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The Logotype

Your website will have an identity that is displayed primarily through a logotype that will probably be put on the header although it can be in other places as well.

So, what is a logotype?


The video above was actually made for my Graphic Design students, as an introduction to the overall idea of what a logotype is. There is also a PDF version of this which you can view or download here >>>

Logotype Categories


Logos fall into three classifications (which can be combined): Ideographs are completely abstract forms; pictographs are iconic, representational designs; logotypes depict the name or company initials.

A logo is a graphic mark, emblem, or symbol used for public recognition. It may be of an abstract or figurative design or include the text of the name it represents as in a logotype. A logo is the central element of a visual identification system. Therefore, the design of logos and their incorporation in a visual identity system is one of the most important things that we do in graphic design.

We will take the combined route of placing the name of the company next to an icon (which may be abstract or representational) since this approach is the one most widely used. However, this does not mean that you cannot design just a logotype, meaning an identification that is based solely on the name of your site and that therefore has no icon next to it. 

There is also an extended page where I talk more about what logotypes and logos are, which you can read here:

Since we will be talking about combining typography with icons we have to consider both parts of such a whole. On this page we shall mostly concentrate on the typographic component, although the examples below will show combinations between text and icon. However, there is a whole separate page dedicated to icons which you can see here >>>. In order to achieve a good combination you should go back and forth between the material on this page and the one on the dedicated Icons page linked above. 

Picking Fonts for a Logotype


The short videos in the gallery above will give you a quick overview of the types of visual clues to look out for when you select fonts. These apply to all types of text but become especially relevant when it comes to typefaces that are used in logotypes where the typography will be a standalone element that needs to be particularly strong in attributes such as flow, consistency, distribution and so on. 

However it is not only the visual attributes that matter since fonts are like people - they have personalities. Please read the bullet list below carefully in order not to fall into some very common mistakes that novice designers tend to make:

  • Be aware that fonts have personalities! Some fonts are adaptable, which means you can safely use them for any topic. The way you can tell that a font is adaptable is by asking yourself "does this font remind me of anything?" A place, a period in history, a geography, a particular culture, an emotion? If your answer is "no, it doesn't remind me of anything. I just read it" then this will be an adaptable font. If your answer is "yes - this reminds me of, for example, a Chinese restaurant or a soccer game or Game of Thrones" then this will be strong font that you would be wise to stay away from. 

  • Bottom line: Stay way from "fancy" looking stuff!

  • Do not try to be "different"! That rarely works when you choose fonts. The difference will happen when you put them together with other things.

  • Stay away from the "cute" stuff. Childish looking fonts such as comic sans. They only work in specific contexts.

  • While the "cute" stuff should be avoided you should look at the new generation handwritten fonts, provided your subject matter is appropriate to that. Remember, fonts have personalities and the personality of a handwritten font will usually be that it will relate to "personal" things such a lifestyle, health, food and so on.

  • Sans serif fonts are better for contemporary subjects. Serif fonts are better for classic, "serious" things.

  • Please go to the bottom of this page to find a list of recommended font sites where you will find a big selection of fonts that are good for logotype texts.

Logotype Design on the Wix Editor


You can of course put together a logotype on photopea (to where you can also upload your own fonts), however a really efficient way to make a logo is to assemble in the place where it will actually live, which in our case is the Wix Editor. Create a blank page and hide it so that it does not appear on your menu. Then start playing around with icon and font combinations, which is what I did in the examples below. When you are happy with something scale it down to fit the header and drag it there to see if it is working. 

The one drawback to working in the Wix Editor is that unfortunately the fonts cannot be scaled by just simply scaling the text box. Instead you have the scale up / down the font itself. The plus is that since your logo text is made out of real fonts (as opposed to being a bitmap) you will be able to see right away how they look (are they crisp enough, legible enough) at the final size.   

My advice is to have plenty of icons and plenty of font alternatives and create many combinations, also using different font weights and widths, before you decide on your final design. All of the icons that I used come from the Noun Project, which for me is the best place to find really good ones.



