A big part of a brand’s identity is its logo. Modern fonts can make your brand look urban and contemporary, and are essential in a modern logo design. When we talk of logos, we usually think in terms of colour and visuals- but rarely the font. However, what font you use in the logo has a big impact on how the logo registers with your audience.
So, let us look at how you can use a good font to make your logo (and by extension, your brand) appear modern.
Note: Most brands, especially well-known ones, do not rely on a single font for their logos. Usually, their logo fonts borrow elements from multiple fonts. So, the examples listed in this article talk about the main constituent fonts- not the exact fonts.
Modern fonts- Essential components of modern logos
It goes without saying that every brand today wants to appear modern and urban. The reason is not difficult to figure out- no brand wants to look dated. India is the world’s reigning youth capital- and they relate more and stick to brands that feel modern.
It is a no-brainer then, that if you want to make your brand appear modern, you have to make it look modern. The current design trends indicate that today, brand owners are looking for a modern logo design. Visual identity plays a big part of conveying your brand’s spirit.
The font you use in your logo is a crucial part of your logo. It is an important visual element- it complements the logo and underscores your brand’s spirit.
Good fonts- Setting modern brands apart
Think of your brand as a person. If she wants to come across as a smart, urban, modern individual, she will have to dress accordingly. She can wear a pair of jeans or a sharp suit or a gown- but she probably won’t go out dressed in a Victorian bushel skirt and a veil.
If your logo is that sharp suit she is wearing, the font is the tie that completes the look.
In graphic design, fonts are of utmost importance. When you are having your logo designed, you MUST think of the font that you are going to use with it. Why? Because what font you choose and how you deploy it plays an important part in creating a brand.
Graphic Design Fonts – why you should pay attention
Here are a few reasons:
1. It is an important visual element
Fonts are a big part of a brand’s identity. Think about the iconic font used by Game of Thrones– it is instantly recognizable and catches the eye. It is not a modern font, but it is so distinct, you cannot forget it once you have seen it. That is why you should choose the best fonts for graphic design logos.
2. Fonts convey your brand’s spirit
A logo conveys what your brand is about. Same with the font. Think of the font used by Lotus Herbals. Like a lotus floats on the water surface, the font has a floaty feeling too. It is also distinctly feminine and looks delicate. It perfectly captures the natural aspect and gentleness- two main things the brand claims about its products. A modern logo design is all about capturing the essence of your brand. That is why you must know the most popular fonts for graphic designers.
3. Fonts speak to your target audience
The font you use will speak directly to your target audience. A great example of this is the Harley Davidson logo and font. It is a masculine, rugged font, that is will instantly appeal to a motorbike enthusiast. Try replacing it with a lighter font, or change the colour to green. It will not appeal to any biker.
4. They define your brand’s personality
Yes, your brand is modern, and you need a modern logo design to go with it. But is it serious? Does it joke? Is it authoritative? Or is it friendly, approachable and casual? Your font reflects your brand’s personality. This is the reason people laugh when a lawyer’s office puts out a notice in comic sans- it simply does not go with the image of the brand.
So, when you create a logo, how do you decide on what font you should use?
Modern logo design- best fonts for logos
To decide what font to use, you first have to understand what a modern logo is. In words, the modern logo is a logo that feels fresh, urban and contemporary. There is no way to define exactly what a modern logo will look like- it is more about the feeling it invokes in those who see it.
When going for a modern logo design for your brand- even if you are selling a vintage product- it is important to appeal to a contemporary audience. One defining feature of modern logos is that they are readable and do not look cumbersome.
Some good examples of modern logos are:
- Paper Boat
Each of them invokes different types of feelings, and target different audiences. But they are all modern- eschewing traditional stereotypical styles.
Good fonts for logos- deciding factors for picking the right one
Here are some pointers that you can keep in mind when finding the perfect font for your modern logo:
1. Think about the logo graphic designs and font simultaneously
As we said before- your font complements your logo. When you think about your potential logo designs or research logo ideas, also look at fonts that feel organically closer to the logo you have in mind.
