Vintage Typography in Contemporary Logo Design

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The sheer number of businesses online has created the need for logo designs that are new and novel. Every idea has to be presented in a unique manner which is why we see the logo design industry caught up in a cultural obsession.

Trends come and even before designers can effectively implement they fly by. Rules are becoming increasingly arcane and arbitrary. Yet, there are always the timeless classics that never change, and have the same impact today as they did in the days gone by. Such is the case of the vintage logo. Perhaps the only thing that rivals designer’s obsession with the future is their obsession with the past.

Vintage typography techniques create a number of great ways to make your logo unique in the digital age. These three logo designs show a few key ways that the vintage logo works.

In Your Face Ostentatiousness by Budmo

One of the wonderful parts of using vintage design in fonts is that it allows one to access a very powerful energy of a given time or place. A sort of residual recognition that follows through from parallels seen in movies and TV shows and, even books. Budmo is a spectacular representation of this parallel, calling into play an almost roaring 20s raunchiness combined with a garish but not neon brightness.

In Your Face Ostentatiousness by Budmo

It’s so ostentatious that no apology could ever make it better, and yet, it works!

It’s a rare and unique play on design if you think about it, the combination of the brightness without the accompaniment of any of the usual gradient effects or inner glows that dominate the more futuristic elements in contemporary design. Budmo, with its bold outlines and just off-kilter fonts (as in the slightly too long stabbing M or the way the balance of the letters seems to be just out of place) is flat out having fun. It gives the company a sensation of energy that it might not have had otherwise. A very unique flow that is not only fun and engaging, but dramatic and familiar.

To apply such elements into your own logo design you have to use the power of the various aspects wisely. Too much glare, and too little flare will automatically make the logo vulgar or cheap. The combo created has to work at first sight and regardless of what the textbooks say about color combinations and shadow effects, the Budmo logo does what any successful designer knows-at times the rules have to be ignored.

Classic Revival by Gravitas One

A complete archetype to the Budmo logo the Gravitas One uses the vintage typography to create a more serious and authoritative perception in the audience. There is nothing quite like a classic text style to convey a sense of authority, and a feeling of authenticity.

Classic Revival by Gravitas One

The sheer power of the font grips the reader with its solemnity and sincerity, and it then doesn’t let them go. This sort of font has been used on countless occasions for this very effect. It was used in old newspapers headlines and for the new Godzilla movie where it was seen in the “secret documents” (pay close attention to the opening credits).

There’s a very distinct boldness to the body of the letters, and a tapering off on the curved joints that solidifies its importance. It’s imposing, it’s heavy, and it sits alone as if glaring at the reader-demanding attention.

What this means for any other logo design is that it grants you the opportunity to stake your claim to authority right away. If you are a designer who has a company looking to project an image of trust and dependability and a sense of control then you want to use this font style and logotype.

Making Troupes your Friend by Nashville

The third, and perhaps most important aspect of vintage typography is that some fonts represent a whole culture. Fonts like Nashville are the unsung heroes of our relationship with the Old West.

Making Troupes your Friend by Nashville

Wanted Posters, western movie credits scenes, introductory texts of old newspapers, and even some creative subtitles simply have to use this font to create a reflection of the Old West. These type of fonts tap into something very pervasive and the diversity of its use actually allows you to be more creative with its implementation.

Depending on the designer Nashville can represent mean and gritty, it can show irony, it can be right out hilarious. The fact is this font can do a lot if used in the right manner of media and corporate needs. Simply put, this font would make just as much sense on a bottle of conditioner as on a bottle of hot sauce. It’s too iconic for the viewer not to contextualize it themselves.

As a designer play with this font by picking your favorite idea and then find ways to use the vintage style. It’s a unique style option, in this case because of the sheer cultural impact of Nashville. The old-style metallic typeface letters, with heavy tops and bottoms. The gaps and haziness to represent age. These things call us back through our present to countless visits into the past simply through the use of this simple font. Imagine the creative leeway a designer can have with the typographic elements.

In order to select the perfect vintage font for your brand, you need to follow a creative logo design process to better your choice, and to refine the design of your logo.

Classic vs. Contemporary Trends

Not everything in logo design is about high tech tool creations, flashy gradients and minimalist symbolism. The immortal trend of vintage typography is a direction designers should explore to make their logos stand out against the plethora of minimalist designs. As long as the designer understands the audience their client is tapping into, the potential gravity of the letters in the font, and the ways in which the viewer will imagine the logo –they will have no trouble making a creative and impressive vintage logo that stands out in the digital age.

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