How to Find a Complementary font..? [aka newbie needs help!!]

I'm a new designer with an issue. Trying to cobble together letterhead and an envelope for a client using a logo (wordmark using Alpaca Scarlett Demo) that some else made and the direction to 'not make this too design-y' because the target market is 'middle America Mom and Pop types'. 

I have a couple concepts but am not feeling it and having a hard time simplifying/finding a winner....any thoughts? 

also...are icons (like those used in the letterhead) corny?


  • If it were me, I'd select more neutral typography for the addresses. The typeface you've chosen draws attention to itself for a couple of different reasons, which is not typically desirable for this kind of thing.

    For similar reasons, I'd leave off the little icons. I wouldn't necessarily call them "corny," but they add distracting clutter without contributing much of anything else.

    The kerning in the words "COMMUNITY BUYERS" is, less than good. Notice all the space around the Ys, for example. Despite the logo not being something you designed, it really ought to be fixed.

    And speaking of the logo, I don't quite get it. It says "MOBILE HOME," but the illustrated part of the logo looks like a standard non-mobile, stick-built house with a pitched roof.
  • notdefnotdef Posts: 168
    You are probably not allowed to use a demo font for anything but a mockup – certainly not a logo.
  • JosasJosas Posts: 3
    @Frode what do you mean by a 'demo font'

  • JosasJosas Posts: 3
    @Cory Maylett  thanks for that straight forward feedback!

    So maybe using something like an Open Sans font would work here?

    I'll definitely work on the kerning around the Community Buyers.

    There's actually a good proportion of mobile homes with pitched roofs but I get what you're saying here.

  • notdefnotdef Posts: 168
    Alpaca Scarlett Demo”
  • You are probably not allowed to use a demo font for anything but a mockup 

    Also, based on the demo, the full version likely isn't worth the $15 — Apart from the bad spacing already mentioned, the designer clearly has no concept of overshoot.

    If your client is willing to pay you, they should be willing to pay for a proper font. And even if they aren’t, it should be possible to find something better than this (Google fonts generally has a lower dreck-to-usable-font ratio than most freeware/shareware sites, and if you use Adobe CS you have access to TypeKit).
  • What André said. More specifically:
    • Outlines are inconsistent and janky, stroke weights sometimes vary slightly even within the same glyph, let alone between glyphs.
    • spacing is atrocious
    • kerning is bad
    • the designer used none of the concepts of optical compensations, including:
      • overshoot
      • narrowing at stroke joins avoids clogged dark spots (r, y, a 
      • horizontal strokes need to be thinner than vertical to look the same
      • straight-to-curve transitions could be more gradual
      • sometimes ovals need to be slightly super-elliptical else they look squashed (8)
      • having too many strokes in too small a space ends up appearing bolder than other glyphs, so you need to selectively adjust some things (s, e)
    I cover almost all these optical issues in a three-day Crafting Type workshop. Many of them are in this video: It isn’t super advanced stuff.

    I believe you can get something that feels a bit rough or not overly polished without being actually, you know, junk. But I am sure some designers feel that there is a kind of authenticity in what I consider junk fonts.
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