What mobile phone do you have? If you are reading this in the UK you are likely to answer “Nokia”, “Samsung” or “Sony Ericsson”. If you are not in the mobile world and reading this in the US you might answer “Sprint”, “AT&T” or Verizon. The US is the only place in the world where the operator comes first to the consumers mind but it is symptomatic of the battle between handset manufacturers and networks, or carriers, for who owns the customer.
A good deal of this is the user experience and part of that is Brand. Of course this is the fonts.com blog and we are interested in how fonts represent brand in the handset.
Ron Bird is the Lead UX Designer at Hutchison 3G where he is working on projects which help integrate the 3 brand and experience into the handset. He’s been around the mobile industry for a long time having worked at Nokia, Symbian, Fujitsu, Orange and Vodafone. At 3 he’s working on a service delivery mechanism that will help users enjoy the range of services 3 and their partners offer more easily.
You can have a look at some of his work, in particular some very effective shockwave animations at www.2birds.org.
The 3 network has built a very strong brand, and uses the fonts Verdana, Modena and Tahoma. While these haven’t made it into a phone or on to the keypads of devices the use of the fonts is a strong part of the 3 branding message.