My thoughts on using sans serif or a serif font

By Tom Spink, published Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

The importance of choosing the right font

When choosing a font it is important which typeface you use. All typefaces are different and can relate to different purposes, a big bold sans serif font may say this is a title for a poster or if it’s a logo it could relate to the company saying they’re strong and a firm business, whereas a serif font for example a fancy art shop may you use a serif other then sans serif because if they are a fancy elegant shop they would want to put that across with their branding with decorative typography.

You need to think about what the typeface is trying to represent, you might want it to be elegant and bold so you would use a serif font, it is not always the case you may find a sans serif font which does the job even better but typically this what you need to think about.

What are they?

A serif is decorative,traditional typography.
Serif fonts have a small decorative lines added to the basic forms of the character. So a sans serif font are without serifs, meaning they don’t have the added detail added to the basic forms of the character.


Serif : gap, vogue and the guardian

Sans serif: red bull, Evian, Microsoft and McDonalds.

Some fonts are over used

Some typefaces can become overused and the most popular font for sans serif is, you’ve guessed it. Helvetica. This font is so popular that nearly everyone tries and uses it for most of their designs because it’s a clean and a brilliant font but can seem a bit overrated.

What I recommend

When I was starting out and getting used to design and typography in general, I used to get the telephone book and pick out random companies, which I used to design logos for just for fun. This gave you an understanding of a real design situation and is great practice if your starting out or even a pro. If want to be inspired and learn more into typography and fonts, Los logos 4 is a great book to buy, It has loads of professional logo designs which may help you with creativity, I bought it when I was starting out and it has helped me gain new ideas and if you get designers block, you could just flick through some pages to help think of something new. I do believe now you can buy other versions of this book up to No.7. So you might want to check those out as well.

How I’ve chosen the typeface for my work

When I was creating the logo for Tenda, I had to think carefully which font type I was going to use. Tenda is an app, which allows you to order a meal or item just from your phone to stop having to queue. Tenda is a corporate company so I wanted to use a sans-serif font, which nice clear and bold to resemble this. I also adapted the ‘N’ and ‘E’ of the logo. I extended the top and bottom parts to make it feel more of an electronic and app-based logo because it was connected and could relate to wires. And because it was connected it also could relate to transferring. The app is about ordering and transferring your money. If I were to use a serif font for this example it would not relate at all because it may give the impression of luxury and high end which is nothing what this app is about.


Another logo I designed was for KWD, which is a chartered surveying company.
With this in mind, my thought process was to choose a sans serif font and keep it corporate even though a serif type may even have worked for this, I wanted to keep it looking more building orientated and professional. The font I chose was Nexa bold which is a gorgeous typeface and one I recommend you should check out. This type is bold and edgy, which worked well to relate to buildings and their straight edges. The process of having the triangle underneath the ‘W’ was the building called the shard which is in London, a tall triangular building and placing it under the word KWD worked a treat.