The basic principle in the examples below is a search for a good relationship between the two design elements, which are the icon and the text. 

  • Alignments: These are actually the most important element of any good graphic design products, not just logotypes. What to pay attention to is:

    • Straight objects get aligned either from the top or the bottom

    • Round objects get aligned from the middle.

    • Everything gets aligned. Literally everything. Not just logos - everything!  :-) 

  • Weight Relationships: These can be

    • Harmonies where the weight of the 2 objects is almost equal (see examples 1, 4 and 5 below) or

    • Contrasts where the 2 objects have distinctly different weights. (See examples 2 and 6).

  • Spacings: These should not be arbitrary.

    • You can create tight clusters (see example 1, 3 and 4)

    • or place the icon and the text at a distance​ which you should calculate in such a way that the two do not break apart too much but also don't stay close enough to form a cluster (see examples 2, 5 and 6)

    • and, when needed, you can also emphasize the spacing of the 2 objects by using a separator (see example 7). 

  • Size Relationships: These should not be arbitrary, you have to give them some thought. ​

    • You can make the 2 objects of equal height as you can see in example 1 (width will hardly ever work btw, since it will make the icon way too large)

    • You can make the icon larger. When you do this you still have to maintain a relationship that does not overwhelm the text since the text is always number 1 in the hierarchy. Again, when you do this always remember the golden rule that everything needs to be aligned - round icons (or things that are amorphous or very close to round) get aligned from the middle (see examples 2, 5, 6 and 7), straight icons get aligned from the top or the bottom. 

    • You can make the text larger in relation to the icon (see middle alternative in example 7). This has to be done quite carefully, since the text is already number one in the hierarchy and making it larger than the icon (again, we are talking about height not width) could very easily overwhelm the design, rendering the icon "invisible".

  • Clarity: This is already a topic in one of the 6 short videos above when it comes to fonts. However, it isn't only the font your entire logotype, icon as well as font but also how you use contrasts, spacings, weights, alignments - everything should be clear and unambiguous. 

  • No ambiguity! What we dread above all else in graphic design (and all design fields, including architecture, for that matter is ambiguity, which is the state where our eyes are not exactly sure of the attributes of the thing and the visual relationships within it that they are looking at. 

  • No Color! The golden rule is no color on text - only black white and grey. Icons can eventually become colorized, however only after you have finalized your design in black and white since anything outside of black and white will conceal mistakes that you will only see in stark black and white.


This chunky icon got combined with a chunky text which is Josefin Sans Bold, so in this design I shot for a harmony between font and shape - both are bold and chunky. I aligned the bottom of the text with the bottom of the icon, since that gave me a very clear line. The top I eyeballed to align roughly to the middle of the stroke that makes the head shape.




Here I settled on the opposite to what I did above: I went for a strong contrast. Very heavy icon, very light text. This is not a combination that happened right away - I played around quite a bit before I decided on this combo. The font is Barlow Semi Condensed Thin. 



This is the first of 2 versions. It is not the one I used in the end but I still want to show it. The cat was made white in photopea and then I placed it inside a dark container here in Wix. The alignment is from the bottom and the top of the text aligns with the back of the cat.




This is the version that I actually ended up using and you can see it in action here >>> where I combined it with a long dark menu.

I uploaded many many cat icons and many fonts and played around with all of them. And that is what you should do as well. First off, it is a lot of fun, and second the more you experiment the better your result will be.




I aligned the text with the middle of the cat head (remember round things always get aligned from the middle. You can see the final usage of this here >>> 




Here I am showing 3 examples using different handwritten fonts which can often be used very effectively, provided that your topic allows the relationship. 

What you should be looking for is a font that looks natural, like as if it really was written by somebody rather than something that is algorithmically generated - which is what a font is, after all. 

