionally low readability (if it’s something that aligns with your brand). Or, if your message is complicated or needs your users to know what’s written clearly, opt for high readability because you don’t want to confuse your audience.
Tips for choosing good logo fonts that have high readability:
The best font for logo are ones that conform to the aesthetics expected by the users for whom the design is intended. For example, if you’re designing a logo for a financial institution, using Comic Sans may come across as a little too light-hearted and relaxed. People don’t normally associate these qualities with someone who’s managing their money. However, a Serif font such as Times New Roman or Bembo might be a better choice.
Fonts can play a huge role in evoking a strong reaction like excitement or panic, but the readability of the design and the text itself can take your logo design to another level.
Tips for choosing good logo fonts that have high appropriateness:
There are different ways, methods, and theories that you can use to consider different fonts and choose the one that might be perfect for your logo design.
Here are some basic tips you can keep in mind to choose the best logo font:
These tips will help you learn about the different font families and how to choose the best font for your logo and brand.
Ideally, try and stick to one but if you must then use no more than two different logo fonts in your logo design. Any more fonts than that and your logo design will look too messy and unprofessional. What you're incorporating in your logo will also determine the number of fonts you can use. For example, choose one company name font style and another font for your slogan or your tagline or brand description.
When combining different logo fonts in one logo design you want to make sure the fonts work well with each other.
Pick one main font for company name that represents your brand’s style the best. It should be eye-catching, readable, and attractive. Any additional fonts need to be more subtle. Consider the following:
One of the questions you must be asking yourself when designing your logo is how to choose a font that will accentuate your brand.
Your logo's font communicates more than just the name of your company. The right font expresses your sense of style, brand personality and adds that little oomph to your communication. Knowing how to choose a font for your logo design is essential because it can directly impact your customers' thoughts and emotions.
For example, a clean and straightforward serif font can be a classic choice associated with tradition and timelessness. However, a bold sans-serif font can bring out feelings of strength, power, and confidence. Before you decide on choosing a font, do a little research on how they can impact your brand and then select one.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing a font for your brand's logo.
Legibility should be one of your top priorities when designing a logo. Various elements create a great brand logo, and font legibility is one of them as it communicates your brand identity and personality. You want to choose a font that strikes the perfect balance between readable text and something memorable that's unique to your brand. Here are a few ways you can do that:
If you don't have typography expertise, you may not be familiar with all the different font categories. Knowing what a particular type of font communicates can be good when thinking about how to choose a font. This will ensure that the fonts for logo you pick align well with your brand personality.
Here are three basic font categories:
Serif fonts are classic, traditional, and trustworthy. They're among the oldest different font styles for logos originating back in the 15th century. They're named for the feet (called serifs) that can be seen at the top and bottom of each letter.
Brands that want to convey tradition and respectability, such as Time Magazine, Tiffany & Co, Vogue, often prefer serif fonts.
Popular serif fonts that you can explore:
Sans serif fonts are clean, modern and help you get that minimal look and feel. These fonts came in during the 19th century; therefore, they're perceived as more stylish than serif.
They are simple and give a sense of cleanliness that helps you get that minimal design look. Some of the top tech companies use serif fonts for brand name in their logo designs.
Popular sans serif fonts that you can explore:
Script fonts are elegant and unique, and they are designed to imitate cursive handwriting. The character strokes here connect one letter to the next.
Similar to human handwriting, each script font looks unique and feels distinctive. These fonts tend to follow design trends which makes them a risky choice. Trends are not permanent, and you don't want your design to look out of fashion a few years from now.
Despite that, brands such as Ford, Johnson & Johnson, Cadillac, and Instagram use script fonts tastefully in their logo design.
Popular script fonts that you can explore:
When it comes to combining fonts, there are multiple variations in each font category that impact your logo's vibe. Therefore, knowing how to choose a font and pairing different ones is crucial. Here are some pairing schemes that you could explore for your brand's logo.
The contrast between serif and sans serif fonts makes them easy to pair. It allows you to balance the dependability of serif font with the modern look and feel of sans serif font.
According to font psychology researcher Sarah Hyndman, thinner, lighter-weight fonts are consistently rated as looking more expensive than heavier, more rounded fonts.
Here are some good logo fonts that you could explore:
When paired with thin and lightweight fonts, thick and rounded fonts give a sense of cheerfulness to the design. When thinking about how to choose a font in this category, explore some of these pairings:
Here's a quick checklist to keep in mind when pairing different logo fonts to highlight your personality.
