The Font that Shall Not Be Named in a Logo

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Tyler Young's picture
Joined: 8 Aug 2003 - 8:01pm
The Font that Shall Not Be Named in a Logo

Okay, I think I've talked about this before, but I do like Helvetica. That's right, the H word. But while I like its look for certain layout tasks, I've never actually designed with it before. As in a logo.

So here's my question: can Helvetica be used to communicate a message, without the fact of its usage overriding that message?

I have a property I'm developing that combines the word plan and connect in its name. Plannect. Plan as a word feels to me to be rather impersonal, unattached. In fact, a common use for the word is to separate one's self from responsibility for a thing: "I'm planning on doing that, yes," which means I may or may not do it, depending on how I feel or how dificult it turns out to be.

Hence, Helvetica.

The word connect, on the other hand, is going to stand for friendship and sharing and family. So here's the logo as I've played with it so far; the two n's seem like the logical place phonetically and graphically to illustrate the act of connection.

Can anyone tell me if this is a horrible idea or not?


Ch's picture
Joined: 4 Feb 2007 - 7:48pm

my opinion: use of helvetica is fine. i'm not hater of the font; if it works, it works.

but i'm not crazy about the joining devices. they seem forced and redundant. the word is already joined. a joiner spanning all the letters might work, if you can make it seem natural and not some sort of helvetica/sanskrit hybrid.

but, my unknown friend, the real bad news is that i don't like the word itself. it's awkward and hard to say, creating an impression of mild confusion - exactly the opposite of your intent.

i think because the "pl" leads you to one mouth form and then the "ect" suddenly forces another. somehow the n or nn doesn't really bridge comfortably. it also reminds me of too many other arbitrary words: planet, yech, heck, etc. the "ect" sound is unpleasant when isolated from its familiar source. again, it feels forced.

i suspect i would respond better without the graphic nn bridge being so emphasized.
understatement can be more powerful.

sorry, just my reaction. what about a more elegant design of the two complete words combined ? i know the HEAVYlite combo is used a lot, but something along those lines might work here. best of luck with your venture, however it may be logo'd !!!

Tyler Young's picture
Joined: 8 Aug 2003 - 8:01pm


Thank you for putting so much thought into your critique. I have no problem at all with your distaste for the design and the word. It helps me a great deal.

I agree that phonetically, the word's beginning and ending sounds conflict. But that brings up an argument I've been having internally: does the word, regardless of phonetic grace, conjure the message that the brand allows people to connect with one another through their plans?

In other words, if a web user were to come across the word Plannect in an article, would it give that reader a plain idea of what the brand's service was?

Normally, I am a huge persuer of aesthetics, and that includes the way words combine in speech. But in this case, I tried to put communication above that.

As for the connectors, I was using Helvetica's own 'u' in condensed form, for just the reason you describe the logo violating: a natural, family of curvatures.

That said, I certainly don't want to turn people off with the name!

Alexander Kominek's picture
Joined: 10 Dec 2004 - 6:27pm

I thought "Plannect" was a portmanteau of "planet" and "connect" so I didn't get the "planning" connotation (it almost rhymes with "planet"). I also don't like the connectors in the logo. I would suggest trying a connected script rather than trying to add connections to Helvetica.

- Lex

Gabriel Vivas's picture
Joined: 1 Jun 2006 - 2:53pm

I agree with Lex, if you're looking for connection Helvetica is not the most "connected" type.
I'm with Chris on the redundacy topic, if the "connection" has a priviledge in the verbal expression, maybe you can focus the graphic into another, complementing concept, and not just make it redundant.

I would suggest either making the verbal more "plan" like, and show the connection graphically, or viceversa. OR work on a clearer verbal expression and compliment graphically with a different concept (not plan or connect, which is what you do, but a concept based on the particular way you do those things).

As is, maybe the one I like most is C, beacause as I see it, the treatment is in much more accordance to the typeface than the others.
Be aware that the way you are proposing this "connection", sacrifies some legibility, just have that in mind.

Also, maybe the particular weight of Helvetica you chosed doesn't favor some movent you are trying to generate. Think for instance in the "tail" of the lowercase "a", it is caracteristic of Helvetica and its better observed in regular to light weights; here it is almost invisible.

I'm not against the verbal solutions you came out with, but I do think it could be clearer.



J. Edward Sanchez's picture
Joined: 10 Sep 2004 - 2:47pm

I thought this thread was going to be about this font.