When involved in a branding project, the priority task is to choose the best logo fonts possible to obtain an impressive result.
Good logo fonts work in favor of the brand’s identity, and they ought to be both original and legible to distinguish it in any situation.
When choosing good fonts for logos, you should do so with the company’s personality in mind, making sure that you’ve designed something that will last, and that will be practically applicable to represent it in any occasion.
In the best scenario, you client will receive something that is unique (or at least correctly licensed), and enriched with strong fonts people would remember at first sight.
A smart course of action for all designers is to look at free logo fonts and modern typefaces, as those are usually available for commercial use, and do even for startups with limited budgets.
The importance of fonts for designers
Image source: Eugeny Bochinin
More often than rare, it is the font that sets the tone of the entire project, and the element that influences the most how viewers feel about the design and how they interact with it. It is the same as if you showed up on an official dinner wearing sweatpants – people will instantly judge who you are based on your appearance.
Building a design career, you can’t afford the luxury of making wrong assumptions on what your clients need or what their brand represents. Such mistakes are no longer excusable, as clients know how important it is not to distract viewers from the original message they’re trying to send.
How to choose cool logo fonts
Image source: Piotr Gorczyca
The first thing to make sure of is whether the font you’re considering is matching the message your design has to convey. Noting down all important characteristics of your client’s brand is the logical and compulsory precursor of either downloading or buying whatever font you like.
While there are many contemporary fonts designer communities suggest, the rule of thumb says what works well for other won’t always work that good for you.
Basically, what we’re trying to say here is that the best fonts for logos are the ones that match their blueprints, and set the right mood to match their client’s personality.
Sometimes those will be casual, other times serious, but in all cases end viewers should see the exact same thing you’re trying to tell them.
Image source: Alexander Tsanev
If the font looks or feels disconnected from the brand, visually it won’t make any sense to the company’s prospective clients.
That’s not exactly the reason why you were hired, so instead of falling for modern fonts and fun choices, put personal preferences away, and ask the client what he expects. More importantly, get ready to accept that your idea of stylish and appropriate may not be a match.
If you get lost in a sea of creative fonts and have no idea how to proceed (odds are good it will happen), stop and think for a while: Does the font correspond to the purpose of your project? If it does, you’ve found yourself a winner.
The classic dilemma: Serif or sans serif?
Image source: Christopher Coley
There are two broad groups of fonts to consider: serifs and sans serifs. Both groups offer modern fonts for logos, with the difference that serifs look more official and traditional, with few additional lines attached to the letters.
The most frequently used serif font is Times New Roman. On the sans serif side, choices are flourish-free and look way more modern, as for instance Helvetica.
Obviously, you still get to abandon the classic categorization and look for something more decorative, but that’s not exactly the best practice in regular branding.
Instead of undertaking risky experiments, you should consider some of the serifs and sans serifs to give your logo a more traditional or modern vibe.
Choose a font that matches the brand
Image source: Krivenko Ivan
Back in the Gutenberg era, printing letters in different shapes and sizes had little to do with the characteristics or personality of a business, but that’s no longer the case. Today, designers have much more to think about than making content legible, as the audience craves quality instead of quantity.
Despite of how much design has evolved, and how much attention companies are devoting to branding considerations, Gutenberg’s 15th century philosophy remains unchanged: The font you’ve chosen to convey a message must make that message accessible.
By this, we mean that you have to choose fonts that people find easy to read, and such that help them establish a connection with you and understand your services – if you’re designing for an investment brokerage or a firm offering legal assistance, the font should be nowhere close to a curlicue or clunky one.
Measuring brand-appropriateness is not an easy task, but neither an impossible one. There will be a suitable logo type depending on the business or the occasion – had the logo amplified the brand and conveyed the message it was supposed to, the goal will be achieved. At the end of the day, all that will matter is whether viewers understood your goal with it.
