Typography Question on Logo

ronaldnztan's picture

Thank you for your time to read my post and I am humbled before your expertise on typography. I would like to know what fonts are suitable for a name logo for website and business card. I like "skinny fonts," I don't know the proper family name for them. Ideally, I'd like them remain the same. Do you have any suggestions for a logo? My name "ronald NZ tan" is in Helveltica Neue 33 Extended and Optima nova was used in "PHOTOGRAPHER."

I am novice when it comes to typography; however, I did my initial homework and I read on the internet that the suggested usage of fonts is a mix and match. Helvetica Neue is a sans serif and to make great design, it was suggested that I use a serif font in addition to the sans-serif.

My previous branding logo was, ITC Bauhaus Light and my name appears in all lowercase, "ronald n. tan."

Birdseeding's picture

Well, mixing and matching is about more than serif or sans-serif. Think about it like clothing - When you dress you want to create a balance between items of clothing that are similar and those that are very contrasted. The worst you can do is dress in, say, pink and red together - because they're almost close enough to match, yet not far enough apart to provide nice contrast.

When pairing typefaces like this - if you even want to do that, one typeface is often enough - you want to think of each aspect of the types and see if they either move in the same direction/match or in very opposite directions/contrast nicely. The problem with Helvetica and Optima is that they're sort of moving in just slightly different directions: both are sans serifs with an idea of cleanness, yet they do it sufficiently differently to jar (like pink and red), at least to my eye.

JamesM's picture

I agree with Birdseeding that Helvetica and Optima aren't different enough.

Why are "N" and "Z" spaced so tightly?

Frode Bo Helland's picture

It looks like you need a designer, Ronald.

ronaldnztan's picture

@JamesM,

The reason for the close kerning (I am learning typographical parlance), is because it was suggested to me by a retoucher. I know she's isn't an expert on text like you folks are.

I'll modify and post an update.

Thank you both for your time to comment.

ronaldnztan's picture

@frode frank

Photographers are starving artists.

Besides, I actually want to learn basic typography (logos).

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Logos are not BASIC typography. Far from. And designers are starving from time to time too - they might just understand where you're coming from and be able to offer you a good deal. You're free to drop me a mail if you're interested.

Alaskan's picture

I agree with Frode, and not just because I'm a starving designer. I used to be a starving photographer, too.

Logos are not basic by any stretch of the imagination; it's not something you can learn in a weekend any more than you can master studio portrait lighting in a weekend. You might be able to make the strobes work properly, but as you know, it takes years to actually get beautiful results. And like great photography, a great logo looks effortless and natural, but these results are the product of serious study and practice and not just an eye for the beautiful.

thetophus's picture

Ronald, I've been in your situation many times. A great solution for you would be a trade of services. The barter system is far too underrated these days but it's a great way for the arts in general to cross-pollinate.

For example, when I was in school a graphic designer came to talk to one of my classes on several occasions. He said he was able to get a great long-term contract with a busy downtown restaurant by initially offering to trade services. It was a win-win for both of them-- he gave them great advertising and design solutions that brought more business to the restaurant; he got a long-term contract and free catering for his wedding.

At any rate, what Frank and others have suggested may be your best bet. Get a designer to craft you a logo that will do the most for you. It's good that you are learning about typography and design and you should continue to do so. But for now utilize the skills of an expert in the field!

JamesM's picture

I've known several instances of a photographer and a graphic designer trading services.

ronaldnztan's picture

Thank you everyone for contributing. I'll find someone to barter with. :-)

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