A typeface is a huge part of brand identity. It represents the character of your brand and is a vital element of your visual language – it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
You wouldn’t use Comic Sans as the core typeface for Burberry or Times New Roman for Hasbro. Why decide to go off the peg when you can shop at Savile Row?
The importance of choosing the right typeface is clear when you see the use of bespoke typefaces are on the rise. It’s not just that typeface licensing fees are spiralling (especially in the cases of big brands), but it’s about building a design for your own specific needs.
When we launched our rebrand, and new identity, we created a bespoke logotype. It was exciting. The unique letterforms expressed our personality and character, but more importantly it was crafted with a vision that we would create our very own bespoke typeface:
On a personal level, I couldn’t wait. As a self-confessed typography nerd, I love all things type. I’ve designed a few typefaces in the past and many bespoke logotypes, but I’ve never had the opportunity to create a working typeface.
Involvement in a creative and hands-on workshop about craft typography in a digital age fired the desire to build our own typeface. With our passion and excitement ignited, we did it, we made Spongeface.
The timing was perfect. We were establishing our new brand positioning and approach – Creativity that moves people – and building our new website. Now we had the ability to enforce our brand, not only with a new strategic approach and positioning, but with a more cohesive appearance.
We approached the project by expanding the letterforms seen within our logo to the entire alphabet, crafting each letterform to have the playful and approachable personality we required to represent our brand.
Once we had achieved the aesthetic we strived for, and created our case-sensitive characters, we then developed a range of punctuation and numbers. This complete set of glyphs made up the typeface. We went through several rounds of refinement and amends, but the easy part was complete. Now came the challenge, taking these shapes and making them a functioning font that we can all use!
I enjoyed the process a lot, in fact I loved some parts of it. It was a great experience and a steep learning curve. But, it involved a huge amount of trial and error. As most designers will know, kerning (adjusting the space between certain letterforms) is so important when setting type. So, when you build a typeface, you have to set up individual kerning pairs between specific letters so when your typing out text you don’t have to constantly adjust the kerning. This can be very time consuming for a designer. That process, setting up many, many different kerning pairs was hard work. Was it worth it? Yes, absolutely!
We have our own unique typeface that no one else uses. It’s a typeface that represents the personality of the agency and our brand. It emphasises the unique nature of Creative Sponge in the material we create to tell the story of our brand. It’s a fantastic asset and something we’re incredibly proud of.
Next step – Spongeface Skinny and Spongeface Wonky.
Creating a typeface for a brand takes it to the next level, adding a distinctive character and personality to the identity. If you’re interested in a bespoke typeface to help emphasise the unique nature of your business, it would be great to talk.
Call 01603 622766, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or open the instant chat window in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
Remember, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.