fonts.com blog
Posts Tagged ‘branding’

by Bill Davis

Last month, I was honored to give a presentation at the ATypI Hong Kong 2012 Conference titled “Solving the Challenges of Asian Web Fonts.”

To view my ATypI presentation on Slideshare, click here http://slidesha.re/XUpldI

The Fonts.com Web Fonts service features the widest language support including many non-Latin scripts (Cyrillic, Greek, Thai, Arabic, Hebrew, Armenian and Devanagari) and East Asian fonts (Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean). Our experience in being the first to support this broad range of languages and scripts has allowed us to gain insights into early adoption of non-Latin and Asian Web fonts by Web designers and developers.

The main benefits of Web fonts, no matter the language or geographic market for your audience, are:

  • Establish typographic consistency
  • Improve user experience
  • Eliminate the use of text as graphics, improve workflow
  • Enhance SEO, accessibility

technology adoption cycle with web fonts

When we surveyed the most visited websites across the globe, we found that 10 to 15 percent are already using Web fonts. But for East Asian languages and scripts, only a handful has started to deploy Web fonts. Why is that?

Consider the two primary challenges for developers of Asian websites:

  • Website design issues
  • Asian Web font file sizes

Most Asian websites are very text intensive, using large amounts of text at small sizes with very little use of white space like most “western” style websites. Web fonts can benefit headlines and replace images. For smaller amounts of text, system fonts have typically been used but now more typographic options are becoming available to designers.

Asian web sites

The second challenge for Asian website designers is how to overcome the huge file sizes. Chinese, Japanese and Korean fonts can range in size from 2MB to 10MB. Linking to multiple font files of this size is not an option for most developers due to latency concerns.

cjk web fonts dynamic subsetting

The best solution is dynamic subsetting – where a small Web font file is built and downloaded on the fly (using the characters only found on each page). Fonts.com Web fonts deploys dynamic subsetting on all its Asian Web fonts, so fonts get downloaded in milliseconds and not minutes. To learn more and see an interactive demo of Dynamic Subsetting, visit http://fontsubsetter.com/.

With all the positive attention that Web fonts are receiving globally, I believe that this is the year non-Latin and Asian Web fonts take off!



by Ryan Arruda

With over 11 million daily patrons, Burger King is one of the largest fast food establishments worldwide. The Burger King website features the Trade Gothic typeface family for both display and body text, utilizing Trade Gothic Bold, Trade Gothic Bold Condensed #20, and Trade Gothic Light.

One of the most successful implementations of Trade Gothic on the site are the homepage headlines. Set in Trade Gothic Bold Condensed #20, the use of white typography slightly tempers the inherent assertiveness of the font’s letterforms, lending a confident – yet upbeat – air to the matter-of-fact text. The title case subheads set in Trade Gothic Bold provide contrast with the typographic color of the Trade Gothic Light body text, a nice showcase of this family’s versatility (and deliciousness).

Fonts.com Customer Spotlight: Burger King


by Johnathan Zsittnik

Today we unveil a brand new Fonts.com. If you’re a regular reader of the Fonts.com blog, you’ve probably already noticed a new aesthetic right here. The actual site offers plenty more to take in: In addition to a revamped design, you’ll discover additional ways to browse and search for fonts, fresh approaches to UI, and loads more typographic imagery. Despite all that’s new, the story of this site actually dates back quite a while.

In mid-2010, we took stock of the existing Fonts.com and drew up a lengthy list of areas to improve. Our wishlist included changes to the overall aesthetic, the organization of articles and other content, the way our products were presented and the tools we provide for discovering and trying fonts. In short: it was time to redesign.

We approached Happy Cog to help at the end of 2010. We’re big fans of executive creative director and renowned standards proponent Jeffrey Zeldman. So, the decision to work with his agency was an easy one. Jeffrey, Creative Director Chris Cashdollar and others from the Happy Cog team came out for a kickoff meeting in January of 2011. The Happy Cog team posed challenging questions regarding our vision for the new Fonts.com. ‘Should content focus more on searching or exploration and inspiration.’ While there were no easy answers, the ensuing conversation shaped the direction of the redesign and let us know it was a good fit between agency and client.