The handwritten fonts that achieve this natural look the best are the ones that have a horizontal flow rather than a vertical one since that is how we usually write as well. The two examples at the top and middle are such horizontally flowing fonts. However, obviously there can be exceptions as well. The bottom example is made out of a font that is more vertical in terms of flow, but I had to look for a while to find this font to put as an example for such an exception. Most vertically flowing handwritten fonts will not look natural. Meaning that you do need to be careful not to miss this important detail.

Another thing that you will notice is that when it came to combining the icon with a handwritten font I had to look for alternatives that actually work, the ones I used above would have been too strong as shapes to create a good relationship to the text, which with all three of these is a contrast in which the strong part is the text. The top and bottom set up a contrast with a very light line drawn icon and a heavier text, while in the middle I used size as a contrast element by placing a very small solid black cat icon next to a light weight text.

So, going with a handwritten font is something that will need quite a bit of searching and trying out many alternatives before you can get it to sit right within a logo. 


Kizgin Kedi


Kizgin Kedi


Kizgin Kedi


And finally a few words on the usage of separators, which are the "helper" elements that we sometimes have to use in order to pull a design together. These can be strokes or boxes (as containers for an element) that provide separate visual spaces for the components of one design. What is important to emphasize is that  separators are not decorative elements that you put down willy nilly, they should have a purpose, there should be a visual need for their presence.



In the top example here I added a stroke separator between the text and the icon. If you look at the bottom one which is the same combo, however without the stroke, you will see that in such a case the separator is a good addition since the vertical shape of the icon and the horizontal line of the text do not seem to find it too easy to inhabit the same space. 



Logotype Design on Canva


Creating a circular text logotype is not possible on Wix. There is however, a very easy to use online platform called Canva, which I have also used to show you the color wheel, that one can use to make such logotypes. 

One thing that you have to be aware of is that you will need to have the month long premium trial before you can make a usable logo on Canva since you will need to export your logotype as a transparent background image and also at a larger size. So, make sure you have this temporary premium account in place before you start. And make sure you opt out before the end of the month since otherwise they will charge you.

You will need to watch the video above in order to learn exactly how to go about putting a logo together on Canva. 

There is one other thing that you need to take into account if you would like to have a circular logo as part of your site identity: As you will see from the examples below, these logos are quite high and if you try to put them on your header, the header will become very deep, taking up quite a bit of viewing space on your pages. So, a logo like this can only really be used as a full version on a homepage or a micro site and then on a multipage site only the icon of the logo would be placed as a "reminder element". I have made a tutorial video about this which you should watch here >>> before you decide to go ahead, to see if this something you would want to do.

The basic principles that I listed as bullet points above apply to circular designs as much as they do to straight ones. The one very important thing to add is that a circular design is something that starts from a visual middle and therefore the alignments should also refer to that middle, rather than the edges.

And a second thing is that a circular design should have a clear point of attention in its center. Other than that, all other criteria apply to these below, as much as they do to the examples in the batch above.

333 tutorial (1).png
333 tutorial.png

Font Portals


The basic go-to portal that gives a very good range of creative commons licensed fonts that are also searchable by language groups and the size of the font family. Recommended for logo fonts, highly recommended for text fonts. 

A very wide selection of fonts, also good for handwritten fonts and more interesting sans serifs and some very elegant serif typefaces. Also lets you see the languages and gives a list of similar fonts at the bottom. Highly recommended.

One of my personal favorites, they have a very nicely curated collection of free fonts. Very good for elegant serifs fonts, handwritten and script fonts. Highly recommended.

I am not sure whether Dafont Free is associated with the old dafont website, which I will link to separately below. This is a very good portal, again, especially if you are looking for handwritten fonts or display fonts. Another very nice feature of dafont free is that it searches for free fonts that are close alternatives to a proprietary font that you are looking for. Highly recommended.

One of the oldest creative commons font sites online. Has been around for decades and is still very good, especially for the way in which they set up their categories at the top - not only for visual attributes but also as concepts. Highly recommended.

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