How to choose a font that supports your logo and brand in every piece of communication, irrespective of the platform? It's simple--once you've selected your font pairings, put them through the following tests before finalizing it.
The font you choose for your logo will stick with you for years to come. Therefore, you must ensure that they work well on every medium, whether print or digital (including mobile).
First, ensure you have the proper licenses for each application. If you're going to use your brand fonts on everything, including your website, product design, social media images, videos, blogs, external presentations, etc., then create mock-up designs for each. This will allow you to see how your font looks when placed on different backgrounds, colors, and sizes.
These include light, regular, semibold, and bold. They help build a clear text hierarchy and should be specified in your brand style guide. You'll need to use your font differently to highlight headings, sub-headings, body text, callouts, quotes, and more, both print and digital.
It's not just about how to choose a font. It's about choosing a font that's legible irrespective of the medium or device. It should be easy to read and understand, whether in uppercase or lowercase, large or small, numbers or letters.
Your headers are what attracts someone to your blog or website. Your user should read everything clearly without any strain or confusion. For example, the letter 'R should by no means look like 'N.'
The chances that another designer has already gone through similar dilemmas to yours and found a solution is high. Designers in the past may have experimented with the fonts that you’re considering now. Websites such as Fonts In Use are great resources to see fonts and typographic choices made by designers across different industries. See what they’ve done and how they’ve deployed different fonts in their design. Often simple, boring, and familiar fonts do the job well. There are good reasons why some fonts get used a lot over others for specific purposes--they work exceptionally well.
Once you have a few logo fonts narrowed down, use some simple, tried, and tested old-school techniques to test their efficacy.
The desire to do the obvious is highest when you’re starting with a logo design project. Work through it and move forward to see how different fonts can be used in ways others might not have imagined. This is where true creativity and design skills kick in.
Avoid choosing something so blatantly obvious that it hides your critical thinking and design skills. Cool fonts for business logos happen when you choose and adapt to the design to meet the criteria mentioned above.
When you can’t find a solution, go with the tried and tested, especially if the deadline is fast approaching. For example, if you choose a neutral serif and sans serif combination, it may not be groundbreaking, but your sensical design will be relevant. Don’t waste time trying to make Times New Roman and Trebuchet MS cooperate.
Look for inspiration, check what other designers have done. You’ll find some classic combinations that have stood the test of time.
Start breaking rules only after you’ve understood them thoroughly. Knowing the basics will help you make intelligent choices with your logo design. It’ll also help you identify the rules made to break and how to transcend conventional choices. You might have to go through a hundred and one ideas before you find the winner, but focus on the process more than the result and you’ll have fun. Good knowledge of type and fonts gives you the ammunition to be creative.
Great font combinations can transform an everyday creative work into an artistic masterpiece. But, sadly, pulling off the perfect combination is easier said than done.
Combining multiple fonts is challenging for various reasons. You see, when you pick fonts that are dramatically different, your work can lose the much-needed cohesion. On the other hand, if the fonts are too similar, e.g., if they come from the same family and share lots of properties, the combination becomes more or less useless. The final product will likely be dull.
Therefore, the perfect font combinations usually aim for the sweet spot in between. You want fonts that complement each other but are not too similar or different.
Below is a compilation of 20 different font combinations that fit this description perfectly.
Designed back in 1927, Futura is a highly versatile typeface. It’s super easy to read and looks relatively modern. The typography has been used in different industries—both Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen this typeface. Fashion brands like Calvin Klein and Dolce & Gabbana use it as well. Supreme and Best Buy also utilize Futura Bold.
Futura is quite impressive on its own, but pairing it with Souvenir makes it even better. Souvenir is a Serif typeface. It was developed in 1914 by Morris Fuller Benton. Unlike Futura, which is clean and straightforward, Souvenir brings more personality to a brand logo. The font is lighter and a bit playful.
That’s precisely why the combination of Futura Bold and Souvenir works like a charm.
Futura bold makes sure the important details of a logo or any other creative work are unmissable. Meanwhile, Souvenir brings the entire design to life.
Rockwell was released in 1934 by the Monotype Corporation. It is a slab serif that stands out pretty well, especially in bold. The typeface looks powerful and dominant, making it a great option to make a bold statement with your design.
But what if you want to bring it down a notch? Easy, introduce Bembo. Bembo is a serif typeface with a rich history. It was initially designed in 1495 by Francesco Griffo, making it one of the oldest fonts in the world.
However, the Bembo we use today is a refinement of that design. Stanley Morrison enhanced the modern Bembo in 1929. It is conservative yet elegant.