Pick a font that will last
Image source: Alexandar Radulovic
We all remember how cute ‘70s disco fonts were, and how they reminded us of balloon animals. Nevertheless, it is quite rare to see a logo like that nowadays, as trends fade, and design changes. Your font, in short, should resist time.
How can you know that a font will last? To start with, avoid font styles everyone goes crazy for from scratch, and go for something that may not be the hottest trend of the season, but still manages to stand out from the crowd.
Legibility comes first
Image source: Leo
The market is packed with creative fonts that look amazing at first sight, but you should give ornamentation a second thought. Overdone font design is rarely the best one available, as it ends up being unreadable instead of helping the brand liven up. A smarter idea is to go for a font where spacing is appropriate, and letters are easy to read and to distinguish from each other.
Best fonts for logos
Butler is a free serif typeface inspired by a mix between both Dala Floda & the amazing Bodoni family.
The main goal was to bring a bit of modernism to serif fonts by working on the curves of classical serif fonts and adding an extra stencil family.
Great for posters, very big titles, books & fancy stuff, the highly contrasted butler typeface is pleased to be at your service.
The whole Butler family contains a total of 334 characters, 7 regular weights and 7 stencil weights, text figures, ligatures, fractions and a lot more. It also suits many different languages with its added glyphs.
A geometric sans serif typeface with rounds and a light and fluffy feel.
Cinzel is a typeface inspired in first century roman inscriptions and based on classical proportions. However it’s not a simple revivalism. While it conveys all the ancient history of the latin alphabet it also merges a contemporary feel onto it.
This typeface was primarily designed for screen, so while it has a large contrast I ensured that the font would work on a screen.
Cinzel was commissioned by Google Fonts for its web font library, this also means that the font is available at no cost.
Bebas Neue is a sans serif font family based on the original Bebas Neue free font by Ryoichi Tsunekawa. It has grown in popularity and become something like the “Helvetica of the free fonts”.
Now the family has four new members – Thin, Light, Book, and Regular – added by Fontfabric Type Foundry.
The new weights stay true to the style and grace of Bebas with the familiar clean lines, elegant shapes, a blend of technical straightforwardness and simple warmth which make it uniformly proper for web, print, commerce and art.
‘Trocchi’ is a design derived from a number of old faces from the English typecutter Vincent Figgins (1766-1844) including Nebiolo’s ‘Egiziano’, and Caslon & Co’s ‘Antique No.4′ and ‘Ionic No.2′.
Trocchi derives from these earlier designs to produce a more casual slab serif. Trocchi is designed for use both as text and display type. The font is named after the Scottish novelist Alexander Trocchi.
The Glober font family includes 18 weights – nine uprights with nine italics. It is characterized by excellent legibility in both – web & print design areas, well-finished geometric designs, optimized kerning, excellent web-font performance and legibility etc.
Inspired by the classic grotesque typefaces – Glober has his own unique style in expressed perfect softened geometric forms.
The font family is most suitable for headlines of all sizes, as well as for text blocks that come in both maximum and minimum variations. Glober font styles are applicable for any type of graphic design in web, print, motion graphics etc and perfect for t-shirts and other items like posters, logos.
A condensed geometric sans serif with uppercase, small caps, numbers & an assortment of symbols. By Jamie Wilson.
Choplin is a modern and clear geometric slab serif with a sturdy heart.
It was designed based on the Campton Family, with the same principles in mind: geometry, simplicity and neutrality. As a consequence, Choplin could be seen as an immediate companion to the Campton Family.
However, during the process lots of details were changed in order to sharpen the slab serif character which resulted in a slightly different interpretation.
Similar to Campton, it is perfectly suited for graphic design applications ranging from editorial, corporate, web, interaction to product design. In addition, it has an extended range of alternative glyphs, ligatures and OpenType features which provide flexibility and uniqueness wherever it is placed.
BONN is currently available in 3 weights and free to download. This typeface is ideal for logotypes, headings or posters – in general for a big use.