We came out of that initial kickoff meeting inspired and charged up with the following objectives and vision for Fonts.com:

  • Create a new Fonts.com home page featuring inspiring executions of fonts, an increased focus on search, and thoughtfully chosen interfaces that balance the most popular purchases, new and promoted products, and original content that is compelling and educational.
  • Integrate the Web font service into the Fonts.com experience.
  • Offer an improved search experience that makes smart choices about what to present and when, using the latest techniques for increasing engagement and conversion including things such as suggestive search and faceted results.
  • Release a re-envisioned font browsing experience, that focuses on font presentation, decreases steps to experimenting and purchasing type.
  • Refine the structure of content types to make it more accessible without getting in the way of getting to font products.
  • Tightly integrate social features.

An intense collaboration ensued, taking us from the objectives stated above, to sitemap, to wireframes, to the creation of the primary visual design elements to page design and eventually to the site we premier today.

With that, let’s take a tour of the new Fonts.com.

Home: Modernized aesthetics; loads of real estate for type

Fonts.com Inspiration

We think you’ll agree – the new Fonts.com homepage makes an impression. Big, bold type showings demonstrate type in use and provide in-depth looks of families. The stage premiers with showcases of Massif – a new design by our own Steve Matteson in addition to showings of the Akko, Gibson and Salvo Sans families. Hero images were designed by Monotype Imaging creative director Dennis Michael Dimos (Massif) as well as external designers Bethany Heck (Akko), Mark Weaver (Gibson) and Naz Hamid (Salvo Sans). Keep an eye on this area as we’ll rotate in fresh new showings from graphic designers and type designers on a regular basis. Beyond the hero images lies a variety of type showcases and discovery tools. Explore rich previews of hot new releases and established designs through the best selling new fonts and featured font sections. The “Find Your Type controls” allow you to search, browse, or identify fonts without ever leaving home. You’ll also find a selection of the latest articles on Fonts.com. We’ve always put out great, informative and educational content, but now the best content is far easier to find.

The decision to incorporate Web fonts for all of the type was an easy one. Picking the typefaces families and optimizing the fonts for the Web took a little more time.

“We really enjoyed working with the type and implementing it through the Fonts.com Web Font service,” said Christopher Cashdollar, creative director at Happy Cog. “We were able to implement a smart, legible and well-structured type system using the Neue Frutiger and Frutiger Serif families. We knew we could trust the integrity of the type because of the level of scrutiny that Monotype Imaging puts into the screen optimization of its fonts.”

Search: Sort, Filter and Discover; Desktop fonts and Web fonts Side by Side
Our new search results pages introduces sorting and filtering options that will help you navigate through our vast inventory and zero in on the design of your choice. Oh yeah, typefaces results are (finally) grouped by family.

As I mentioned, integrating our Web font service into Fonts.com was a primary goal of the redesign. The new search results page is just one place where you can find desktop fonts alongside side of Web fonts. Our search tools will return results for desktop fonts, Web fonts and articles. When you rollover a family that’s available as a Web font, a control will display that will allow you to add it to a project right from the search results page.

Family pages: Try, learn and share

Our new family pages feature a prominent showing. We’ve hand designed showings for many top families and will continue to expand this inventory over time. But we’re also counting on you. Showcase your design skills by designing and submitting images for your favorite typefaces.  Just click the ‘+’ to add your work to our gallery.

These robust new family pages gather all of the family members in one place. Type historians will appreciate the detailed descriptions – available for many of our most popular and newest families. And font enthusiasts of all kinds will enjoy rating and sharing their opinions with the Fonts.com community and through social avenues.

Cart: Quick, convenient shopping

The new Fonts.com features a mini shopping cart that is accessible from the header nav of every page. Click the shopping cart to view or delete products in your cart, without leaving the current page. This is convenient for those working their way through a lengthy shopping list and those with items remaining in their cart from a previous visit to Fonts.com.

Manage Web Fonts: Your new Web font command center

Fonts.com Web Fonts subscribers will notice a dramatically different set of controls for managing their Web fonts projects. Our new Manage Web Fonts page acts as a dashboard, providing virtually everything you need to build, edit, deploy and share Fonts.com Web Fonts projects.

