Posts Categorized: Fonts

10 Awesome Examples of Typographic Logos

This post is about the type of logo that some people call a LogoType. It goes by other names as well, but I’m referring to logos that are essentially text with very little graphic elements. Michael Lambert at Fredd Design calls them Alphanumerics. This is what he said on his website about this category of logo. “This type of mark is the most widely-used logo and we are bombarded with them wherever we go on practically whatever we see. An alphanumeric logo is your company or brand spelled out, literally, but the treatment of the typography is usually unique unto the name itself and can therefore be trademarked and be treated as a logo.”

You can probably think of many logotypes off the top of your head, because they’re so popular. Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Microsoft, and Google’s logos are just a few examples. When done correctly, it can last for many generations and always represent the company quickly and confidently, without distracting the eye with graphics that can get stale over time. Plus, it shows creativity…I mean, look at Red Lobster’s logo…”wow, you’ve put a lobster that’s red above your text…how did you come up with that?”

10. The Ambigram
The Ambigram is my favorite kind of logotype, because it takes a lot of patience and skill to create. It also stays in the mind of the viewer, because the eye has fun reading it in different ways. Ambigrams are words that can be read in more than one way, so it doesn’t have to just be turned upside down. They can also be read from the side differently, or can have words within words.






9. The “Literal Embodiment”

This style makes use of the company name, turning it into a visual metaphor. It doesn’t work with all names, but when it does, it really works to represent the name. Employing this style also ensures that the logo will be remembered. But you can only use this style with certain names.





8. The AlphaGlyph
This is a design using the letters to create art, thus eliminating the need for a graphic. This requires the designer to really get familiar with the shapes of letters, and to explore many different possiblities. When it works, it works, though, and you can get some really elegant designs. It also helps reinforce the name of the company.







7. The Integrated Graphic
This style works when the graphic is meant to be not subliminal…the comapny really is sure about the product, and wants you to associate them with the leader in that product or service. Amazon does it with the smile that also means A-Z. Creating it takes a lot of thought into something that really represents the company well, and won’t need to be changes if the company shifts directions.





6. The Typography Lover’s dream
This is when the text is front and center, and gets a lot of loving attention to each shadow and curve. ANy supporting graphics are incidental, almost unnecessary, because the shapes of the letters have been lovingly massaged until they’re perfect. This may not be a very common kind of logo, but this style is getting more popular every day, based on a quick search on Behance.





5. The Monogram
A close cousin to the Alphaglyph, this is where the designer uses an acronym and make the rest of the text very incidental, using visual hierachy techniques. It’s good for companies that WANT be known for their initals, like HP, AOL, and VW. Usually this logo starts out its career as an alphaglpyh accompanied with the explanatory text, and then evolves into just the acronym once brand recognition is established.






4. The Typographic Crest
Very similar to #6, but this one is text enclosed in a shape. THis makes it good fora ll kinds of backgrounds, and easier to embroider. New York Life’s logo does this, and it’s never seen without it’s enclosure.







3. The Dangler
This style employs a descender or ascender from one of the letters being put to good use to describe the business. It could be a tail, a moustache, or a piece of food, as long as it’s joined with a simple graphic. A close cousin to the Integrated Graphic style, but it has the graphic apart from the text, so either can be used separately.







2. The Hidden Graphic
FedEx did this and did it well with their hidden arrow. They’re fun to find, and I find myself constantly looking for this kind of thing. You can find it in Tostito’s, Staples, and Baskin Robbins. This example isn’t very hidden, but I think it counts.







1. The Calligraphic Wonder
I am really starting to appreciate this kind, because it takes a designer that loves typography. This style is also good for t-shirts, hoodies, posters, and events. It gives weight to the text, and shows that the company cares enough to take time with their message.






All of these logos were done by the talented designers at

Tags: , , ,

Rob Marsh

Monk Logos—A Meditation

UPDATE: Since this post we closed our little design shop. However, hope is not lost. Many of the talented designers who worked for us then are featured at Want to work with them? Check them out there.

Last week it was monkeys. This week it’s monks.

We recently took on a project for a new start up called Monk Networks—a technology company that mixes software, systems, and network management for small to medium business start-ups. For their logo, they asked to see cartoon style monks in most of the concepts. They also asked for an icon that could stand alone, without the rest of the logo (a good idea if you are set on having an iconic logo).

