Though it has unique advantages compared to other logo design styles, using a combination of typography as a visual component can be a tough tightrope to walk, especially when you want it to represent your entire brand. Make your letter-based logos (commonly called lettermarks or ligatures) look too much like conventional “pictures,” and they lose their ability to communicate a direct message. But if your letters are too plain-looking, they’ll fail to make a visual impact on the audience.
A few tips for creating your lettermark logo
- Sometimes your ligatures will look like a font that is too tightly kerned, not letters that were connected deliberately. In these cases, try breaking up the kerned look by adding serifs, creating a pattern, or using colors to differentiate between the two letters.
- Be careful about creating a “new” letter when you’re combining two similar looking letters. The point of a ligature is to have individual letters that are connected while still maintaining their individuality. Hybrid letters sometimes end up looking nothing like either of the letters they’re made from. If your ligature ends up looking like something totally alien, find a way to break it up so your audience understands.
- Typeface can make the difference. Two letters that might have no easy points of connection may have an easier time connecting if you change your font. Try your ligature out in a bunch of different font combinations to get a better understanding of how the letters can visually connect. Even if you don’t end up using a font, just seeing the different variations can open you up to ideas.
- Try different combinations of techniques to create something unique and new. However, avoid overloading your lettermark with too many bells and whistles. The more alterations you put a letter through, the harder it is to read.
- Always remember that the “letter” part of the word “lettermark” is the most important. You can alter, move and change the letters all you want, but when it starts to look more like a symbol or picture, it stops being a lettermark. For example, the Toyota logo technically contains every letter in the word “Toyota,” but you would never call that a lettermark.