2. Text-based logo- prioritize the font
Of course, if you have a text-based logo, like Amazon, Harley Davidson or IBM, you have to put the font at the very centre of your research and brainstorming process. Here, the font becomes doubly important, because the font in the logo will become the head of the font family that you are going to use for your brand.
So, not only do you have to find the perfect font for your logo- you also have to see how adaptable the font is across various media and communication purposes.
3. Check the logo trends in your industry
Every industry has its specific requirements. You may have noticed that logos of skin-care brands are markedly different from the logos of video games. Yes, each skincare brand has its logo- but if you look closely, you can identify some closely-related elements. Though different, they will all invoke a particular feeling that will be very different than what you feel when you look at the logos of PUBG or World of Warcraft.
Likewise, your fonts will also be different. The fine, elegant lines of the fonts used by premium skin-care companies will be very different than what biker companies will be using.
4. Study the competition
This one follows naturally from the previous point. What are your competitors doing? The idea here is to carve a unique place for yourself in the market- so you must not ape any rivals. Look at the iconic fonts of Apple and Microsoft. Both are instantly recognizable but very distinct from each other.
5. Think of the color palettes
Since colours play a vital role in any brand’s visual identity, you must think of fonts that sync with particular colors. When you design the logo, look at fonts that not only complement your logo in its shape and size but also goes with the brand.
Try imagining the famous Virgin logo font in hot pink. It simply doesn’t have that appeal that registers with its red self or the reverse white against red form.
6. Think of the target audience
And last but not the least- your logo and associated font should appeal to your target audience. Think of the font used in the logo of the luxury fashion brand YSL. It is sleek, elegant, classic and refined. It is a deceptively simple logo. When you look at it, you imagine a tuxedo suit.
Again, look at the font used by another iconic luxury fashion brand- Balmain. It is decidedly bolder, more ornate and gilded. When you look at it, you visualize a dress with bold designer details that is definitely not shy about commanding attention.
When you look at their designs, you will instantly see that the products themselves invoke the feelings that their logos and fonts invoke in you. That is the example of the brands knowing that their target audiences are markedly different, and appealing to the respective groups in very distinct ways.
In short, these are some of the points that you should keep in mind while choosing the correct font for your logo.
Now we come to the actual work of choosing the correct font.
Best professional fonts for modern brands
When your you have your logo designed, you have to make sure that you have the perfect font to go with it. To make the right choice, you have to look at the main font families that are used in modern typography and decide which will be the best looking fonts for your logo.
This is going to be the go-to font for modern brands with a classic and elegant spirit. They are marked by small lines protruding from the ends of the letters.
Serif fonts are easy to read- which is why they are often used in long-form content or marketing materials that contain a lot of text.
Many luxury brands and long-standing businesses use serif fonts in their logos. A good example is the famous jewelry brand Tiffany & Co.
A sub-category of serif is the slab serif- which is also called block serif. As the name suggests, this type of font appears like a slab or a block. On the desi front, ITC is a brand that uses slab serif font in its logo.
Serif fonts have a no-nonsense look and are most favored in professional writing. If your brand is a formal, timeless and sophisticated- serif is for you.
As the name suggests- it is a font without “serifs” or the tiny protruding lines from the ends of the letters. While the difference is small- it alters the character of the font. Sans serif fonts have become the most favoured for modern, approachable brands.
Sans serif fonts are considered to be the most “readable” of all fonts. They give off an easy-going vibe, and it is said that readers are less likely to give up reading something if it is written in sans serif.
What they look like is self-explanatory. Like different people have different handwritings- and their script differs depending on the social occasion the writing is meant for- handwritten fonts cover an entire spectrum of styles.
They can be elegant when given a cursive bend, invoking some old-timey grandeur; they can be clean and peppy that look like notes friends leave for each other, or they can look like scrawls- which give them a quirky feeling.