Rockwell bold and Bembo font combinations work perfectly for different projects. For example, you can use Rockwell as a headline and Bembo as the subtitle or tagline.
Helvetica Neue is an enhancement of the popular Helvetica font. The font is widely used in corporate settings in items like invoices and signages. Various companies also use it in their branding. Target, American Airlines, and the NYC Subway are some examples.
Even Federal income tax forms are written in Helvetica.
Helvetica is also one of the best fonts for t-shirts. That’s key, especially if you want to create branded apparel to build brand awareness.
Meanwhile, classical Garamond is a serif typeface popular in book printing. It is named after Claude Garamond, a famous Parisian engraver.
Helvetica Neue and Classical Garamond font combinations create elegant designs. Your design will be easy to read and interesting enough to stand out.
If you are looking for a modern, stylish font combination, Super Grotesk and Minion Pro are one of the few options at your disposal.
Designed in 1999 by Svend Smital, Super Grotesk is based on “East German Futura,” a font designed back in the 1930s by Arno Drescher.
On the other hand, Minion Pro was designed in 1990 by Robert Slimbach of Adobe Inc. The font draws lots of inspiration from the late renaissance-era type. It’s commonly used for body text.
Therefore, you can use Super Grotesk for the headline and Minion Pro for your tagline or paragraph text to create crisp logo designs.
Montserrat is a modern sans-serif typeface designed by Julieta Ulanovsky. The font was inspired by the old posters in Montserrat, Buenos Aires where Julieta lives.
The Montserrat typeface is widely used online for titles and headings. It’s also available through an open-source license. You can access it with your adobe fonts account for free.
Meanwhile, Courier New is a classic slab-serif typeface designed by Howard Bud Kettler. The font was created for IBM typewriters, but its application has grown well beyond that. It was introduced in desktops with Windows 3.1.
Montserrat and Courier New font combination will give your designs a fresh modern vibe with a classic touch of elegance.
Playfair Display is perfect for titling. The serif typeface is vivid and super crisp. It was inspired by the 18th-century European enlightenment when pointed steel pens replaced broad nib quills. That said, Playfair Display does look a bit modern.
Source Sans Pro was the first open-source typeface family from adobe. It was developed by Paul D Hunt to be used in user interfaces. That makes it an excellent complementary font for the Playfair Display.
Source Sans Pro makes Playfair Display look even more modern without losing its vintage charms. Source Sans Pro is also super clean. That’s why it blends nicely in the body text just below a Playfair Display headline.
Amatic SC is a hand-drawn web font perfect for artistic uses. It’s a no-brainer choice when you want a font beyond corporate-style typefaces. The font can make titles or some bits of body text stand out. However, it works best for titles alone.
Then, bring in Josefin Sans to complete this classy combination in your tagline or body text.
Josefin Sans is hugely inspired by geometric san serif designs of the 1920s. It is less dramatic than Amatic SC, making it the perfect complementary choice.
Both Amatic SC and Josefin Sans typefaces are available for free through an open-source license. You can use them with your adobe font account like any other font available in the Adobe font library.
Century Gothic is a sans serif typeface released in 1991 by Monotype Imaging. It is an enhancement of the Twentieth Century geometric typeface.
Century Gothic is clean, balanced, and very easy to read. That is why it’s commonly used in headlines. The font is also ubiquitous in movie posters.
PT Serif has subtle sophistication that can uplift the clean Century Gothic typeface to make your work stand out. Use Century Gothic for the headline and PT Serif for your body text.
The two can also be combined in posters and logo designs. Write your primary text in Century Gothic and the tagline in PT Serif.
Raleway and Lusitana share strong chemistry. Raleway is a bold and functional typeface perfect for titles and headlines.
Lusitana, on the other hand, is charming and inviting. Combine the two fonts, and you get a dynamic design that never goes wrong.
Raleway is a sans-serif typeface developed by Matt Mclnerney. It was initially a single thin-weight typeface before Pablo Impallari, and Rodrigo Fuenzalida expanded it into a nine-weight typeface family.
Lusitana is perfectly designed for long texts written in small sizes. That’s why it blends so well in paragraph texts when used alongside Raleway headers and subheaders. The typeface was inspired by a 1572 type found in the Portuguese epic poem “The Lusiads.”
Source Sans Pro works incredibly well in headers as it does in paragraph texts. In addition, it’s super clean, which is just what you need when you’re creating simple designs.
Source Sans Pro also has a modern elegance which comes in very handy with this font combination. That’s because Times New Roman has quite a strong vintage vibe. Times New Roman is also widely available and considered “overused” by some designers. A few designers ignore it for that reason, even though it’s one of the top fonts for logos.