Learn About Fonts & Typography: Even more great, educational content

Fonts.com FontologyLearn About Fonts & Typography is home to the original content we produce. Here you’ll find a new series called Fontology – an ever-expanding academic resource for educational institutions, design students and those with an interest in the typographic arts. This section is also home to the Fonts.com blog which features topical content that will keep you up to speed with the latest from Fonts.com and the type design community. Lastly, our popular series, For Your Typographic Information, lives on within Learn About Fonts & Typography. This longstanding series remain an excellent source for those in search of typographic tips and tricks.

Best Sellers: Insight into typographic trends

If you’re curious to know what’s hot, look no further than our best sellers pages. View the New Best Sellers page for a look at the top new releases or the All Best Sellers page to see the typefaces whose popularity has stood the test of time. For further looks into what’s trending, note that you can sort search results by popularity. You can also access the highest rated typefaces (as determined by your ratings submitted on family pages) through the “Find Your Type controls” on the home page.

Fonts.com Best Selling Fonts

FontGazer: Try thousands of fonts directly in Adobe InDesign
The new Fonts.com isn’t the only thing in beta.  As you may have seen, we recently announced FontGazer – a free InDesign plug-in that allows you to browse, try, and buy fonts from Fonts.com directly from Adobe® InDesign®. Download FontGazer and be sure to let us know what you think by sharing your raves, gripes and feature requests in the FontGazer Feedback Forum.

Fonts.com FontGazer

If you’d like a more interactive tour, you can check out this video. It will give you a more detailed look at many of the features described above, plus many more — including an overview of how to manage your Fonts.com Web Fonts projects on the new site.

The new Fonts.com is out. But that doesn’t mean we’re done. We’re hard at work on additional enhancements that will arrive during and after beta. In the meantime, we want to know what else you’d like to see. We’re not there yet, but you can help us make Fonts.com everything you want it to be. If you notice something that’s missing or that can be improved upon – let us know. See something you like? We want to know. Click the red feedback bar on the side of the site to share your thoughts.

Now get out there on the new Fonts.com, and find your type.

Johnathan Zsittnik
Johnathan Zsittnik is the eCommerce Marketing Manager at Monotype Imaging. Johnathan holds both a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in business administration from Bentley University.



by Chris Roberts

Here’s a ranked listing of Fonts.com Web Fonts’ top 100 most used Web fonts for October 2011

Futura® Bold
Neue Helvetica® 35 Thin
Neue Helvetica® 55 Roman
Avenir® 55 Roman
Avenir® 85 Heavy
Univers® 57 Condensed
Neue Helvetica® 75 Bold
Garamond 3 Regular
Garamond 3 Italic
Avenir® 35 Light
Neue Helvetica® 45 Light
Bauer Bodoni® Black Italic
Helvetica® Condensed Bold
Sackers™ Gothic Heavy
Avenir® 65 Medium
Sackers™ Gothic Medium
Avenir® 95 Black, Extended
DIN 1451 Engschrift
Neue Helvetica® 25 Ultra Light
Futura® Medium
Trade Gothic® Condensed Bold 20
Avenir® 95 Black
Linotype Univers® 620 Condensed Bold
Trade Gothic® Bold
Neue Helvetica® 77 Condensed Bold
Linotype Univers® 420 Condensed
Futura® Book
Linotype Didot® Bold
Linotype Didot® Roman
Linotype Didot® Italic
Linotype Univers® 320 Condensed Light, Extended
DIN Next™ Condensed Bold
Univers® 47 Condensed Light Oblique, Extended
Neue Helvetica® 67 Condensed Medium
Trade Gothic® Roman
Futura® Bold Condensed Oblique
Neue Helvetica® 65 Medium
Avenir® 45 Book
Futura® Bold Condensed
Trade Gothic® Condensed 18
Futura® Medium Condensed
DIN Next™ Bold
Futura® Heavy
Trade Gothic® Bold 2
PMN Caecilia® 75 Bold
PMN Caecilia® 85 Heavy
Laurentian™ Semi Bold Italic
Neue Helvetica® 45 Light, Extended
Monotype Grotesque® Condensed
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Book
PMN Caecilia® 76 Bold Italic
Trade Gothic® Bold, Extended
Neue Helvetica® 47 Condensed Light
Trade Gothic® Condensed Bold #20, Extended
Trade Gothic® Extended Bold
Neue Frutiger® Book
VAG Rounded™ Bold
Neue Frutiger® Bold
Neue Frutiger® Light
Neue Helvetica® 55 Roman, Extended
Neue Helvetica® 57 Condensed
Helvetica® Bold
DIN Next™ Regular
Administer BookItalic
Neue Helvetica® 87 Condensed Heavy
Neue Helvetica® 37 Condensed Thin
Helvetica® Bold, Extended
Rockwell® Bold
Avenir® 55 Roman
Univers® 67 Condensed Bold Oblique
DIN Next™ Condensed, Extended
Trade Gothic® Next Regular
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Medium
Neue Helvetica® 63 Extended Medium
Neue Helvetica® 53 Extended, Extended
Felbridge™ Regular
Neue Helvetica® 73 Extended Bold, Extended
VAG Rounded™ Light
Gill Sans® Book
Trade Gothic® Next Condensed Bold
Trade Gothic® Bold #2, Extended
Neuzeit® Office Bold
Neuzeit® Office Regular, Extended
Frutiger® 65 Bold
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Bold
Futura® Book, Extended
VAG Rounded™ Black
Helvetica® Bold Italic
Frutiger® 55 Roman
Rockwell® Regular
Neue Frutiger® Regular
ITC Lubalin Graph® Book
Avenir® Next Demi
Trade Gothic® Condensed #18, Extended
Neue Helvetica® 65 Medium, Extended
Cochin® Roman
Neo® Sans Regular, Extended
Eurostile® Next Regular
Linotype Univers® 520 Condensed Medium
Frutiger® 45 Light, Extended


