I create brand names and to evaluate them properly I must not be influenced by the typeface they are written with. Therefore I'm looking for the most neutral possible font. I don't know if it would be a specific font that is known to be neutral, or if it would be one of the most commonly used that I see everyday.

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    I don't think this is possible. Even considering the absolute base differences among typefaces..... serif or sans serif..... even that will sway perception. – Scott May 7 '20 at 3:11
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    I think that is subjective. But maybe you can train your eyes to seeing one font as neutral. When I want to write something and focus on the content and not the style, I write in a simple text editor with something like Courier New or Consolas. I'm used to seeing mono space fonts as "code" or "plain text". – Wolff May 7 '20 at 6:37
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    This is somewhat subjective, but the most commonly used fonts are probably Helvetica/Arial or Times. They are as plain as plain could be. – Billy Kerr May 7 '20 at 10:37
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    @BillyKerr I strongly disagree. Times and Arial are very non-neutral to at least my eye, because they make glaringly obvious that the creator didn't consciously choose a typeface, and thus give the work a very amateur look. – Vincent May 7 '20 at 17:27
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    @Vincent - that's what I mean - it's subjective. You think they're not neutral, I think they are. I don't really care how strongly you feel about it. I feel just as strongly that they are neutral because of their ubiquity. – Billy Kerr May 7 '20 at 17:38

This is a very subjective question, but you'll be safe with using something very generic like.. plain old Arial, or Roboto from Google Fonts.


A simple search for "most neutral font" revealed that there is a font that was designed for the purpose of being more neutral than the common sans serif fonts, by averaging all their characteristics. This font is named Neutral, by Kai Bernau.

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    I still think this is highly subjective. Simply put, a sans serif can never be "neutral" because it is the antithesis of a serif font and carries with it connotations which are the polar opposite of serifs. So merely looking at the omission of serifs makes that font not neutral. Massimo Vignelli only used Helvetica because of the connotations he felt it provided. Sans serifs do alter perception. – Scott May 7 '20 at 19:24

So you want to separate a name from its visual appearance. ASCII numbers, Braille and Morse code deliver. I think the idea to discard the visual side is not good because people read business names as whole, they are images. You'll throw away a great part of the available information. Besides with non-visual codes you'll develop some replacement for the visual look, say the rhythm of the word as Morse.

My recommendation: Watch a name with various widely used simple fonts. If one looks acceptable, the name is acceptable.

Not asked: Some attention needs also how the name sounds as spoken.

ADD due the comments:

Get Scanahand or other "handwriting to font converter" and make your own font. The job takes less than half a hour and needs no experience. I guess there's no better way to keep foreign decisions off.

  • You misunderstood the question and assumed I have poor knowledge of branding. The font I'm looking for is for me to evaluate the names, it is not to identify the brand. – WaterBearer May 7 '20 at 13:37
  • What qualities of the names you want to be observable? I guess there's no such thing as a neutral font. Because you call it neutral it must have something which is a property and it's observable at the same time as the ordered set of character codes which are presented as characters. – user287001 May 7 '20 at 13:47
  • I want to observe the non graphic qualities. – WaterBearer May 7 '20 at 14:29
  • You can let a speech synthesizer to read the names letter by letter. Then no visual property of the written appearance of the names will disturb the obsevations. I guess a person who has been blind his whole life doesn't have this problem. – user287001 May 7 '20 at 14:56
  • @WaterBearer, I totally understand what you are looking for and why, but it is self-contradicting in a mind tickling way to want to observe something non graphic. Maybe it's not possible to separate written words from their appearance. It has melted together. – Wolff May 7 '20 at 15:34

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