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If you find yourself struggling with your business outreach, tirelessly strolling through Canva for the ultimate job-landing resumé template or simply want to keep up with what’s trending in design, this one’s for you. 

After our exploration on the power of colour, typography is equally, if not more important to your brand and business identity; influencing the way we feel, how we perceive the brand and the “personality” we associate it with. This explains why when we view serif typefaces, it tends to feel more traditional; with a formal tone, and is used in a business’ branding to say “I’m trustworthy and reliable.” In contrast, sans-serif typefaces tend to project a more easy-going aura with a friendlier tone, announcing “it’s all fun and games over here!” 

Let’s start with the basics.

Though often used interchangeably, “font” and “typeface” do not mean the same thing and can have a lasting impact based on the one(s) you choose. A typeface refers to a type design; or the manner in which lettering is composed, and includes all variations of that design. For example, the popularly seen Helvetica is a famous typeface and a favourite amongst luxury fashion houses. Fonts, however, refer to the variations possible with a typeface. For example, Helvetica Bold, Helvetica Thin or Helvetica 10 pt, referring to the text size, are three different fonts. 

Generally, typefaces are characterised into two groups – serif or sans-serif. Serif typefaces are demonstrated with the delicate and strict strokes at the end of the letters, i.e.Times New Roman. Whereas sans-serif typefaces, as the name implies: “sans” meaning “a general absence,” are fonts without serifs, such as Arial. 

Why it’s important to get it right. 

In a study conducted on the readability of typefaces published by Dogusoy, Cicek and  Cagiltay, found that overall sans-serif typefaces had improved legibility, aka readability by participants and were therefore easier to understand. However, within the same study, experts discovered that serif typefaces had higher retention rates; participants tended to focus on these for a longer period of time and when questioned, had improved memory about the text they were proof-reading. Conversely, a paper published in The Design Journal took it a step further and studied type outside the traditional use of serif and sans-serif, discovering the positive cognitive effects of using disfluent typography, finding that harder to read typefaces can improve learning conditions. Interesting, no? 

Start by reflecting into your own brand or business’ typeface and see if it’s in-line with your aspiring brand identity and message. Here at ICON, we use a sans-serif typeface of choice that accurately represents our brand’s identity; youthful, friendly and inclusive, with a hint of formality. 

Here’s a compiled list of our favourite most successfully used typefaces:

Futura

If it’s good enough to be on a plaque on the moon, it’s good enough for us. Invented by German author and designer Paul Renner in 1927, the sans-serif Futura typeface quickly grew to be the most influential typeface of the 20th century. The retro-futuristic type has been used across industries, most notably film and media, and is the go-to typeface for advertising. 

Baskerville 

Designed by John Baskerville in the 1750s, the Baskerville serif typeface exudes elegance with a hint of mystery. Rightly so, as according to user interface expert Bishop, this typeface is “excellent for book design — and it is considered to be a true representation of eighteenth-century rationalism and neoclassicism.” 

Helvetica 

Created in 1957 by designers Mac Meidinger and Eduard Hoffman, this sans-serif typeface is the most widely used typeface across industries, and with good reason. Helvetica’s versatility and minimalism make it the ultimate typeface for easy to read documents, customised branding and merchandise, and in the opinion of Yang; CEO of the world’s leading resume company, a typeface that will make your job application stand out. 

If you’re looking to increase your reach through personalised merchandise and don’t know where to begin with design, contact us by clicking the link and our team of experts will help take you from idea to product in less than 14 days!

Album artwork is an age-old source of inspiration. Between colourful graphics, beautiful photography, and iconic typography, here are a few we’re into from the past year.

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Tote bags are a great way to get your artwork out on the streets. If you’re an artist wanting to try your hand at printed merch, we’re happy to offer small print runs of 10-20 items depending on the job.

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Artwork files are essential to the print process. We require certain formats for different print methods and in order to achieve the highest quality prints we’ll need things to be spot on.

We put together some general guidelines to help you get started.

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It’s been an incredible year for music, and aside from sounding brilliant, there have been some distinctive designs that have caught our eye. (more…)

These typography tips will ensure the type within your piece of design is a success – whether it is paper based, for the screen or for t-shirt screen printing…

trend tee

TIP ONE – Be aware of type “trends”.

Know that much like trends in fashion and style, typefaces too are effected in the same way. It’s good to know what’s ‘in’ but try not to rely too heavily on trends, because just using the latest typeface won’t make your work instantly great. Instead of simply surfing the net for new fonts, open a book, and research some tried and tested classics.

 

tips for perfect type for t-shirt printing

TIP TWO – Don’t use too many.

Less is more! So limit yourself. If you have ten different typefaces within one piece of design, it’s going to look crowded and cluttered. Remember, you can create variety in other ways like experimenting with font size, weight or case.

 

tips for perfect type for t-shirt printing

TIP THREE – Serif or Sans Serif?

