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Google changes its logo and goes sans-serif.

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I’m sure you are all aware of the now infamous global conglomerate search engine GOOGLE. Where would we be without it?

Since its inception it has remained strongly in the serif typeface camp. Serifs have been around a long, long time and have adorned many a graphic design piece for centuries. Indeed there was a time when all fonts were based on serif font. For those not familiar with the term, serifs are those little marks you see on typefaces like Times. They hang down from the top of the T for example and point out from the base of it. They were created to assist the legibility and reading of words in sentences. They form a subtle line along a word which helps the eye to visually track each character to form words and therefore make sentences easier to read.

Sans-serif, which literally means without serif, first appeared in the 18th Century, and were developed through printed media in the 19th Century. They were frowned upon initially and were so badly received they were referred to as ‘grotesque’. They were a huge departure from what had gone before and people really did not like it. However they became popular as the style of character is easier to read and was perfect for headlines and titles.

The first official use of the term sans-serif was by a gentleman named Vincent Figgins. He was a type founder and coined the phrase in 1832. I wonder if he knew of the bad feeling towards the style of lettering.

Anyway, for a long time classic serif fonts like Times New Roman have been very popular but in recent years have been viewed as more traditional and a little old fashioned. Hence the rise in popularity with the newer, and more contemporary, sans-serif fonts like Helvetica and Arial. They are becoming more and more popular and offer a cleaner look to each character. Graphic designers, in particular, prefer them for their typographic work as they make design look a little more sophisticated and modern.

There are now thousands of fonts and typefaces to choose from for your company logo and branding. Lovely old ornate scripts, traditional old serifs, and the more up to date sans-serifs: two of which are now being used by two of the largest and most high tech companies on the planet – Apple and Google.

Which font does your business use?

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