Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point sizes, line lengths, line-spacing, and letter-spacing, and adjusting the space between pairs of letters.
Seriously, Wikipedia said it best.
Your logo font says a lot about your brand personality and it needs to be legible. When Sean proposed, he had written me a love letter and had it transcribed by a calligrapher.
Beautiful and romantic? Yes. Easy to read when it was three pages long and my nerves were all over the place? No.
For my brand, I knew that I wanted something clean, modern, and looked good in all caps. I was thinking bold but not in an obnoxious way.
Trust me, I love the look of swirly curly lettering but I did not feel that it appropriately represented the content of my blog. Your brand personality should shine through.
You should use 2-3 different fonts MAX. In my case, I used two total – one for the name of my website and another for my tagline. This is a common option which works nicely. Think of your header for a paper for school – usually bigger and bolder and then your paper was written in 12 point Times New Roman font underneath. It’s just like that, minus having to use Times New Roman.
My tagline is long, so it was important to choose typography where the letters were spaced and clear enough to read.
Additionally, can the font that you chose stand alone on its own? Often when tagging graphics and photos on Instagram, you would just use your Instagram handle.
When you tag graphics on Pinterest, usually you just use your website.
Does your logo typography serve all of these purposes and can it stand alone without your graphic image? For brand consistency, I would highly recommend that it does.
There are many resources out there that help you determine your brand colors and we can study color theory all day. For me, I am drawn to bright and colorful book covers and white and gray modern interiors so how the heck did I land on a black and white logo?
From my experience in marketing, printing in black and white is ALWAYS cheaper than printing in color. Often, printers will charge per color. Even if you have a colorful logo, I recommend making sure that it also looks good in black and white for possible printing purposes.
This also goes the other way – when needed, you can easily transition your logo to color. It’s so flexible.
It is timeless. Even if your color preferences change or your brand evolves, your black and white logo will be able to evolve with it.
It is legible. Growing up, I remember making my powerpoints colorful and then later I learned that white and black is ideal for presentations as it is the easiest for your audience to read. This has always stuck with me. You can’t beat the contrast between the two colors.
Speaking of versatility, you will need several versions of your logo depending on its use. When tagging your graphics or photos, it is good to have both an all white and all black version of your logo with transparent backgrounds. The black version would be used on a light image and the white version would be used on a dark image for visibility.
You can also create transparent background versions of your logo with just your graphic image and just the text as well.
I have many more different versions of my logo. Horizontal and square, just the image, and versions with the image + text. I also have them where the colors are swapped – black logo on a white background and a white logo on a black background. I decided to create all of these from the get go so that I am ready whenever I need to use each version. It was really easy to DIY on Canva!
I stand by intentional design and that is no different than when I created my logo from scratch. Let’s focus on the graphic image. So why the backpack?
Let me tell you!
When thinking about “exploring” I envisioned the usual; planes, suitcases, the world, a globe, a passport, a You Are Here symbol… Then my brainstorming took off – what about a plane circling the globe or what about a paper airplane? – that’s a cool take on it! There is nothing wrong with these options but none of them felt like me and I have seen them used in regards to travel blogs and companies before. But, brainstorming is all a part of the process and is an important part of landing on where you want to be!
Then I thought that there must be something else then it hit me – a backpack! That’s ME! It has meaning to me. Lightbulb moment 💡
Here is my why:
Story time! We drove my husband’s car until the engine went kaput and the cost to fix it was going to be more than the car was worth. Yep, totally totalled. We ended up taking it to the junkyard and I’m not sure if we even broke $100 for turning it in. A few weeks later, we got into an accident where my car flipped and was declared totaled. Yep, totally totalled AGAIN. We went from having 2 working cars to having 0 just like that. Fortunately, we lived within walking distance from my job and my husband was able to borrow a car to get to work until we could buy another car. However, this all happened in July and North Carolina has HOT summers so I would show up a hot sweaty mess to work. Lucky for me, this was the summer that Bird electric scooters appeared in downtown Raleigh so I started commuting on those. Riding with my tote bag slung over my shoulder was not ideal (if you have ridden an electric scooter, you know what I’m talking about!) so getting a backpack was the perfect solution! I fell in love with the Little America Mid Volume Backpack from Herschel. I would shove my laptop, water bottle, lunch, etc in it and be good to go. I loved that it freed up my arms and hands and I always had everything that I needed. That backpack entered my life during a rough patch and made it better.
When my husband and I travel, our backpacks are must haves. They carry our necessities and fit under the seat on airplanes. When we hike or explore new cities, we often pack a backpack and bring it along for the day. We often bring a raincoat or jacket to prepare for weather changes and a water bottle so that we stay hydrated. Some additional must haves are hand sanitizer, chapstick, and a cell phone charger.
When I think of backpacks, I think of students who are ready to grow and learn – continuing to grow and learn is one of my passions!
I’m just starting out so this logo was a DIY and the backpack was a free element on Canva 😝 Canva is an amazing online tool for your graphic design and visual content needs and they have several free templates to choose from. It is 100% user friendly and I highly recommend it! Did I mention that the basic package is free 99?
The backpack is not something that I forced but when it clicked, it definitely clicked! What is your why behind your logo design choices? Does it mean something to you and does it clearly communicate your message? Most importantly – does it tell your story? Several years ago, I had the pleasure of hearing Annie from Greatest Story Collective speak about how important sharing your story is to your branding. She also shared a huge no no. She explained that if your business is one thing, you should not have an image on your logo that does not align with what your business does to avoid confusion. For example, while working in the event industry, I had a business card from a cake baker who had a photo of flowers on her business card. At first glance, you would think that she was a florist. Your imagery has to be relevant to your business to avoid confusion and to clearly communicate your message.
Once you have landed on an image that tells your story and means something to you, I would bring your intention to the design of that particular image as well. Is it simple and scalable? In a style that shows your personality?
Now that my backpack has been unpacked – is there a logo for a business, blog, product, etc that you want to create? Or would you like to update your logo to best tell your story?
Some logos do not have an image at all. They are just color and typography. Wondering why I just chose white and black or why I chose this particular typography? Stay tuned, those blog posts are coming next.