The Logos of Web 2.0

  • Fonts in Use
Fonts in Use | Stephen Coles | March 7, 2006

There is no official standard for what makes something “Web 2.0”, but there certainly are a few tell-tale signs. These new sites usually feature modern web technologies like Ajax and often have something to do with building online communities. But even more characteristic among these brands is their appearance. Web 2.0 sites nearly always feel open and friendly and often use small chunks of large type. The colors are bright and cheery — lots of blue, orange, and what we jokingly call the Official Color of Web 2.0: lime green.

You can see some of these striking commonalities in Ludwig Gatzke’s compilation of nearly 400 Web 2.0 logos. Read on for a breakdown of the fonts used in a few of our favorite brands.

The Softies

A clear trend in new identities is the use of soft, rounded sans serifs dominated by VAG Rounded (AKA Rundschrift), but also including Helvetica Rounded, Arial Rounded, Bryant, and FF Cocon. All of these lend a modern friendliness to what might otherwise be a cold trademark.

Oct. 2008 Update — New and underused fonts in this category: Foco, Tondo, FF Netto, Estilo Text, and FF Unit Rounded.

ClipShack Logo ClipShack — video sharing
Font: VAG Rounded and Light obliqued
Zimbra Logo Zimbra — collaborative calendar
Font: VAG Rounded Light
Wayfaring Logo Wayfaring — custom Google Maps
Font: VAG Rounded (fattened with added stroke)
Kajeet Logo Kajeet — mobile phone service
Font: VAG Rounded (custom ‘j’)
Zopa Logo Zopa — lending exchange
Font: similar to Frankfurter Medium or Bryant Bold Alt
Pando Logo Pando — file sharing
Font: similar to Bryant Medium Alt
MySpace Logo MySpace — social networking
Font: Arial Rounded Bold and Bell Gothic Black
TracksLife Logo TracksLife — personal database
Font: Arial Rounded Bold
Eventful Logo Eventful — collaborative calendar
Font: Arial Rounded Bold (slightly smooshed)
Spongecell Logo Spongecell — collaborative calendar
Font: Arial Rounded Extra Bold
Skype Logo Skype — internet telephony
Font: Helvetica Rounded Bold
ShoZu Logo ShoZu — photo sharing
Font: FF Cocon Bold
Tabblog Tabblo and Tabblog — photo sharing
Font: FF Cocon Bold

The Futurists

Some sites are reflecting the technological breakthroughs of Web 2.0 with a look that says “tomorrow’s techno”. Pixel faces, hard edges, and ultra simplified forms are not as common as the cozy shapes from the group above, but they represent a good portion of the latest internet startups.

Oct. 2008 Update — New and underused fonts in this category: FS Sinclair, FS Alvar, FF Cube, FF Netto, Sys, Notes Style, Purista, Stratum, Neutraliser, ITC Tetra, Stainless, Atrament

Last.fm Logo Last.fm — musical social network
Font: ITC Ronda (customized)
Alternate: Avernus
Photobucket Logo Photobucket — photo hosting
Font: Digital Sans Medium
Plazes Logo Plazes — geographical networking
Font: Base 9 Regular SC
NewsGator Logo NewsGator — RSS aggregator
Font: ITC Bauhaus Medium
ReminderFeed Logo ReminderFeed — reminders via RSS
Font: FF Dot Matrix Two Regular
Technorati Logo Technorati — weblog search tool
Font: Neo Sans Medium
TagWorld Logo TagWorld — social networking
Font: Handel Gothic Bold
Shoutwire Logo Shoutwire — news sharing
Font: Agency Bold

The Classics

Safe standbys like Trade and News Gothic, Frutiger, Avenir, Interstate, FF Meta, FF DIN, and the always ubiquitous Helvetica continue to see use in new web logos.

Oct. 2008 Update — Using uncommon alternatives to classic typefaces can ensure a logo is unique. Here are a few new or underused alts to the standards:

Xanga Logo Xanga — weblog community
Font: Trade Gothic No. 2 Bold and Light
FeedBurner Logo FeedBurner — RSS optimization and tracking
Font: Trade Gothic Bold
Newsvine Logo Newsvine — news sharing
Font: FF Meta Bold and Book
StandPoint Logo StandPoint — belief sharing
Font: FF DIN Medium
DropSend — file sharing
Font: Frutiger Bold
Flickr Logo Flickr — photo sharing
Font: Frutiger Black
PureVolume Logo PureVolume — music promotion
Font: Avenir Book and Medium
Sutterfly Logo Shutterfly — photo service
Font: Avenir Heavy (customized)
9rules Logo 9rules — web design network
Font: Helvetica Bold
PODZINGER Logo PODZINGER — podcast search
Font: Interstate Black
Campfire Logo Campfire — group chat
Font: Interstate Regular
YouTube Logo YouTube — video sharing
Font: Alternate Gothic No. Two
Bloglines Logo Bloglines — news aggregator
Font: ITC Officina Bold
Weblogs, Inc Logo Weblogs, Inc. — blog network
Font: Syntax Bold
Wikipedia Logo Wikipedia — collaborative reference
Font: Hoefler Text

