Choosing letterhead fonts to use with custom logotypes

spark's picture

In designing custom typographic brandmarks I always wonder how other designers approach the choice of companion fonts for letterhead and business card. Do you have hard and fast rules? If the brandmark is clearly based on a font do you try to match the companion type to it? If you contrast to the brandmark do you have a distinct philosophy for how you contrast your choice, or is it intuitive?

And what do you do when the brandmark is its own child of the universe with no clear relationship to existing fonts? The majority of my work needs to be highly proprietary and so I usually create the logo without reference to typefaces. I find these situations the trickiest, and sometimes get pressure from a client to go with a conservative font-based option because they think it makes the job of choosing the letterhead fonts easier. How much thought do you give to how the custom typographic design will fit with typesetting--and does that concern modify your design process? My own choices are usually very intuitive, and based on a hard-to-codify aesthetic of color/weight/stylistic feel and usually more based on contrast than similarity.

anhng's picture

Hi Spark,

I'm not an expert on this, but I think that, a lot of viewer, sometimes user friendly font like Arial/ Helvetica or Times, etc... become invisible, people don't really pay much attention to it, even though they look at it everyday. For designer, they might notice it, and we all agree that those fonts are easy to read. Why?

There are million (i'm not sure with the number :) logos, logotypes, brandmarks, business card, letter head using the same typefaces, or similar typeface, but does any one notice it ? and most of it was designed based on aesthetic/ memorable of color/ weight/ style/ to attract the viewers. I still don't know why?

For Type Design, I think each designer has their own design process, some might leaning more toward trendy user-friendly/ invisible typeface, other lean toward experimental, hard to read typeface and such ... Sometimes I wished we all use pictograph instead of using boring roman letter.

Lastly, if I work for a client, my choices will be depend on the most popular trend/ style that is out there because my intuitive tells me, that font is boring.

:D

Bert Vanderveen's picture

Color and contrast.

Same color or contrasting color (where color stands for the perceived grayness of the typeface). Same style or contrasting style (where style could be humanist sans serif). Etc.

. . .
Bert Vanderveen BNO

Miss Tiffany's picture

Interesting, but difficult. The choice all depends upon the project at hand and the end game in mind. I'd agree that it all comes down to intuition. And usually this does include wanting a specific amount of contrast (or lack thereof).

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