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 Logo — 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.

By Techwacky

Editor-in-Chef of