Gotham Vs Brandon Grotesque Vs Bodoni

Excelsior's picture

Trying to do the logotype for a realty brand. Was looking at this classy, upmarket, clean sort of highbrow look for the brand. Colours like Golds and Blacks and some combinations of yellowish greys.

First I felt that the typeface choice might influence the feel more than the logo. After going through some type choices like a still at school designer, I thought of using bodoni with some good amount of tracking and nicely pairing it with helvetica nueue for subtext.

But as I went on with the process of designing the logo I felt this was a bad move, should have maybe designed the logo first and then type. My three logo options came out fairly geometric and clean cut and suddenly I couldn't see bodoni being paired with that. (Options had strong rectangular feel, one is like a cuboid, another one a very ladder like feel.)

So I shifted my attention to some good clean looking sans serifs, the only typeface that seems to fit was Gotham ( Maybe Telefon too but I didn't like the characteristic E for this particular task ). Another typeface I really like is Brandon Grotesque and thought it might work too. Comparing these I feel G0tham might do a better job because it seemed sharper, but it is so overused right now. The sensible part of me says I should go with something that seems to suit the work, another part of says that using something that is everywhere doesn't really set the brand as apart. On the other hand Brandon Grotesque is "in". sort of. SO can't decide again.

Can't seem to decide, Help on this sort of a thing?

Also, I know the brand attributes I have given might come off as very subjective, but that's the generic description I could come up with. Also, how do you get that high brow, clean, premium look using Sans serif typefaces. Lets assume I pick a geometric sans serif for the main brand/logo what family of typefaces would make for some good collateral text. Tips, thoughts, Feedback, critique of my views will be very very helpful.

Also started looking at Neutraface as an option.

hrant's picture

If you're worried about over-use (as you should be) then Gotham is totally out of the picture...

Telefon might be a good choice. Get them to change the "E" for you (probably for a fee). I'll ping them.

The thing is, a monoline sans is not "classy", unless maybe it's narrow. You need contrast and/or serifs for that. What about something like this?


donshottype's picture

I agree that for your objectives a high-contrast or thick and thin sans like Seaside might work very well. Search using these terms and you will find some more in this vein. BTW this style, in the lighter weights, has been used for upmarket logo designs in France for many years.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Thank you for considering Telefon. We’d be happy to modify the E, or assist in fine tuning the wordmark. You can reach us on post [at] monokrom [dot] no.

Sye's picture

I disagree with the idea that a monoline sans cannot be classy. It easily can, in any weight. It's about spacing. Generous spacing (either around the word mark/logo or within it) consistently suggests 'premium' or 'class'. Telefon, Gotham, Neutra are all good options. Personally, I would pick Telefon out of that bunch because it is not as common in my neck of the woods (Australia) but ubiquity should not be a major design consideration IMO unless you know that competitors of the company are using those faces. Let your symbol also continue to guide you.

If you are really worried about the monoline sans thing, then I'd suggest a 'flared' type might do the trick. Trajan Sans Pro is lovely and super classy for example.

Excelsior's picture

Thanks for the inputs everyone. While I like Sye feel that geometric monoline sans can give a good classy look if one handles the tracking/kerning the right way, pretty sure hhp has some reasons to believe what he does too. Personally have an aversion to the look of seaside with the kind of mindset I am in with this project. Any more knowledge in terms of general practices when setting type and making typeface choices in this sort of a case would be helpful too.

Also what family of typefaces or typeface examples would work nicely with geometric typefaces and could be general guidance, in things like business cards etc. I am currently considering Meta, Helvetica Neue or Flama might work out as good pairing options for lets say logotype subtext or even in business cards.

General and specific guidelines that help sort out and define an approach to such problems ? Besides experience and habit obviously.

Also Frode (Edit: Frodo), man that's really great, If I finally end up choosing Telefon, I will be surely contacting you on this. Great to know that some people still work with heart.

hrant's picture

Wow, these days even Halflings make fonts. ;-)


Excelsior's picture

Hahahaha Sorry for the mess up . Pop culture much?

Sye's picture

In terms of pairing, or supporting types, I tend to look for something that contrasts with the main type. It's the difference that creates the visual energy. IMO.

Thomas Phinney's picture

> I disagree with the idea that a monoline sans cannot be classy.

I am with Sye on that one.

If you are looking for a relatively monoline/geometric sans, that feels classy, you could do worse than my own Hypatia Sans.

hrant's picture

I don't think it's impossible, but it is a matter of... amplitude.


Té Rowan's picture

Mark/space ratio has a say, too. Semplicità (Pro) is quite classy, IMAO.

Sye's picture

If you have a Creative Cloud license you can get 2 weights of Hypatia from TypeKit for desktop use, and the full set for web use:

I hope they release the rest for desktop use!

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