Quick design lesson. Sans serif = type with no small projecting features called at the end of strokes. Sans serif fonts have a slightly more contemporary and clean feel to them, but a classic serif can be a great choice too.

 

tips for perfect type for t-shirt printing

TIP FOUR – Letter spacing.

Use leading, kerning and tracking to make sure there’s room for your type to be read and digested properly.

Leading = the space between the base lines of text.

Kerning = is the spacing in between individual characters.

Tracking = is the space between groups of letters rather than individual letters.

Whether you’re designing type within a logo or laying out a long-format piece, don’t just let the default setting decide.

 

tips for perfect type for t-shirt printing

TIP FIVE – Smaller is (sometimes) better.

This pretty much only applies to print/paper based design. The easiest way to make something look sophisticated and tasteful is to make the type smaller. Not illegibly small, but take a second look at your layout and see if you can’t nudge everything down a couple of point sizes. Having said that, tiny text doesn’t print onto garments that well – so don’t go too small when t-shirt screen printing or direct to garment printing. Small text is also problematic when creating logos for polo shirt embroidery.

 

tips for perfect type for t-shirt printing

 

TIP SIX – Be legal.

 

Just because you downloaded a typeface off the web or from a friend doesn’t mean you can use it wherever you want. Like stock photography: you have to know the copyrights before it goes to print.

tips for perfect type for t-shirt printing

TIP SEVEN – Keep typefaces different.

When choosing typefaces to work together, make sure they complement each other instead of matching. If you choose two that are too similar, it might look like a mistake or an inconsistency in the font.

 

tips for perfect type for t-shirt printing

TIP EIGHT – Remember legibility.

Sometimes it’s easy to get so caught up in the ‘look’ of things; there might be an amazing photo behind it, black on black might be super-slick, and the type might be tiny – and that’s the look you’re after. But at the end of the day, the single most important thing is that it is legible!

 

tips for perfect type for t-shirt printing

TIP NINE – Will it print well?

Be aware, some fonts that have fine, hair line sections – such as the font shown above. Those light lines won’t screen print well, so choose carefully.

 

tips for perfect type for t-shirt printing

TIP TEN – Take your time.

Picking the perfect typefaces can take a lot of work. It’s easy to start using your personal ‘defaults’ or favourite pairings. It’s worth spending time discovering new options, and making sure you’ve covered the above pointers.

Icon Printing are based in Shoreditch, London and are t-shirt direct to garment and t-shirt screen printing specialists. For more an instant quote, please visit our website. You can email us at: sales@iconprinting.com, or call on: 0207 183 8431

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This is a quick step-by-step tutorial on how to create custom typography for T-shirt artwork…from scratch. So, if you’re after a slightly more bespoke piece of design, but can’t quite find the font you’re after – this is the post for you. This will also help if you have a logo you have sketched out and want to turn it into a vector, ready for screen printing or embroidery.

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Alongside promotional and corporate clothing, we also print garments for established and up ‘n’ coming clothing labels. Much of this artwork is fashion lead graphics or hand drawn illustrations. Bold, one or two colour designs print really well and can make very desirable items of clothing.

Screen Printed Creative T-shirt Designs

At Icon Printing, we are really passionate about what we do and we’re always on the look out for inspirational printed clothing to post up on our blog. So, check out these bad boys. Syndicate Original is a clothing label from Ukraine, who are inspired by “American heritage and also by the simplicity and minimalism of Scandinavian aesthetics.” Their focus is combining the aesthetics of classic menswear and enhancing cuts and concepts with up-to-date elements. They often collaborate with well-known artists, illustrators and designers which allows them to treat street style in such a unique and fresh way.

If you’ve got a favourite clothing line you think we should shout about, get in touch! We’d love to hear from you. Check out this link for t-shirt printing london information.

email: sales@iconprinting.com

phone: 0207 183 8431

 

Whether you are a small boutique brand or a large, corporate business; you’ll know how important it is to have a strong logo and brand identity. Almost everything we print here at Icon Printing, relates to a brand or logo in some form or another. Maybe you’re thinking about a re-brand, or you could be a start up without the spare cash to splash out on a bespoke logo – this is a post for you. We’ve come up with a few pointers to follow when creating logos and specific design considerations to look at to insure your logo design reproduces well in all mediums; screen, print and signage.

Before you get stuck into the look or even the “naming” of your logo or business, there’s a few things to bare in mind. What does your company do? Are you local, national or global? Think about your target audience, who are they and what do they do? Are they high, mid or low earners? Who are your competitors and what are they doing? Next, think about where your logo will be displayed – it could be applied to business cards, but also vehicle livery, apparel, a website, etc.

icon printing how to design a logo

1. Research.

Do your homework! Do as much research as you can in the time available.Research the competition and similar companies. Look at their logos and websites. What kind of image do they project?

Look at details such as colour schemes, typefaces, images, symbols, etc.
Look at unrelated businesses that target a similar audience as yours. What is their visual attraction?

 

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