Creating Typographic Logos

Jennifer Farley
Jennifer Farley

When you’re getting started with logo design it can be helpful to think about the categories that logos fall into. These are:

  • typographic
  • type and symbols
  • symbol only

Here, we’ll take a look at the first category, typographic logos.

Typographic logos or wordmarks are logos made entirely from type. They suffer from the misconception that they are very quick to throw together and that their design doesn’t require any skill. This is absolutely not the case. A logo designer needs to address questions such as “who is the client” and “who is the target audience.”

While it can seem straightforward to simply use a company or individual’s name on the logo, the typography must be of a high standard or it will look amateurish. Good typography means choosing a suitable typeface (or making a bespoke or proprietary typeface), looking after word spacing and letter spacing. The letterforms should be considered for their shape and legibility. Remember also that a font that may be trendy now can look dated very quickly. Classic typefaces are “classic” for a reason.

An advantage of typographic logos is that the mark is recognizable. There must be hundreds of logos featuring symbols of globes, swooshes and other meaningless shapes but there can be no mistake made when the logo consists of a type treatment of the company name. A disadvantage is that type only logos can look generic if not handled professionally.

Famous Typographic Logos

Here are a few examples of some well-known typographic logos.

Below you can see two logos created using a stylized script typeface. They clearly are two very different types of company with two very different target audiences.

Stussy-StockLogo1_1 harrods-logo

Marks and Spencer and Calvin Klein both use a clean sans-serif typeface.

mands CalvinKlein

White text on a red background, anyone ever had a pair of jeans made by either of these companies?

levisLogo diesel_logo

What are your favorite typographic logos?