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Foreign Text Logo Design Explained
Organizations that need to use foreign text logo design often need to make sure they choose designers who understand how to incorporate special characters and non-English words into images. Designers without experience in this area often find themselves floundering, unable to decide how they can mix graphics and foreign language characters to create cohesive, attractive images.
The Logo Company has professionals experienced in this area of graphic design. Whether you need a logo that uses foreign language symbols, words, or phrases, they can produce useful designs that attract your target audience.
Logos With Foreign Language Characters
Many languages use characters that English doesn’t need. You’re already familiar with the characters used in English, French, German, and several other languages in the Indo-European family. That’s because the written forms of these Indo-European, Germanic languages all use the Latin script, which is also known as the English alphabet. When you venture into written languages developed in other parts of the world, though, you often discover that people use different characters.
Foreign text logo design will often need characters outside of the Latin script. That includes:
- Russian, which uses Cyrillic script
- Arabic, which uses the Arabic script
- Japanese, which uses kanji (Chinese characters), hiragana, and katakana
- Korean, primarily relies on Hangul, but also uses Cyrillic and Hanja
These foreign languages use symbols that rarely resemble anything in the Latin script. Someone unaware of them might not even recognize the writing as language at all. Because they evolved independent of each other, they have unique features that pose challenges to organizations that want to include foreign text in their logos.
Designers who have worked with these characters before, however, can make them work as part of the logo’s overall aesthetic and functionality.
Logos With Foreign Language Diacritics
Diacritics, accent marks often used to change how speakers pronounce a word, aren’t very common in English. Some writers use them in words like coöperation, but they are still quite rare. Those that do appear in English usually come from other languages. English speakers, for instance, use French words like café, exposé, and sauté. The accent marks above the letter “e” is the diacritic in those words. Many German words that have made their way into English also use diacritics.
English stands out as one of the few languages that doesn’t use diacritics liberally. These marks can affect a logo’s appearance. Even subtle changes can impact how audiences respond to your logo. That becomes difficult for many designers who need to work with Arabic and Cyrillic scripts, not to mention, French, German, Spanish, and Italian.
People from America, Great Britain, Australia, and other English-speaking countries will probably recognize diacritics in the logo of the band Motörhead. The heavy metal band creates a dark image by incorporating an umlaut into its logo. This often appeals to their target audience, who often see themselves as outside of mainstream culture. Something as simple as foreign language accent marks can transform an otherwise simple word into an identifiable logo.
Professional designers can use a similar approach to add style to foreign language logos. They may incorporate diacritics into English words, or they may choose foreign language characters that match companies’ identities that target non-English-speaking consumers.
Given that diacritics alter languages’ appearances that use Latin script, designers have to consider how they will incorporate changes into the overall appearance of the logo. In some cases, they can use the foreign language diacritics to their advantage. In others, they have to adjust images to match certain scripts that use accent marks.
Designing Logos for Foreign Language Audiences
Logo designers using foreign languages have to consider more than just how characters and diacritics will affect their images. They also have to think about how they can use color to emphasize chosen aspects of foreign language scripts.
Some languages seem to embody characteristics. Arabic script is free-flowing like English cursive. A lot of foreign language accent marks and diacritics can look cumbersome and heavy. Knowing this helps designers choose colors that match the goals of clients.
When designers want to take advantage of heavy appearances in languages like German, they often turn to dark colors. Black is essentially all colors blended together, so it adds to the heavy appearance of German and similar languages. Designers working with black backgrounds often eschew white letters, choosing light gray, instead. This helps the letters remain heavy even against the dark background.
Designers working with flowing scripts have a lot of options. They can choose to add security and weight by choosing black, green, or dark blue. They can also play up the light appearance with yellow, orange, and other bright colors. It largely depends on what kind of message the client wants to send to the target audience.