How to Use Fonts for Logo Designs Effectively (and Save Precious Time)

How to Use Fonts for Logo Designs Effectively (and Save Precious Time)

Chances are that if you’re a Graphic Designer, you’ve been commissioned to make a logo or two in your career. Okay, realistically you’re probably asked about logo design several times a week. While it might be frustrating to repeat yourself so often (maybe you even have canned email drafts saved up for this exact problem), it’s an indication that there is a HUGE need for virtually every business to differentiate themselves through branding. Enter the logo design conversation and great job security.


You shouldn't design everything from scratch. 

For as many small businesses out there in the world, there is the potential for just as many logo design and brand building opportunities. But perhaps you don’t have unlimited hours to slave away creating design logo concepts from scratch. How then do you optimize your time while delivering high quality designs that simply rock? The answer (at least mostly) resides in using custom typography to start your design process with.


Take advantage of custom typography.

Custom typefaces provide a few distinct advantages for any modern day Graphic Designer, regardless of skill level:

  1. They are already unique designs! If you use an original font like Provoke or RETRO 86, you’re beginning your design process on top of totally original work.
  2. You don’t have to build your lettering by hand, constantly trying to balance your letter shape widths, alignments, and even serifs or slabs.
  3. They help you start producing and designing logos at a much faster pace.
  4. If multiple weights are included in the typeface, they let you experiment with brand personality in just a few clicks.
  5. They help you to understand the intricacies of good typeface design, which can translate into good logo design.


Wordmarks for the win!

As a designer myself, I believe that the logo wordmark (the text-based version of a business’s logo) is more important than the logo’s iconography. While most commonly the icon and wordmark are displayed together, rarely is an icon displayed on its own without the wordmark. The biggest brands in the world get a pass though, because they drop millions of dollars in brand awareness yearly (I’m looking at you Apple and Starbucks)!

So if you can get the wordmark in line with the client’s needs, the logo design has a far better chance of being successful in the long run. There are so many options to consider when approaching a wordmark design. Should the design feel more modern or vintage? Informal or corporate? Upscale or economic? All of these tones can be controlled and achieved through various typography choices (serif, sans serif, slab serif, italics, weight, etc). 


How to pick the right font logo base.

For example, if you were designing for a software company, chances are they will want a more modern and technology-centric design like VersaBlock Pro or Portsmith. That’s a much different aesthetic than say a Real Estate agent who wants a friendly, approachable look like Greenstyle. When you start thinking of brand personality through the lens of typography design, the creative juices start to flow pretty quickly. And as long as you understand the kind of business your client has and the going trends among their industry and competition, chances are you will be able to select a logo font for them in a flash.

Here are a few custom typefaces I’ve created for specific industries. These typefaces are effective for all kinds of commercial use including logo fonts:


Expat Rugged Sans Serif

  • Expat - Handmade Rugged Sans-Serif

      I love distressed typefaces, and I made Expat (a super thick/bold design) for adventure brands. This covers companies who are all about exploration and discovery. A few examples that Expat would be the perfect font for would be outdoor equipment companies, tour guides, extreme sports (scuba diving, surfing, skydiving, etc), and travel booking agencies.


        Kuloko Tropical Sans Serif

      • Kuloko - Tropical Inline Sans-Serif

          Island living is the ultimate dream, which typically fuels most of the vacation industry from cruise lines to Airbnb treehouses! I made Kuloko to tap into that tiki tropical resort life. Kuloko works well as a logo font or brand typeface for restaurants, bars, vacation resorts, dance clubs, beachfront condominiums, and more.


            Robonix Futuristic Sans Serif

          • Robonix - Stylish Futuristic Sans-Serif

              Software and tech is synonymous with futurism. I created Robonix, a geometric and boxy typeface to align brand personality with the cutting-edge feel of modern technology companies. Examples of ideal businesses for Robonix include tech startups, website design agencies, programming software companies, IT companies, etc!


                Riverwest Vintage Sans Serif

              • Riverwest - Vintage Industrial Sans-Serif

                  Imagined straight from the 19th century, I designed Riverwest to capture the look and feel of a specific time period in U.S. history (Industrial Revolution through to the Westward Expansion). Brands that could take advantage of Riverwest’s distinct look include: niche bar and grills, vintage map designers, history museums, unique train tours, documentaries and publishing houses.


                    Ardin Wedge Serif

                  • Ardin - Distressed Wedge Serif

                      Featuring high contrast elements and sharp angles, Ardin was designed to combine a high-end elegant style with modern bold presence. This unique font style can help to modernize established companies who may be looking to reach a new generation audience. Established companies like small (mom and pop) jewelry stores, clothing and shoe companies, niche repair shops, perfume and cologne brands, watch or pocketwatch companies, and more.


                        Revv racing typeface

                      • Revv - Modern Racing Sans-Serif

                          Inspired by motocross and motorsport racing, Revv was designed to bring the sense of speed and power with modern typography elements like unconventional character shapes and rounded edges. Naturally, companies relating to the automotive or racing industry are a perfect fit for Revv. Body shops, dealerships, racing teams, restoration garages and more could benefit from a font logo made from Revv!

                            Regardless which typeface you choose to use as your font logo base, the decision not to start designing a logo from scratch is an incredible time-saver, and one that can even spark new design inspiration as well. Because Parker Creative typefaces are designed and optimized in vector format, the shapes of the letterforms are easily manipulated inside of vector editing software to create further logo customizations.


                            Focus more energy on developing the brand.

                            Having designed logos for clientele both from scratch and from a font logo base, I can confidently say that I prefer to work with a pre-existing design asset like a custom font. It enables me to focus more of my energy on the iconography portion, the color palette, and branding usage across various channels, and I think a workflow like that will work wonders for your time management too. Heck, I used one of my fonts to make the Parker Creative logo and icon. Yep, that was made with Revv!