Combining the two fonts allows you to utilize the familiarity of Times New Roman while making the design more intriguing with the modern Source Sans Pro.
Both Futura and Avenir Next are sans-serif typefaces. Although it’s hard to make a design standout using two fonts of the same family, this particular font combination doesn’t struggle at all.
They are similar enough to create a seamless blend, yet their subtle variations create a visually noticeable contrast. That’s especially true when you use Futura bold on your main header or logo text and Avenir Next on the subtext or tagline. Or, Futura in the headline and Avenir Next in paragraph texts.
Go with these typefaces if you don’t want a dramatic font combination. It’s a minimalist yet exciting combination.
Olga Karpushina and Alexei Vanyashin developed Vidaloka. The Didone display typeface has curling serifs making the font very charming.
Roboto comes in to balance out the playful Vidaloka serifs. It makes your design a bit more “serious” and elegant.
Developed by Google as the font for android systems, Roboto is a friendly sans serif typeface. It is clean, simple, and easy to read. It helps reduce the playfulness of Vidaloka to deliver a professional design.
Oswald is an attractive and highly versatile sans-serif typeface. It combines effortlessly with other san serif and serif typefaces like Raleway.
Vernon Adams developed Oswald. It is inspired by grotesque and classic gothic typefaces of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
The font works perfectly on titles and logos. It’s also used in website designs for the menu, footer, and even some parts of the body text.
Raleway is a sans-serif typeface that goes very well with Oswald. You can combine the two in different ways. For example, you can use Oswald for your headers and thin or light Raleway in body text.
Consider the Dancing Script typeface to give your design a personalized touch. The font has a handwritten design that will give your work a charming and personalized vibe.
Impallari Type developed the Dancing Script. The 1950s typefaces inspired the font, but it has a relatively strong touch of modernism.
Proxima Nova works well to tone down the curled Dancing Script typeface. The font is much cleaner, simpler, and very professional.
Dancing Script and Proxima Nova font combinations are great for different uses. For example, you can create intriguing logos with the two typefaces. Use dancing script on the main text and Proxima Nova on the tagline.
The two fonts are great for Etsy, Pinterest, and other social media posters.
Buffalo and Jost font combinations are similar to the Dancing Script and Proxima Nova combination discussed above. The combination adds personalizations to your design. However, you will find Buffalo to be a bit more dramatic than Dancing Script.
Buffalo is a handwritten typeface. It’s used to create posts for social media, magazines, packaging, greeting cards, print, and so on. You can also use it for branding to make your logo feel like a personal signature.
As always, you need a straightforward typeface to balance out handwritten fonts. That’s where Jost comes in.
Based on the 1920s German sans-serif, Jost is created and maintained by Indestructible Type. It brings professionalism in this font combination.
Rockwell is a bold and powerful slab serif typeface. We’ve already established that this is a suitable font for making a statement with your design. It also stands out pretty well to make excellent titles and headers.
That said, source sans can make Rockwell bold a bit less intimidating. Source sans is a clear grotesque sans-serif typeface created in 2012 for adobe.
The two typefaces complement each other well for different creative works. For example, you can use Rockwell bold in the primary text of the logo and source sans regular in the tagline. You could also use Rockwell in headings and source sans extra-light or light in the paragraph text.
Amithen is an excellent typeface for fun and personalized design projects. Unlike the Dancing Script and Buffalo, which look like personal signatures made by a pen, Amithen is more of a brush texture. Therefore, it doesn't just stand out because it looks like a written signature. It also looks and feels bold and powerful.
You can use Amithen for different branding purposes. You can use it to make logos and even create custom merchandise like branded t-shirts. It’s also used in greeting cards, book titles, invitations, etc.
Roboto Condensed is what you need to balance the bold Amithen brush texture.
Roboto Condensed is a crisp and straightforward typeface perfect for taglines and paragraph texts. It will make your captivating Amithen design feel more inviting and professional.
Kiwami is a playful typeface full of swirls. Dmitriy Chirkov designed the font. You can use it for different purposes, but it is mainly utilized in fun design projects. It’s also perfect for wedding postcards.
You can use Kiwami for branding too. The bold brush font will make your logo, blog, and other marketing products stand out. Combine it with a cleaner and less dramatic font such as Nunito for the best results.
Nunito is a sans serif typeface designed by Vernon Adams, the same guy behind the Oswald typeface.
Nunito adds simplicity and elegance into a design. Use Kiwami for titling and headings, then complement it with Nunito light.
