Am I Your Type?

At both of our AlphaGraphics locations, Waltham, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island, we design a lot of logos. Our design staff has created hundreds of logos over the last  10 years. Some logos highlight graphic shapes or renderings, and some are lettering only. There is a tremendous amount of variation, and the single biggest contributor to a logo’s personality–even more than graphics–is typography.

metal type, typography and graphic design at AlphaGraphics Providence and WalthamA logo can be just about anything, but it’s generally helpful if it contains the name of a business. Consider Nike, one of the most well-known brands. Their typeface is a part of their logo. However, Mercedes need only use their circle with three intersecting lines, and you know exactly what brand that is. Generally for small businesses, you should include your actual name in your logo–at least until your business becomes a household name.

When designing your logo then, you will likely want a graphic and your company name. Logos that are words-only are perfectly acceptable too. There are thousands of examples of word-only logos. What’s important to keep in mind in designing a logo, whether you have a graphic image with your company name or just the company name, there’s nothing more revealing about you than the typeface used in your logo.

Some people call them fonts. Some call them typefaces, but in any case, the personality of your brand is revealed by the personality of its font. All fonts were designed at a particular point in time or for a specific purpose, and they all bring their particular baggage along with them wherever they appear.

What you might have thought were just letters actually have a lot more to say than you may realize. This is obvious in some faces more than others, and if you consider the examples, you see how different the personality of each logotype is.

If you didn’t know what kind of business each of these logos was for, what kind of business personality would you think they had?

Consider the following examples, and my gut reaction to what kind of business these would represent:
Typography examples: graphic designers at AlphaGraphics Providence and Waltham know their type1: Fairly playful, lighthearted. Child care. Take out sandwiches.
2. Masculine, active, unrefined. Bait shop, bowling alley.
3. Formal. Tuxedo rental.
4. Exotic, Persian. Oriental rugs.
5. Ritzy, formal, special. Jewelry store, fancy restaurant, specialty clothiers.
6. Goofball. Miniature golf, playground equipment.
7. General, straightforward, kind of boring. Could be anything.
8. Outgoing, emphatic, pleasant, something to say. Hardware store, outdoor gear.
9. Geeky, digital, cutting edge. Computer store, high tech products.
10. Off-the-cuff, casual. Boating supplies, casual cafe.

When you need a logo design for a new business or you want to redesign a logo that you think needs refreshing–and many businesses of all sizes do this–you can rely on AlphaGraphics to help you find the font that reveals the personality you want your business to convey. When you need a logo design for a new business or you want to redesign a logo that you think needs refreshing–and many businesses of all sizes do this– AlphaGraphics Providence or Waltham Mass have the design expertise to help you find the font that reveals the personality you want your business to convey.

Marilyn MonroeA word of caution. While the personalities on the surface may seem really straightforward, sometimes there are historical references that you may or may not pick up on. The following military-font example is very obvious, but others, to the uninitiated, may not be. Think if you met Marilyn Monroe at a party, she might just look like a pretty blonde, but if you really knew her and her history, you’d be a lot more affected than if you thought she was just another pretty face. Same thing with fonts. Some might look good to you, but they might have stories that you might not want to associate with your brand. This is where experts like us come in.

Here are even more personalities revealed by these fonts. What do you think of when you look at each one?

Type reveals your business's personality more than anything11. Military. Rifle range, Army surplus store.
12. Circus. Tattoo parlor, fun and old-timey bar.
13. Formal, Roman, serious, refined. Steak house, high-end anything.
14. Casual, easy-going. Crab shack, barber shop, deli.
15. Fun-loving, exuberant. Balloons and party supplies, gag gift shop.
16. Formal, refined, special. White glove services, fancy anything.
17. Eastern-European,  turn of the century. Loaded with art house zeitgeist.
18. Casual, no-worries, nautical.

19. Fun, outgoing, playful. Mexican restaurant.

If you’re about to undertake a logo design or redesign project, give us a call and we’ll help guide you through the process. You can rely on our graphic design, typography and logo design services. Of course we can set you up with business cards and all of the marketing materials where you can show off your personality!


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