From Comic Sans to Papyrus, we've all rolled our eyes at a logo design which incorporates an overly familiar font. Well, it seems even big brands are happy to use free fonts in their branding – or at least to use them as a jumping-off point.
A viral Twitter thread has revealed the fonts used by various huge companies, from Netflix to Spotify, via Nike, Adobe and many more. Reimagining the typeface name in the style of each respective logo, the images reveal 30 big-name brands apparently using small-cost fonts. But all might not be quite as simple as it seems. (Looking for more typographical inspiration? Check out the best free fonts.
Fonts used by big brands. A thread: Netflix pic.twitter.com/w1jUhPQmXqJanuary 1, 2022
Indeed, it appears a remarkable number of brands have created logo designs based on fonts that are available right there on your phone or laptop. Both Spotify and TikTok seem to have opted for Gotham, and BBC looks like it's using Gill Sans (to be fair, the company recently moved over to its own font). At least Google is using its own font, Product Sans.
Of course, there are tweaks here and there, from Netflix's signature arched text to various weight adjustments. But it seems Twitter users have been blown away by the images, shared by digital marketer Emmanuel Lumumba. "Really neat to see how baseline, sans serif fonts can turn into some of the most recognizable brands on the planet," one user comments, while another adds, "BBC News and Toy Story using the same font is going to end me."
But not every comparison seems quite right. In the example of Instagram (above), there are clear differences between letters such as 'a' and 'g' (but then again, we've all been writing 'g' wrong for years). "Have you ever seen a Twitter thread that feels like it was designed to make you and specifically you upset? Cause this thread and its inaccuracies..." one user complains. Yep, typography can be an emotional subject.
While it probably isn't the most accurate design thread ever, it's still fascinating to see how various famous fonts have clearly influenced some of the most recognisable designs in the world. About to embark on your own design project, check out our guide to logo typography, and be sure to take a look at the 10 best logos of all time.