by Chris Roberts

Here’s a ranked listing of Fonts.com Web Fonts’ top 100 most used Web fonts for August 2011:

Neue Helvetica® 87 Condensed Heavy
Administer BookItalic
Univers® 57 Condensed
Neue Helvetica® 77 Condensed Bold
Avenir® 85 Heavy
Garamond 3 Regular
Helvetica® Condensed Bold
Futura® Bold
Garamond 3 Italic
Bauer Bodoni® Black Italic
Neue Helvetica® 35 Thin
Sackers™ Gothic Heavy
Sackers™ Gothic Medium
Neue Helvetica® 55 Roman
Neue Helvetica® 57 Condensed
Neue Helvetica® 75 Bold
Avenir® 35 Light
Avenir® 65 Medium
Avenir® 55 Roman
Neue Helvetica® 45 Light
Trade Gothic® Bold
Futura Medium
Trade Gothic® Condensed Bold 20
Trade Gothic® Condensed Bold #20, Ext
Avenir® 95 Black
Neue Helvetica® 25 Ultra Light
ITC Legacy® Serif Bold Italic
Avenir® 95 Black, Ext
Futura® Book
Linotype Didot® Bold
Linotype Didot® Roman
Linotype Didot® Italic
Neue Helvetica® 67 Condensed Medium
Linotype Univers® 420 Condensed
PMN Caecilia® 75 Bold
Linotype Univers® 620 Condensed Bold
Futura® Bold Condensed
Neue Helvetica® 47 Condensed Light
PMN Caecilia® 85 Heavy
Linotype Univers® 320 Condensed Light, Ext
PMN Caecilia® 76 Bold Italic
Futura® Medium Condensed
Univers® 47 Condensed Light Oblique, Ext
Futura® Heavy
Neue Helvetica® 37 Condensed Thin
Monotype Grotesque® Condensed
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Book
Avenir® 45 Book
VAG Rounded™ Black
Neue Helvetica® 45 Light, Ext
Neue Helvetica® 65 Medium
Avenir® 55 Roman, Ext
Rockwell® Bold
VAG Rounded™ Bold
Neue Helvetica® 55 Roman, Ext
Trade Gothic® Roman
Felbridge™ Regular
Neue Helvetica® 63 Extended Medium
Trade Gothic® Extended Bold
Neue Helvetica® 53 Extended, Ext
Helvetica® Condensed Bold, Ext
Neue Helvetica® 73 Extended Bold, Ext
Frutiger® 65 Bold
Neue Frutiger® Light
Eurostile® Next Regular
Eurostile® Next Extended Regular
Eurostile® Next Extended Bold
Neue Helvetica® 65 Medium, Ext
Eurostile® Next Extended Semibold
Eurostile® Next Semi Bold, Ext
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Medium
Frutiger® 55 Roman
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Bold
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Demi
Trade Gothic® Light
Neue Frutiger® Bold
Neo Sans Regular, Ext
Trade Gothic® Bold, Ext
Neue Frutiger® Book
Univers® 67 Condensed Bold Oblique
DIN Next™ Regular
Helvetica® Light, Ext
Trade Gothic® Condensed 18
Helvetica® Rounded Condensed Bold
Palatino® Sans Arabic Regular
Frutiger® 45 Light, Ext
Neue Frutiger® Regular
Cochin® Roman
Helvetica® Condensed
Trade Gothic® Condensed #18, Ext
Neo® Sans Arabic Regular
VAG Rounded™ Light
ITC Lubalin Graph® Book
Neue Helvetica® 67 Condensed Medium, Ext
Avenir® Next Demi
Avenir® 35 Light, Ext
Neue Helvetica® 75 Bold, Ext
Neue Frutiger® Medium
Helvetica® Bold, Ext
Frutiger® 65 Bold, Ext