With the rise of the Instagram generation, handwritten fonts have been gaining popularity. They give a personalized feel and make your brand seem more welcoming and warm. Some famous examples are the ones used by Kellogg’s and Johnson & Johnson. Instagram itself is a great example of a modern, handwritten font.
These are iconic fonts- and created specifically for the brands that they are used for. Again, the Game of Thrones font is a great example of this category- it is distinct and unique.
Anyone looking at the font will instantly relate it to the show.
Decorative fonts are unique and bold- and the biggest and the most memorable brands use their signature decorative fonts. Think of names like Subway, Coca Cola, Disney, Lego or Virgin- they are one-of-a-kind fonts that are used by only those particular brands.
Many companies want to go for decorative fonts because they are unique. However, creating an original font is not easy.
Contemporary logos- how do you choose the font?
As we said before, each font has a distinct personality and their styles invoke distinct feelings. Many big brands and flagship ventures go for tailor-made fonts. However, logo makers can always look up free modern fonts on the internet. You will be surprised to find that there are many free fonts available and easily incorporate them in your logo design.
If you are designing your brand logo yourself- you can also lookup good logo templates available online. Many of them come with ready-made fonts that complement the logo. In other cases, you can get some good recommendations online or from the tools that you use.
Contemporary logo fonts: trending now
Of late, we are seeing some two particular types of fonts that are becoming popular when it comes to modern logos.
Using universally recognized geometric shapes as the basis for your font is a safe choice. Adidas is a brand whose logo is based on geometric shapes, and the font complements it perfectly. Some good font families to consider here are Arquitecta Standard Family, Averta Standard and Gordita.
It is a no-brainer- if you have a minimalist logo, these types of fonts should be your first choice. Uber is a brand that uses a minimalist logo. Clean, modern fonts that are free of flourishes are the obvious choices for logos like these. Some good examples are Brooklyn, Museo Sans, Prime and Corbert.
Of course, every brand is unique, and depending on its spirit, designers can look up any font that suits it.
Contemporary logo- Some font tips
When you select a font for a logo, keep these things in mind:
1. First impressions matter
You must have heard the saying “first impression is the last impression”. It is true in the case of log designing too- the logo you put out first (including the font) will come to define your brand- for better or worse. As brands grow, or even if there is a rebrand- nobody goes for a drastic change; because that negates everything that the brand stood for.
The same happens with the logo. The first logo you create will always be remembered by your target audience, so you have to be very careful when choosing your logo and your font. Always go for the options that can evolve with time.
2. Be consistent
If you have used a font in your logo- use it in other design elements too. This ensures consistency in visual branding and also keeps your brand messaging unified in spirit.
3. Never use more than 2 fonts in a logo or any other graphic design
This is logo-designing 101, but this is flouted in so many cases. This is especially common among amateurs. You aim to not show off your collection of fonts, but to keep your designs look neat and professional. Adding multiple fonts will only make your image busy and chaotic.
Best Fonts for Designers for Modern Logo Design: Top 10 fonts
Helvetica: One of the best modern fonts for Logo Design
A neat, versatile font, the Helvetica family is used extensively by many brands, including the Nestle, BMW, Lufthansa and General Motors. It is a sans serif font, Being highly readable, it has remained a favorite among graphic designers. Helvetica Now is the latest version of it, and is redrawn for better clarity and readability.
The original Helvetica was designed for print. However, as more content today is consumed via screens, the new Helvetica Now has been redesigned for virtual media.
Garamond: One of the best modern typefaces for Modern Logo Design
Another classic font, you have seen the Garamond family at work with brands like Neutrogena and Rolex. This is a font which looks “prestigious.” If your brand has a premium appeal, you can choose Garamond.
Univers: One of the most popular Logo Fonts
The name itself declares how adaptable this font is. Univers is a large font family, and has stayed relevant in modern times because of its straightforward appearance. You have seen Univers in the logos of Ebay, KPMG and British Petroleum.
