Design Tip for Authors: Your Logo Font
Ever wonder if you as an author need a logo?
The answer is … yes. And no.
My web design company’s primary client base is fellow authors, and yes, we do logo design, but my recommendation for our clients is always the same:
As an author, your logo should be your name.
As in, Your first name + your last name.
That’s it. Yes, we at Last Word Designs have been known to incorporate visual elements, and flower/heart/initial flourishes upon request, you don’t need any of this. Your name, all by itself, should be the focus.
Why? Because as a writer, you want people to know your name. That’s what will be going on your book covers, it’s what you want people to talk about in the same breath as James Patterson, JK Rowling, EL James, Stephen King (none of whom have “fancy” logos, by the way—they don’t need them!)
That said, it’s not as simple as just throwing your name up any which way, all over the place. When your name is your brand, it’s more important than ever to take care with the way you present your name. Not only in consistency (having your name display the same way, every time, on your website, your social media graphics, and ideally your book covers, though us traditionally published authors rarely get a say in that). But also in the style of your name.
The font you choose to display your name.
Because we at Last Word Designs work mostly with authors, our logo designs look basic at first glance. After all, it’s just a first name + a last name. What you don’t see, however, is the care we spend with each of that logos. Sometimes we’ll go through a dozen different options just on the first round of logo review. Font is important. Color of the font is important. Letter style, letter spacing, letter capitalization, all important.
Below are some logos we’ve created for our various clients. As you can see, they’re all “just” names. No hearts, no Nike swoosh, no graphic element of any kind. And yet, each one is unique. More importnatly, each one conveys a certain vibe.
First up is my own logo. For reference, I use a serif font, in all caps.
Next, check what we did for Tali Alexander. Also all caps, but sans-serif. A different feel, right?
Or the one we did for Tara Leigh. It’s a similar font to mine (serif), but note how the all lower-case treatment (not to mention the gold!) changes the vibe:
Or what about Christina Elle’s script style font:
Or Rachel Van Dyken’s combination of script + sans-serif?
As you can see, in each logo we’re using only letters— nothing but the author’s names.
And yet, they’re all different, not only from each other but in terms of style and mood, each describing each author’s style and brand.
So how do you decide? How do you know which font style is right for you? Chances are, you probably already know at least a little which ones you gravitated to.
I, for one, have always instinctively liked serif fonts, even before I knew what a serif font was. A lot of our clients know right off the bat that they want a “handwriting style” font before they’ve seen a single mockup. Others don’t know what they want until they see it, but they’ll immediately glom onto the sans-serif style.
So my first recommendation is always to trust that gut reaction—what do you like. Poke around on Creative Market’s font section and see what jumps out at you.
Want a bit more guidance than that? Because yes, in the design world, different fonts are associated with different vibes:
Which font style is right for your author brand
Serif fonts are usually associated with more classic/timeless branding. This font style has a very editorial feel, and is often considered old-school high-end. Dior and Tiffany both use a serif font. But, note that it doesn’t have to be stuffy and old-fashioned! Kate Spade uses an all lowercase serif font to great effect to create a friendly yet still classy vibe.
Sans Serif Fonts
Sans serif fonts give off a very modern feel (especially the thinner sans serif fonts). Their lightness (lack of any sort of decorations on the letters) conveys a fresh, contemporary feeling.
These are the “swirly” fonts that resemble calligraphy or cursive handwriting. Depending which script you go with, you can end up with something very edgy and modern, or very soft and delicate, or high-end and fancy, but in general script fonts are great for more romantic and feminine brands.