A new classic, this is a bold, modern, geometric sans-serif that has no problem kicking its enemies in the chest.
Taking a strong influence from ATF’s classic Spartan family, we’re starting our own family out with a single strong weight. We’ve put a few unique touches into a beautiful, historical typeface, and made sure to include an extensive characterset – currently totaling over 300 glyphs.
Campton is an unconventional typeface based on the early twentieth century sans serifs. Its character draws inspiration from Gill Sans and Johnston Sans while combining it with contemporary elements.
The result is a modern and unorthodox family that is perfectly suited for graphic design application ranging from editorial and corporate design to web and interaction design. Campton comes in nine weights with matching italics and is equipped with a wide range of opentype features.
“Walk-On” was originally created as a corporate typeface for the Fashion brand Wang & Lynch.
It takes its inspiration from the eras of Art Deco and Art Nouveau but with a radically contemporary approach. This retro font boasts simple shapes and reduced ornamental structures, yet still yielding an overall art deco -influenced look and feel.
Ideal for headlines, Walk-On can also be utilized for editorial copy due to a vast array of alternate letterforms, numerals, and initials, giving the user multiple options for flexible and exciting text design.
A condensed sans serif designed as an additional companion to the Corbert font family. Incorporating the key characteristics from the original family with influences drawn strongly from the Bauhaus and modernist era.
This condensed version is 15% closer than the normal family improving economy of space across design layouts. Used in conjunction with the regular widths Corbert becomes a functional and versatile font system ideally suited for large complex design projects.
Details include 540 characters with alternative lowercase a, e and g, 5 variations of numerals, manually edited kerning and Opentype features.
A fresh decorative geometric grotesque with a hint of Art Deco and constructivism. Poiret One is a unique typeface with light forms and pure elegance.
Sleek and simple. Based on geometric forms, it has stylish lines and graceful curves. The font is applicable for large signs, labels, titles, headlines and any type of graphic design on the web, in motion graphics, or in print – from t-shirts to posters and logos. It is also well-suited for short texts and advertising where style is desired.
SIMPLIFICA Typeface is a slightly condensed sans-serif typeface featured by an uniform and thin line width. Its high positioned capsheight and ascender favours legibility. A fine, simple and clear font.
A gorgeous modern sans-serif with a very long neck. With a whole slew of styles & weights.
RBNo2 is a new gothic sans serif font designed by Rene Bieder for Fontfabric.
It is inspired by late 19th century industrial fonts with german roots regarding straightness and geometry. Combined with other sans serifs, slab serifs and serif fonts it catches the eye when used in headlines and short copy texts.
Additonally to the regular styles the alternate versions will turn the font into a perfect partner for modern, technical and contemporary impressions as well as high quality, luxury and timeless environments.
It was inspired by saving space for publishing texts without loss of height. Includes a comprehensive set of characters that lets you deal with diverse languages in its four variants.
Economica Pro is a font especially developed for printing in complex situations. It has been tested successfully for use in very small sizes without losing legibility. Its ink traps ensure smooth operation even on low quality papers. It is an ideal font for newspapers.
Sansus Webissimo is a custom typeface for DesignContest.com Contemporary open grotesque with wide number of characters that covers Basic Latin, major Latin diacritics and Cyrillic.
Canter is an all caps, condensed typeface available in six different weights. It was designed as a display type for titles, headlines, and posters.
Hapna is a contemporary monospaced serif font with geometric and rational characteristics. It is the first step in the font family development, that will include display and text weights. It’s key features are 241 characters with alternative uppercase K and opentype features.
Gafata is a font designed for small sizes in medium-long text, mixing elegance and readability which is why it has great applicability in books, magazines and web pages.
In the process of finding the finest legibility, particular features emerged making this whimsical sans serif different from the rest, creating an original mark to the text its applied to.