by Julie Strawson

Having globe-trotted from Hamburg, I arrived in New York City to a hail of thunderstorms to hold the third meeting of the Brand Perfect Tour. My goal was to join brand managers, creative directors, Web designers and developers to debate the future of branding in the digital space.

Hosted by Lee Aldridge, chief brand officer at Young & Rubicam Group, who introduced me, I began by recapping previous Brand Perfect forums in London and Hamburg. Themes had emerged from these events, such as “kill the logo,” and the “brand book is dead.” There were also questions about whether the traditional notion of brand consistency matters. What would New York bring?

Lee Aldridge set the context for discussion. His session focused on the shift in brand values toward social media, culture and responsibility. He made the point that digital goes way beyond the Web, and as screens surround consumers both at home and at work, there are more and more opportunities for brand presence and interaction. This is a mass market phenomenon, not restricted to a privileged demographic, and the secret to success is knowing why the consumer should want to engage, what to deliver that is contextually relevant and how to maintain the dialogue. Brand authenticity depends on the action taken to a communication in real time – the here and now. Organizations must support this throughout their structure. Getting attention is harder than ever, and brands must think more creatively about how to engage. Giant holographic images of products such as sneakers and juicy pizza were cited as one way to do this.

Charles Bigelow, the Melbert B. Carey professor at New York’s Rochester Institute of Technology, followed with a fascinating study on the emotional values that typefaces were shown to purport, based on an analysis conducted by R.I.T.  on 18 to 25-year-olds. The study showed that some typefaces have brand personalities, and choosing a typeface that reflects the tone of your message and indeed your own brand personality can help to carry the voice of your communication more effectively. The study found that Web-safe fonts afford fewer connotations in communications than non-Web-safe display fonts.

Charles Bigelow

The Brand Perfect New York panel discussion featured Paul Owen, executive creative director, Landor Associates New York, Johannes Schardt, co-founder of precious, a Hamburg–based design and development agency, and Dennis Michael Dimos, newly hired creative director of Monotype Imaging.

Paul Owen made the point that technology has only just started to catch up to enable where brands want to be. “We are in constant beta mode,” he said, and keeping up with technology is a bigger task than ever for brands and their agencies. Technology trends can lead brands down tracks that aren’t appropriate. Highlighting the iPhone® device, Johannes Schardt mentioned that he constantly asks, “Why do brands want an i-Phone app? Usually it’s not the best solution.” There was a lot of discussion about brand guidelines and the need to evolve these to suit the environment. “Read the book and then throw it away,” was the advice from Dennis Michael Dimos.

Paul Owen, Johannes Schardt, Dennis Michael Dimos and Lee Aldridge

Steve Matteson, creative type director at Monotype Imaging and the designer of the Droid™ typefaces, then talked about the way that a typeface becomes the voice of your brand. People associate with it in the same way they become familiar with other visual attributes. Similarly, type can be a very versatile way to change the tone of voice for a large corporate brand that wants to appeal to a different demographic in a different tone. He gave the example of Microsoft and its XBox® video game console.

