Less Is More? Choosing a logo font for my small business.

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Michael's picture
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Joined: 20 Feb 2012 - 12:47pm
Less Is More? Choosing a logo font for my small business.
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If I look at one more logo portfolio, I'm going to get sick. I've literally browsed through thousands of logos. Maybe this isn't the way to go. Maybe everything that I need to communicate is bundled into the font itself. I was reading an article entitled "Creating Beautiful Fonts," and it led me to the Typophile community.

What's in a name? I have a decent enough domain name to work with, but I would love to find a unique font, that by itself, could be recognized. I'll give you a brief, and I'd love to hear your suggestions. All suggestions will be appreciated.

Business Name: Lumeor (.com)

Name Reasoning: Lumen, unit of light, bright living, bright choices.

Tag Line: {lifestyle, delivered}

Business Description: Design and manufacture unique home furnishings with quality products for every income level and every lifestyle. Delivered directly to the customer. No store mazes, no pressure, just point, click, and deliver. Hand-made furnishings at affordable prices.

Thanks,
Michael

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Type-only logos can be awesome, but if you really
want unique, you gotta customize, hopefully in a
direction that evokes your brand.

In your case I'm thinking you could take something
like FF Primary* and -very judiciously- make it much
wider, since width conveys friendliness ("every income
level and every lifestyle"). I'd also change the bottom of
the "L" to slant up like the bottom of the "e", and possibly
slant the top & bottom of the "o" in the same way.

* Especially the Round Bold cut:
http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/fontfont/ff-primary/round-bold/

BTW, one nice bonus about Primary (although not the
Round cuts) is that it comes in "layers" that you can
apply in different colors (hopefully just shades of one
base color :-) to "build" depth - sort of like furniture.

hhp

Michael's picture
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Joined: 20 Feb 2012 - 12:47pm
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Thanks, that's a really interesting suggestion. The wide font idea really makes me think of the IKEA font with warm yellow color. I know its more Swedish national identitythan marketing.

Does the slant on the L give it a lighter feel? Is it standard to use all uppercase? What color or shade should i be thinking of?

Mike

Nina Stössinger's picture
Joined: 19 Jun 2006 - 3:01pm
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I think you should consider hiring a professional.

Yes, type selection is a good place to start; but it's only one part (and it's also really more complex than just following one person's, or even a few people's suggestions). Then there's how to set the text in question. There's the whole world of color. The question of additional graphical elements. Customization of the lettershapes. No offense, but the nature of your questions makes me suspect that if you continue this way you're probably only going to tap into a tiny corner of the vast array of possibilities and variables that need to be carefully negotiated to result in a truly solid and successful solution – successful not just in terms of looking good, but in communicating what you need it to, and reinforcing your brand.

Andreas Stötzner's picture
Joined: 12 Mar 2007 - 10:21am
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I second what Nina said.

Designing a brand is a serious matter, like designing/producing furnishing.
Neither of them is the layman’s playground, if you want to get it any good.

Michael's picture
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Joined: 20 Feb 2012 - 12:47pm
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Thanks for the suggestions!

No need to be delicate with me, i just like to have a good idea of what to ask for. Typography is definitely not my field. I'm an Electronics Engineer, so way out of my element here.

Too bad there wasn't a typography equivalent of 99designs, where the client could pay a few hundred dollars to see multiple design examples. The paradox is knowing enough about what i should be asking for, before i ask for it. That's where I'm trying to get to right now. I don't have 80 Million for marketing like IKEA, so i`ll have to be smart with my dollars.

Frode Bo Helland's picture
Joined: 26 Feb 2007 - 1:03pm
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You don’t need those IKEA-kinda sums neither, but a few hundred dollars on the other hand is just an insult. Most of us here make a living designing stuff, and the absolute baseline for a small scale logo job should be at least 25 hours — if not more. With your budget the hourly wage is nowhere near a decent living. In the end though, it’s up to you to decide if Lumeor should appear professional or amateurish.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Certainly the more money and time you spend on this the better.
On the other hand sometimes it's a good compromise to start
small and build up the requisite parts over time, perhaps refining
the direction. Have a plan, but don't always expect to have all
the parts click all at once.

hhp

Michael's picture
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Joined: 20 Feb 2012 - 12:47pm
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Your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated. I should have been more clear that I was looking for a long-term design partnership, rather than a McLogo. I was thinking about starting small and having an advertising/design budget of 8-10% of income every month (with a signed 12mo. contract) dedicated to slightly improving brand/boxing/graphics/cards etc...

As I grow my business this % would turn into a larger design/brand budget allocation. Now if only I can find this beast...

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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I just realized that I failed to answer some specific questions:

> Does the slant on the L give it a lighter feel?

More than lightness, what slant would do (both in the "L"
and the "o") is make the overall visual impression more
consistent, since the other four letters in the name all
exhibit that idiosyncratic slant. The letterforms in a
font are designed to work well "on average" with all the
other letterforms, and when you have a specific set of
letterforms to work with (as with a typographic logo)
then the opportunity arises to tune the letterforms in
ways that amplify the setting at hand.

> Is it standard to use all uppercase?

There is no standard, and in fact in this case
using all-caps would go against your identity.

> What color or shade should i be thinking of?