New Classics

Just as there will always be trends, there will also be those designers who break from them. The following logotypes eschew the popular styles mentioned above and use new typefaces that have the potential to become timeless classics. The typeface is then used throughout the site in headers and graphics. It’s a great way to reinforce a brand and set it apart:

Socialtext Logo Socialtext — enterprise wiki
Font: Lisboa Sans
Facebook Logo Facebook — social networking
Font: Klavika (customized)
Also: cards with Vista Sans
Joyent Proxima Joyent — small business server
Font: Proxima Nova (alt ‘a’)
Not a logo, but we love Joyent’s use of Proxima — a new face that feels familiar but has its own character.

Update – March 22, 2006: Today’s email newsletter suggests some alternatives to the typefaces used in these trends. If you’re not subscribed to FontShop News, you’re missing out on that good stuff, plus the monthly calendar and free font. Register for a FontShop.com account or check your subscription settings to get on board.

See also:

88 Comments:

  1. Amazing trip, it reminds me of the Typography Lectures by one of my favorite teacher back in school.

    the compilation and the feedback ….
    is there any visual time line available on web that depicts the transition of branding marks into the complex shapes of todays modern logo designs?

    Posted by Shakeb on Oct. 12, 2009
  2. Digg’s logo is most likely custom lettering, but there are a few similar typefaces, including ITC Tetra, Shimano Square, Neeskens, and Poca.

    I’d put Coghead in the Classics category since it is set in Myriad, a modern version of the classic Frutiger.

    Posted by Amit Thakar on Oct. 25, 2009
  3. great post! thanks for the awesome infor­mation….
    May be you should consider updating this post with the new “Pepsi” identity. i guess Pepsi will fit in The Futurists category

    Posted by Amit Thakar on Oct. 25, 2009
  4. “Does anyone know which font styles are compatible with the current browsers out there?”
    @TorchesUK as a web designer I use this handy page to see what I can get away with, cross browser/OS: http://www.apaddedcell.com/web-fonts
    though there will need to be an update for Macs and Windows7. But it’s helped me find *nix fonts that compliment Verdana’s large x-height.
    Since most of the wonderful fonts listed above are waaaay more than I can ever afford, I must make mine by hand in Gimp (images of company names I mean).

    Posted by Stomme poes on Oct. 30, 2009
  5. Thanks For Such A Inspiring Collection

    Posted by Yogesh on Nov. 17, 2009
  6. Thanks, I need to update a logo this will really help me.

    Posted by Dave on Nov. 18, 2009
  7. Great Logos

    Posted by Ahmed on Dec. 3, 2009
  8. every time when i read about web2.0 design tends i make me mad. Web 2.0 is a concept not a design aesthetic. It doesn’t matter what trends these web2.0 sites are taking because design has nothing to do with web2.0. It will only increase the confusion.

    see this
    http://oreilly.com/pub/a/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html?page=1

    also check this presentation by Elliot
    http://elliotjaystocks.com/blog/destroy-the-web-20-look-future-of-web-design-new-york/

    Posted by Taha on Dec. 19, 2009
  9. I hear you, Taha. I’m not a big fan of design trend pieces either, but can’t deny that a certain aesthetic, whatever you want to call it, dominates the Web 2.0 concept. Those who are confused will be confused whether we acknowledge the aesthetic or not.

    Posted by Stephen Coles on Dec. 20, 2009
  10. Hi Stephen thanks for the reply. Well actually I don’t care what people think about web 2.0 but some times I wonder what will be web 3.0. May be we can call grunge style web 3.0. Any way this post can satisfy many’s curiosity.I appreciate for the research that you did for this.

    Posted by Taha on Dec. 21, 2009
  11. great article, I like it
    thanks alot

    Posted by egyptwebdesign on Dec. 22, 2009
  12. i dont like this style (web 2.0), all logos is the similar…

    Posted by projekty logo on Dec. 23, 2009
  13. Nice compilation! It is always nice to see other’s work.

    Posted by Lechlk on Jan. 7, 2010
  14. last fm is my fav :)

    Posted by projektant logo on Feb. 1, 2010
  15. What is the font used for the ferrovial agroman logo on thier website. Can any one suggest please.

