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Logokit 400
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4.1 Choosing Great Typefaces

In this lesson we’re going to do an exercise in typeface hunting.

4.1 Choosing Great Typefaces

Hey, there. Our logo kit is really starting to shape up now. We've got some icons ready, and some frames to help pull the design together. But there's something that's still missing, and it's gonna be key to giving your logo personality, clarity, and a distinct voice. And that thing is typography. When it comes to typography for your logos, you've got two choices. You can either create custom type, which is gonna be completely unique to a logo. And in those particular cases, such as if you're designing for quite a high profile business with a big branding budget, this might be the best choice. In general, it's absolutely fine to use an existing typeface. It's just dependent on a few conditions. First of all, the font has to be licensed for commercial work. So this means that the typeface designer has agreed that you can use that font for designs that are going to be distributed or sold. So sometimes on font sites, you'll see that you can use a font for personal use or commercial use. If you're going to create the logo for someone else, you need to have a commercial license. The good news is that you don't always have to pay for commercially licensed fonts. There's some great free resources out there, and we'll take a look at that in a minute. The other thing that you need to be aware of is that most fonts are only licensed for you to use it commercially. So if you're designing a logo for a client and you're using a font in the design, it's not legal for you to send them the font file. They will need to pay for the license before using the logo. One way of getting around this is to either customize an existing font to make it more unique. So, for example, you might tweak the shape of some of the letters to give it a different design. Another option is to simply outline the text once you've formatted it and send this as a set you designed to the client. By outlining the font, you are avoiding sharing the licensed font file itself. So, with this in mind, the font world is actually your oyster, as long as you're aware of the licensing requirements and how to share your final design legally with your clients. Then you're able to select a typeface that's gonna make a great team with your icons and your frames. We're gonna have a little break from Illustrator and have a browse online in this lesson. I'm gonna show you some of my favorite sites for finding commercially licensed fonts, so you might be able to find some great for your own designs in the future. There are tons of sites out there that sell fonts or offer them for free, but I have a few fail-safe sites I find I always come back to for a combination of quality, variety, and value as well. One of my go-tos is myfonts.com, which is a great site for finding really cutting edge stuff. If you go to the Hot New Fonts page, you get a real sense of the sort of type styles that are new and exciting and starting trends with other designers. You can also find some fantastic fonts on Envato Elements, and again, this has a very current feel to it. As we mentioned earlier, it's really important for your logo designs to feel contemporary and relevant, and a typeface that just feels really right for now is gonna give you that straight away. As you're browsing these font selections online, you've got to start thinking about how a typeface is going to relate to the designs that you've already created. It's got to match the style and the personality of the icons. I feel like it's just a very natural part of the logo. So I'm browsing on here, and I'm just constantly analyzing the design and the mood of the fonts that I'm seeing. I'm looking for commonalities of the logo elements I've already built. So even if something like Addington is a really elegant serif, it's not quite feeling right for my why not style. And actually something like Bergen Sans feels a bit more in tune with the amenable but curvy style of my icons, so that would be an option to consider. I want to take you over to one of my favorite font sites, which every designer on a budget comes back to a lot, and that is fontsquirrel.com. So what's great for us here is that all the fonts are not only free, but they're licensed for commercial use, too, which is great. So have a browse through what's hot, what's recent, and get a sense of the sort of type style that you're looking for. When you can narrow it down a bit more, head over to the classification panel and choose categories that make a good fit. So, I'm going to choose Sans, Geometric, which I think is gonna find fonts that will match up well with my existing style. Okay, so instantly I love the look of this font, which is called Acre. It's geometric and contemporary, but it's also got something about it, it's a nice rounded, friendly font. So we can get Acre Medium from Fontspring, which is another really nice site, and you've also got the option of testing your own logo text in here and purchasing other weights as well. Okay, awesome. So once you've found the font that you think is the one, then you can download it, install it onto your computer, and you're ready to start playing around with formatting. And we'll look at that in the next lesson.

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