Online Design II: Inspiration Log 2-15

Serif and sans-serif typefaces have been an aspect of branding which a lot of attention has been paid to in recent years. Your typeface can have a huge impact on the appearance and feel of a logo or the personality of a brand. Predominately, sans-serif typefaces have been the go-to choice for many brands and leading companies. From Gap to Google, many corporations have switched to a ‘sans’ typeface in their re-branding endeavors. However, this was largely a common practice because of the inability of serifs to render crisply at small sizes on digital mediums. The serif typefaces suffered from poor legibility because of this reality. However, the proliferation of retina display has helped to do away with this issue and allow more entities to experiment with their typeface and overall branding choices. Google, for example, ditched their traditional serifs last year in order to switch to a sans typeface. In 2013, Yahoo! decided to make the same switch but was not met with the same praise as they were criticized for putting style over substance. You must focus on the why as well as the what for the re-brand. Google did this effectively while Yahoo! simply did not.

Canon, on the other hand, has maintained the serifs typeface they have utilized for over 80 years and shows no plans of changing. If Canon were to follow the trend of switching over to a sans typeface, they would have left behind all of the heritage and following that identifies with the familiarity of their brand. Calvin Klein chose to capitalize all letters of their sans typeface logo rather than switching it altogether. However, Honda has employed the same serifs typeface for over 40 years which demonstrates characteristics of dependability and trustworthiness for their brand. Another example shows how Ebay ditched their overlapping logo of letters to employ a more clear and straightforward design. The design still utilizes a sans typeface but straightens out the letters to provide a much more clear logo. In conclusion, sans typefaces have been the trend in recent years but only for companies who are able to adopt such changes to their logo. The typeface has to fit the overall feel and purpose of the entity. Serifs typefaces are traditionally more professional and authoritative while sans typefaces offer more flexibility and creativity.


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