    Posted by Nikhil on Feb. 18, 2010
  16. The logos Pando, DropSend and 9rules are my favorites. I think web 2.0 get a lot of negativity but I think that many of them for their online focused purpose do work really well. Thank you for sharing these.

    Posted by Logo Design Monster on Feb. 24, 2010
  17. Do you think you can do the font for COOGI ??

    Thanks

    Posted by Coron on Mar. 29, 2010
  18. That’s ITC Avant Garde Gothic.
     
    If you want typefaces identified, contact the Font Identification and Type Research Team. Works faster, more reliable.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Mar. 29, 2010
  19. Very inspirational, thanks!!!

    Posted by Victor Lopez on Apr. 8, 2010
  20. Needless to say – Superb collection. Web 2.0 design means focused, clean and simple. I liked “Dropsend” and “Campfire” logos ver much. Many thanks for sharing this resource.

    Posted by Web 2.0 Design on May. 16, 2010
  21. Hiya, I know people go on and on about web 2.0 but don’t you think it may be a sales ploy? If somebody says a professional template design the price may be average but if somebody says professional web 2.0 template design seems to bump up the price! I think simple is everything check out this post I wrote a few days ago.
     
    Does anyone else think the same as me?

    Posted by George Lucas on May. 18, 2010
  22. I guess I still don’t understand what makes a logo “Web 2.0.”

    I read thru the list at this link, as well, and still cannot make heads nor tails of it:

    http://www.designzzz.com/spectacular-examples-of-web-2-0-logo-designs/

    My understanding of Web 2.0 is that other people perform the work:

    – Forward the logo with a link attached as a form of viral advertising.

    – A wiki logo that changes on an hourly / daily basis as the world updates it.

    Stuff like that …

    Posted by Sean Kinn on Jul. 5, 2010
  23. Cool Logos and very useful informations about the used fonts!
    Thx for this from germany!

    Posted by Thoor on Jul. 11, 2010
  24. Yep! Nice sharing. Good to get inspired! :)

    Posted by Joe Web Design on Jul. 18, 2010
  25. Great and excellent logos and I think Web 2.0 is a great tool to web designers and bloggers. Great stats! Thanks so much for the time you took to gather all these stats in one, easy to view place.

    innovative

    Posted by glendajackson on Jul. 25, 2010
  26. Nice list! Thanks! Also thanks to Glenda for sharing brandcaster.tv

    Posted by Sarah on Aug. 4, 2010
  27. very inspiring logo designs.. i love Zopa logo..

    Posted by Oyunlar on Aug. 20, 2010
  28. Really great collection. I have seen a pile of FONT posts showing really beautiful fonts. The reason I like this post more is because you mention the font name and linked to the font (making the font available/attainable ) making this post an oldie but a goody. Thank you.

    Posted by Fort Collins Web Designer on Nov. 17, 2010
  29. Nice useful post.
    We are researching for creation of a logo for a new project. Looks like we are going to be a softie!

    Posted by SEO spammer [URL removed] on Nov. 30, 2010
  30. Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I’m getting my design chops back up after a very long hiatus. This is getting the official stumble, like, tweet combo.

    It’s interesting to see relationship of the fonts and what the brand represents. I know I’ll be back here soon for an upcoming project web 2.0 project.

    I’m curios, has anyone seen any new trends coming out of the recession and the flurry of businesses being created in the midst of the 9-5 thing not providing opportunities?

    What industries are you seeing and what’s the main branding trend your seeing?

    Posted by think.point.click. on Feb. 18, 2011
  31. thanks for doing this socialmedia portrait !

    Posted by graphiste grenoble on Apr. 25, 2011
  32. This is a great place for all those logos for web 2.0. I’ve never knew there were so many. This place is getting bookmarked.

    Posted by SEO spammer [URL removed] on May. 4, 2011
  33. What is the font used in the logo on http://www.contour.com
    Contour Cameras

    Posted by Elna on May. 25, 2011
  34. Funny thing is that I used the Foco font recently for a client of mine. Very cool to see this article is still popular after all these years.

    Posted by SEO spammer [URL removed] on Jun. 2, 2012
  35. what is the font for the new yahoo logo? Thx

    Posted by attagency on Nov. 14, 2012
  36. I really like the new Microsoft logo, it proves that classic never gets old.

    Posted by Postcard Direct Mail on Dec. 19, 2012
  37. I have to admit that my favorite logo is Skype. The combination of blue & white is easy on the eyes, but it’s the lack of being in a square or box that leave me enjoying this logo so much.

    Posted by Spammer [URL removed] on Dec. 19, 2012
  38. Designers have to be creative and put many efforts in designing beautiful, unique and catchy logos. And the results they come out with are sometimes stunning and spectacular. Both in graphic design and web design.

    Posted by Don Norris on Jan. 17, 2014

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