Webnar is a modern geometric sans serif font family of 7 weights, including italics, created with information and technology in mind. It is a functional, versatile and highly legible typeface designed to perform well in print and on screen.
Webnar features a variety of alternative characters, including a set of geometrically constructed glyphs, inspired by Paul Renner’s original experimental design for Futura.
They are perfectly suited for creating punchy and memorable headlines. Details include italics, 541 characters, extended Cyrillic, softened edges, carefully placed ink traps, manually edited kerning and Opentype features.
Rambla Alt is a variation of Rambla, which has certain modifications without altering its main structure.
For this reason Rambla Alt is great when used together with Rambla. Rambla Alt is a humanist sans for medium-long texts. It’s slightly condensed, with a generous x-height and short ascender/descenders.
Its proportions have the objective of gaining space in height and width. It’s elegant in large sizes and legible at the same time, with a lot of rhythm in small sizes.
Fenix is a serif typeface designed for display and long texts, its foundations are based in calligraphy, with strong serifs and rough strokes. Its proportions seek to gain space in height and width. Fénix is elegant at large sizes and legible at the same time, with a lot of rhythm in small sizes.
Hipstelvetica is an experimental display font family. It was created as a personal project Inspired by the legendary helvetica design.
A bold slab-serif typeface influenced by Spagetti Western posters of the 1960’s.
Drawing inspiration from popular industrial sans serif typefaces such as Bebas Neue, Alegre Sans & Dharma Gothic, I set out to design a typeface with a modern twist whilst keeping the fundamentals of a traditional font.
The result is “Reckoner”, a free for commercial/personal use typeface that features a secondary set of characters in the lowercase setting that can be placed in your designs to add a unique touch to certain words.
Marta. Eclectic, accidental-text font with wedge serifs. 3 inscription: normal, bold and italic vertically.
Ornamental and expressive cursive version, can use return as a separate font. Font includes the Old Calendar figures, ligatures, ordinals, and alternative forms of signs, thus extending the possibilities of typography. Extended Cyrillic and Latin. Contains over 650 glyphs.
Antiqua with classic “Roman” proportions. In combination his direct and rounded lines seen principles of classical architecture – vertical climbing pilasters, semi-circular arch, a horizontal cornices. It is intended for titles and headlines but can be used to set body texts too. Extended Latin and Cyrillic.
League Gothic is a revival of an old classic, and one of our favorite typefaces, Alternate Gothic No.1. It was originally designed by Morris Fuller Benton for the American Type Founders Company (ATF) in 1903.
The company went bankrupt in 1993. And since the original typeface was created before 1923, the typeface is in the public domain.
Nougatine is a titling font inspired by the smell of freshly baked cookies. Delivered with 380 glyphs, many ligatures and a panel of alternative letters, it brings to you the power of making better combinations.
A modern rounded typeface combining humanist elements with a strong geometric grid. The result is a font that can produce striking visuals at large scale and clean line legibility at text size. Details include 7 weights, a complete character set, manually edited kerning and Euro symbol.
A narrow slab serif typeface, consisting of Caps, Small Caps, Numerals and Punctuation. With every character fitting inside a rectangular frame, the spaces between each letter are defined and consistent.
The austere and concise personality and flexibility make it a real multiple-purpose typeface. The letter forms are distinguished by a large x-height, sufficient stroke contrast, robust but elegant wedge-like serifs and terminals.
These features have been specially designed to reach maximum of readability. Suitable for use in corporate ID, advertising and display typography.
A geometric sans serif typeface influenced by Bauhaus and the early modernist era. Precise circles are optically adjusted to create a clear, natural typeface with great legibility. Details include 540 characters with alternative lowercase a, e and g, 5 variations of numerals, manually edited kerning and Opentype features.
FV Almelo is an all caps condensed rounded free font ideal for logo design, packaging, headline or editorial design. The capitals are the standard glyphs, if a character has an alternative you’ll find it using lower case. Because of its nod to the past I named it Almelo, city where I was born.