Any color as long as it's black. Kidding. That's just
what a type designer likes to limit things to. If you
want to play it safe maybe furniture = brown? But of
course it's not that simple, and I would defer to the
professional graphic designers amongst us when it
comes to color.

hhp

James Michaels's picture
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Joined: 6 Mar 2010 - 12:54am
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Your company's visual identity is more than just a logo. It's also the design of your website, letterhead, business cards, business forms, advertising, signage, packaging, etc.

If you want your company to look professional you should hire a professional graphic designer (or design firm). I'd suggest interviewing local designers so you can meet them face to face. Review their portfolios, ask them how they would approach the job, ask to see examples of similar jobs they've done for other clients, ask for a list of other companies they've done similar jobs for and call to ask how the jobs went, get a written estimate giving estimated fees, expenses and timelines for your projects.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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With a caveat: if the logo (or any part of the identity)
does end up being typographic, make sure the design firm
either has a type designer on board or subcontracts one.
There's no shortage of graphic design firms that through
either ignorance, arrogance or "profit-maximization" will
happily produce a typographically inferior solution that
will only backfire once it's too late.

hhp

Neil Caldwell's picture
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Joined: 8 Jan 2010 - 12:11am
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High contrasting letter shapes ultra modern fresh presentation would be slammin'.

And for what it's worth, less is never more.

It's simply ... less.

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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FYI, I'm that long-since-out-of-beer guy way up in the bleachers wondering what the others mean with 'walk', 'strike' and 'home run'.

Anyway, here's what I saw in the word Lumeor: It was set all-upper in a delicate serif on a slightly yellowish paper, the 'L' a wee bit larger, giving a small-cap effect. the 'O' was golden and with rays = sun-like. Of course, it had to be golden. OR comes from 'aurum' = gold. It sat on a thin bar with a strapline underneath.

Tim Daly's picture
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Joined: 11 Sep 2003 - 9:04am
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> Is it standard to use all uppercase?

LUMEOR set uppercase in Primary is more Megacorp than you might want.

But a logo/identity needs to be designed within its environment, a dozen designers would come up with at least two dozen concepts all of which work to some degree or another. You will need to see it in a web environment, on packaging, on delivery notes or invoices, maybe print advertising or another half dozen applications to appreciate its functionality.

You could be presented with such diverse concepts as Baq Rounded or Geetype. Either could do the job, if it worked with your product.

Tim

darrel's picture
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Joined: 4 Feb 2003 - 6:03pm
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"Too bad there wasn't a typography equivalent of 99designs, where the client could pay a few hundred dollars to see multiple design examples"

That's what 99designs is. Just ask them to make it a type-only logo.

But keep in mind the kind of designer that it willing to work for a place like 99designs is the kind of designer that's not very good at what they do. So, you're not really getting any value out of a service like that.

If you just want a list of fonts, go to myfonts.com, type in your company name, and start browsing all the type.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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> go to myfonts.com, type in your company
> name, and start browsing all the type.

Just make sure you choose something that'll be hip
in 2022, which is when you'll be finished looking... :-)

hhp

Michael's picture
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Joined: 20 Feb 2012 - 12:47pm
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Hrant,

Thanks for taking the time to answer those questions. It helps me understand what i need. Ill try looking 10 years ahead .

James,

Thanks for the input on visual identity, this is all new to me. It helps out tremendously.

5star,

Thanks for the suggestion, I've marked it down. Ill explore that for sure.

Te Rowan,

Interesting suggestion. A simple "L" will be carved into each product with my CNC macine. I might inlay a brass version as well.

Timd,

Cool Geetype font. It has a modern, easy-going feel to it. Its the 70s show in font.

Aluminum,

Touche. Its a valid point.

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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Ehhuh... I just let my inner eye loose a-la Sibyl Trelawney.

Michael's picture
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Joined: 20 Feb 2012 - 12:47pm
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This is my first free-hand sketch of what I had in mind.

I wanted the font to communicate a modular approach to design, clean lines, and "air" in the room. The spacing, weight, proportions, curves, etc..., will be taken care of by a graphics/font designer - I just wanted to see what these shapes looked like on paper.

First sketch

Playing with simple brown and yellow

Fill in colors

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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It's better to keep things abstract (like you did
a great job with your textual description above)
so any sketches you do yourself should be "loose",
not so exacting. Even though you're clearly having
fun with it. :-)

hhp

Andreas Stötzner's picture
Joined: 12 Mar 2007 - 10:21am
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Do you really think that anyone would read this as “Lumeor”?

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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Neat, but I read that first sketch as lussseor and wondered if this was the logo of a cube farm fab.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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!
In fact it never crossed my mind that it said "Lumeor". :-/

hhp

Michael's picture
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Joined: 20 Feb 2012 - 12:47pm
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Appreciate the feedback. The first thing my girlfriend said was, "What is that?" My 2-yr old daughter then spit at it and stomped on it. Not so subtle clues from my core fans.

On to the 2nd sketch, including the suggestion to lose the upper-case, and make it much more legible.

I don't know if the designer will suggest any colors, but it could be anything from stainless steel to a single, or split-color combination.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Suggesting is what you do. The designer... designs it. :-)

And recruiting friends and relatives is guaranteed to lead you astray.
It's not that they don't matter, it's that to do it seriously you need:
a professionally-done foundation; and if you decide to go for public
feedback, a much larger focus group.

You wouldn't want me and my nephew
to design your furniture, would you? :-)

hhp