We presented them with seven concepts to choose from (they purchased our most popular Gold Package which includes three designers and guarantees at least six unique concepts).

Here are a few of the concepts we presented.

First up is a fun, cartoon-style monk icon matched with a strong, bold font—exactly what the client requested:



Of course, we like to present as wide a variety of concepts as possible (this is one reason we put several designers on each project, instead of having a single designer crank out several concepts that end up feeling too similar). So, we also presented a few concepts that were a little more serious feeling. This next composition of a buddhist monk includes a brush stroke of color and a stylized, calligraphic-feeling font.



We presented another more serious option, though this one might look a little too much like a jedi or grim reaper. Still it has a good strong font and a memorable icon:



Lastly, another, very different concept. This one uses a thinner font treatment and a more abstract icon or a praying monk which the designer placed where the “o” should be in the name. It’s not exactly what the client requested, but as occasionally happens, they liked this one the best.



Rob Marsh

Semi-regular Design Team Gathering

Every couple of weeks, the artists here in the design shop post on the walls a bit of their favorite work from the previous ten days or so. Then the design team “votes” on the best work of all those that are submitted. Each of the designers with the best work gets a small gift card as well as the applause and respect of their peers. (I say this a little tongue in cheek—in truth there is usually much joking around and the good-natured ribbing you’d expect). Often times the designs that are presented were not selected by the client—but are amazingly good and deserving of some recognition. Thus the reason for the get-together (it’s definitely not a meeting).

We’ve been doing this 2-3 times a month for almost ten years, and the incredible quality of the design we hang up on the wall each time we get together never ceases to amaze me. It’s a good reminder of the incredibly talented people I get to work with every single day. Last week’s gathering featured about 30 logo, stationery, and website designs. Here’ are two of my favorites (in both cases here, the client ultimately selected another composition)…

The first is for a golf course restaurant called Tomasso’s that uses lettering to suggest the idea of spaghetti in addition to a nice icon that represents both golf and a pasta bowl (I’m getting hungry just looking at it):



The second is one of my favorite logo designs I’ve seen in a while. It is a simple, custom lettered, logotype, and in my opinion, a great logo…



See more great logo design in our gallery. (Or try your hand at designing your own logo at that last link).

Rob Marsh

Icons or Logotype?

The vast majority of logo projects we get ask for an icon as part of the logo. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course. There are plenty of successful organizations with iconic logos—Nike, Apple, Major League Baseball, and AT&T, to name just four.

But there’s another option when it comes to your logo, the wordmark or logotype. There are plenty of successful companies that use this kind of logo as well: IBM, Fedex, Exxon, Disney and Microsoft.

So why do so many entrepreneurs ask for icons rather than wordmarks? I’m not sure I have a good answer for that question, except maybe people are trained to think of logos as images or pictures, rather than words. (This is true of both iconic logos and logotypes—we see them as pictures.) So, when customers think about logos, they literally think of icons and ask for them, rather than having the designer try to do something unique with the type.

In addition to iconic logos, our designers have come up with some pretty amazing logotypes. Here are two of my favorites from our archive. The first was a concept we presented to Sonoma Vinegar Works that makes use of colors and shapes to communicate the idea of grapes. I love this logo:

The second is for a small start-up down the street called Needle. Given the track record of the founders, it’s pretty likely you’ll be hearing more from them in the future.



Both of these logos include hidden elements (though not that hidden) and strong font choices, demonstrating that when they are done right, a logotype can be every bit as effective as an iconic logo—maybe more so. Something to consider if you’re thinking about creating a new logo for your organization.

Designer, My Profile
Filed under Fonts, Logos.

A Timeless Font like Papyrus

Note: This is the first post on the new blog by Paul, one of our talented designers, and the illustrator who did this

Ever since a client asked me to change the Helvetica font in her logo to “something more timeless like Papyrus”, I’ve been thinking about this. More timeless than Helvetica? I should be used to requests like this by now. After all, clients don’t always use terms like “timeless” the same way a designer does. It’s like asking to re-typeset a book, changing it from that new-fangled, flash-in-the pan Caslon font to something classic like Umbra. So I tried it…



I began seeing the world in a whole new light. What if all the logos that used Helvetica were “updated” to the font Papyrus? How would the world look?






American Airlines would have to change their entire website.







Better or worse? You decide.