Museo Moderno is a modern looking sans serif font. It was designed by Hector Gatti, Pablo Cosgaya, and Marcela Romero. The typeface was specially developed for Argentina’s Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art.
It may not have the most bells and whistles, but Museo Moderno does just enough to stand out in its own right.
Combine Museo Moderno with a classical san-serif typeface like Proxima Nova, and the design gets even more fascinating.
Proxima Nova introduces sufficient contrast to make your design capture people’s attention. So, whether it’s a logo, blog, poster, signage, or even branded apparel, you can rely on the Museo Moderno and Proxima Nova font combinations to bring your designs to life.
Yanone Kaffeesatz was designed by Yanone. Published in 2004, the bold Yanone Kaffeesatz was inspired by the 1920s coffee house typography. However, the enhancement of the light Yanone Kaffeesatz looks refreshed and modern.
Open Sans helps ground the design. Steve Matteson developed the san-serif typeface. Google then commissioned it in 2011. The font was inspired by Droid Sans, another typeface made by Steve Matteson.
Yanone Kaffeesatz and Open Sans create a distinct contrast that every branding design needs.
There’s an art to font combinations, and you have to be bold enough to experiment with different typefaces to master that art. The above list covers twenty proven font combinations that work all the time.
You will also notice a few recurring themes if you go through the list. One, san-serifs and serif typefaces create unrivaled font combinations. Two, font combinations work best when using a bold typeface for the main text and a cleaner typeface for the tagline or paragraph text.
For example, you can use a powerful font like bold Rockwell and balance it with Bembo or Source Sans. Or, make your main text feel like a personal signature with a bold handwritten typeface like Dancing Script and calm down the design with Proxima Nova.
Therefore, in addition to the 20 font combinations shared, we’ve also given you a roadmap of how font combinations work. So, don’t hesitate to stretch your creative muscles and try out other font combinations. Have fun!
Who’s to say why companies, designers, or even the general public, are not compelled to learn of the differences and make modifications to classify a typeface from a font? People may genuinely not know about the disparities, and maybe they do yet choose to retain them as interchangeable.
They may have fallen for the common misconception of a typeface only being a relevant word before 1990 until fonts got traction. Maybe it’s simply that “font” is easier to say than “typeface.” The possibilities are countless.
But one thing is for sure: you have to get ahead of potential miscommunications surrounding the two “interchangeable” terms.
You are reading this insightful article about typeface vs. font, but not everyone knows this information. You may one day have a discussion with a designer who perceives them as synonymous to find out that your typeface and font recommendations haven’t gone according to plan.
It’s worth bearing in mind that terminologies can change and evolve over time, and these changes are powered not by experts but by common usage in society. So to stay ahead of the game, it would be helpful for you to understand what comprises a typeface and a font, making it easier for you to communicate your preferences.
The most common classifications of typefaces are:
Each type has distinct properties and holds large varieties of design selections to choose from. For example, Arial is a sans-serif typeface. Times New Roman is a serif typeface. Pacifico is a script typeface. Before selecting a typeface, it’s fundamental to learn about the main classifications as they are suitable for varying purposes.
As a rule of thumb, serif and sans serif typefaces are best for body texts and headlines, including titles, logos, etc., due to their easy readability. Script and display typefaces are suitable for headlines, depending on your industry and branding. Monospaced typefaces are generally used for coding purposes.
The naming conventions for fonts are a little more extensive but widely valuable. These are the most common attributes that go into fonts:
Every differentiation results in a specific font. Every characteristic contributes to the overall design of the typeface according to the preferences that you have set.
The fact of the matter is the distinction between typeface vs. font matters to the ones who know what it is, and it’s information that could come in handy depending on the industry you’ve tapped into or been exposed to. But for the most part, it’s all about clear and proper communication.
In a digital age where typeface and font are swapping terms, consider getting into the specifics rather than classifying them on their own to avoid any misunderstandings. Feel free to bring up what you know and go from there. If the receiving end is unaware, don’t hesitate to educate them.
A font and a typeface are like a song and an album. One comprises the other, but they do all come together in the end as long as you communicate your preferences well.
Knowing how to choose a font is crucial because logo fonts can make or break your design. Choosing the right typography and font pairing can help you amplify your brand personality and tell your story better. There are hundreds of fonts out there that are dazzling and might look wonderful--but do they work for your brand? Putting in some thought before deciding on font can determine your logo's overall success.
Jimmy Rodriguez is the COO of Shift4Shop, a completely free, enterprise-grade ecommerce solution.