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Font logos, more so than abstract graphic logos, fall out of style quickly. Without having to do an update every few years, erring on the side of timeless is always best. Many fonts can get dated really fast. Check out dafont.com. They all look great. But most would make for bad logo fonts so you really need to be careful of what looks great now versus what will look great on your business cards 10 years from now.

Helvetica is overused and it’s overused for a reason: it’s solid and it doesn’t fall out of style. It’s a sans-serif and sans-serifs are both bold and safe.

Personally, I use Arial way too much (which is also a sans-serif) . Our logo is in Arial. Our newsletter uses Arial. It may not be the newest, most interesting font out there, but you need to focus on the long term when designing your logo. Your focus should not be on what looks great now, but what will look good tomorrow, next year, and twenty years down the line when you’re (hopefully) still running your business.

Right now, I’m really big into Bebas Neue. It’s a sans serif, so it has a boldness to it that I like, and that I think fits most businesses. It’s also modern and different enough from other sans serifs that it stands out, but is still a safe choice.

Your first question when trying to pick a font for your logo should always be, “serif or sans serif?” (There are also a few other categories, but these two are the most common.) Whichever type you choose communicates a lot about your business to your customers. I’ve broken down some characteristics that I consider to fall under each of the two font types. Again, this is up to you and your business, but this is just my rule of thumb. These are very broad generalizations that I hope will make it a bit easier to decide which type of font is best for your business.

Serif business characteristics:

luxury, traditional, sophisticated, classic, refined, generally plays to an older demographic

Sans serif business characteristics:

bold, contemporary, straight forward, modern, more urban, plays to a younger demographic

For example, if you were a fine dining establishment, I’d say go with a serif. If you were a record label, I’d suggest a sans serif.

At Yellow Box, before we get anything started, we talk to the client to get a feel for them not as a business but as a business owner. Every small business owner puts so much of themselves into their business. After all, it has to be their passion to make it work. When choosing a font, make sure that it also fits your style, not just your business. Even if you do run a fine dining restaurant, the serif may not be right for you.

No matter what, never ever ever ever ever even for a second consider comic sans.

Serif recommendations:

  • Bodoni

Sans serif recommendations:

  • Bebeas Neue
    Avenir Heavy
    Din Bold