Bodoni: A powerful fonts for modern logo design
Bodoni is the go to name for many luxury brands like Calvin Klein, Vogue and Maserati. It is considered to be a favourite for modern logo designs- because it is declarative and readable. The Bodoni family fonts offers beautiful contrasts in thickness within its characters, which makes it easy to read. Elegantly geometric, if your brand is a luxury offering, you cannot go wrong with Bodoni.
Proxima: Cool modern fonts for logo design
Since it debuted, the Proxima Sans font has become quite popular in modern logos. It is a geometric font that is readable and neat- and it is considered to be very “human” in appearance. The new Proxima Nova refines the font further with better proportions, which gives it a very sleek look. Some brands that use Proxima in their logos are Mashable and Turkish Airlines.
Avenir: Clean modern fonts for logo design
Avenir is a classic font family, and it offers a commendable range from ultra-light to heavy forms. It also offers condensed faces. Moreover, Avenir is one of those few fonts that are as readable on print as on screens. It is not perfectly geometric but is easy on the eye. Avenir Next is its latest version. Spotify and Seagate are some brands that have used it in their logos.
Impact: Simple Modern Fonts for Logo design
If you are a movie buff, you have seen Impact at work. One of the most widely deployed fonts by Hollywood, the Impact debuted in 1965 and has been popular due to its “attention-grabbing” nature. It makes for great headers. Because it was developed specifically for advertising, it remains a favourite among designers. It is the font used in memes- so you can guess how popular it remains till this day. If you want to target the irreverent Millenial crowd- this is your font.
Futura: Modern bold fonts for Logos design
It may seem like an oxymoron that a font named “Futura” came into being in the 1920s. However, it is one of those truly timeless font families that continue to be wildly popular. The Domino’s Pizza logo is made in Futura, as is Best Buy and Dolce & Gabbana.
Horizon: One of the most professional looking fonts for Logo design
If you want to give a sci-fi/futuristic look for for brand, you cannot go wrong with Horizon, the font that looks like it got inspired by Star Wars. So it is not a surprise that this font was used in the name of the movie “Star Trek: Into Darkness.” Needless to stay, this is the logo for “nerd” brands. It is bold and angular, which makes it stand out easily.
Frutiger: One of the best looking fonts for Logo Design
Developed by the same people who developed Univers, Frutiger is again a timeless, readable font that continues to be popular. It is regarded by many as the “best general typeface.” You can see it at work in the logos of Flickr and Radio Shack.
Of course, these are the classic font families that will lend very well to modern logo designs. What about some new fonts that you can use for good logo designs?
Clean Modern Fonts: Top Fonts for Logos
Here are some trending fonts that have become very popular for a modern logo design of late.
Gilroy: One of the best fonts for branding
This is the “hot” font now- being used in a lot of current logos. Legible, neat and very screen-friendly, Gilroy is an approachable font. You can download it here.
Mont: Best bold fonts for designers
Probably known for its distinct “t”, Mont is a font family that makes for great headings. If you want your brand to be bold and declarative, you can look at its variations. Get it here.
Munich: Best font for modern minimalist logo
If you want to create a minimal modern logo then Munich is for you. Striking, condensed, minimalistic and elegant- Munich is a free font that is uniquely modern. It is very well suited for sophisticated, highly stylized brands. It is also free.
Rounded and bold- this is an easygoing, laid-back font that will be a hit with urban, zesty brands. This is another free font. You can download it here.
Its broken form and stencil-type appearance makes it perfect for fashion brands and startups. It has a DIY appeal, which attracts the eye and appeals to millenial sensibilities very well. You can find it here.
With the advent of the internet, logo designing and font selection have become easy. You can look at many free templates and fonts, even get light and powerful design tools and many places to look for inspiration.
For a modern logo design, you must do your research properly to find the perfect font for it.
Modern fonts play an important role in making your logo look fresh and urban- and help your brand connect well with your target audience. So, when you design your brand’s logo, look for fonts that will perfectly complement it and echo your brand’s true spirit.