The final presentation of the morning was delivered by John Oswald, business design lead at Fjord London. John posed the question, “Do we over-communicate, and are we driving consumers away with the continual push-marketing tactics employed in traditional channels that just don’t work in the digital space?” Focusing on designing very much for context with the individual at the heart of the thought process, John emphasized the need for visual recognition anywhere, authentic interaction and expected performance.

The Brand Perfect New York master classes were conducted by Rietje Gieskes of Landor Associates who looked at the value of creating bespoke typefaces to suit a brand. Daniel Rhatigan delivered a detailed class showing how to deliver richer communications with Web typography using Web fonts, including how to select fonts and manage layout across different platforms and browsers. The afternoon concluded with a highly interactive class on multi-screen design by Christophe Stoll and Johannes Schardt from precious, Hamburg, which was very well received.

Mark your calendars. The next stops in the 2011 Brand Perfect Tour are London on Oct. 4 and Berlin on Oct. 27.

The call for speakers is open! Would you like to contribute either a keynote presentation or a master class at the next Brand Perfect events? E-mail your suggestions to brandperfect@monotypeimaging.co.uk for consideration. Call closes 31st August.

Delegate places are now available – just e-mail brandperfect@monotypeimaging.co.uk stating the location you wish to attend to reserve your seat.


by Rebecca Schalber

We were more than overbooked for the second event on the Brand Perfect Tour – and when I took a look around the fully occupied rows, it seemed that everyone managed to make it!

Alexander Schröder, Landor Associates

Alexander Schröder from Landor Associates opened the event by talking about brand strategies for digital media.  Today the communication of brands is a public affair that’s no longer under the control of the owner of the trademark. Holistic brand management means to manage the brand experience in terms of communication, structure and behavior which demands corporate engagement from the top down and engineering throughout the organization, not just in the marketing department. Read more from Alexander at his blog.

Phillip Clement from bemoko (multi-platform software and Web development) then took the platform to talk about the challenges of fragmentation where brands only function on certain devices. He mentioned the Financial Times app which works just fine on the iPad® device but not on the iPhone® device. Twenty percent of customers are okay with that, but most aren’t, so the brand experience is damaged. We learn that “dead ends,” which are rarely found on the Web, are still normal in the mobile domain.  Although there is a focus on the iOS® and the Android™ operating system, in addition to a few other major platforms, we’re unable to control to which extent operating systems and appliances penetrate the market. It’s always a moving target.  Also the number of browsers is increasing…

Nadine Chahine’s talk about type and usability in new media started with a focus on brand interaction which is essential for the user and therefore essential for the brand’s reach. Superbrands or “love marks” work on an emotional level, but how do you get there? Apple, for instance, stimulates the same part of its “disciples’” brains as religious images do in the brains of their believers. The answer is through distinctiveness, unity, simplicity, design, authenticity and being the fastest to get attention.

And what role does typography play in all of this? Typography is the voice with which everything is being communicated. If you mess this up, you risk rupture between what you’re trying to say and the way you’re saying it. In the worst case, bad typography can give you a headache…The consistency of a brand’s personality is exuded through typographic consistency…“You don’t change horses in the middle of the race!” says Nadine. Every typeface has a personality, and you should choose the personality which fits best to the brand.

Dan Reynolds, Linotype, at panel

Dan Reynolds, Linotype, at panel discussion

Johannes Schardt, Dan Reynolds, Louisa Heinrich and Alexander Schröder took part in the panel debate.

How important is interaction in the brand’s theme?

Alexander Schröder:  – “BMW is a good example – the average driver of the BMW 7-Series is suddenly no longer 70 but 49 years old – the original target group was lost as it was now only buying Mercedes! Ergo: You can no longer rest on what you used to know; you continuously have to adapt your brand to the present circumstances.”

The lion’s share of a brand identity consists of its color and type. If these remain consistent, they help the brand become very familiar. But a brand is an experience. A cool logo doesn’t help when a company appears to be, for example, unethical.

“The graphic game with the personality of the brand plays an important role but it isn’t everything,” says Dan Reynolds. After that came the heretical question, whether a logo in the Verdana® typeface would then be okay: “The question isn’t whether Verdana is good or bad but whether we still need it today or whether we want to focus our attention on other typefaces,” says Dan.

The conclusion is: It’s important to question your brand’s (digital) presentation constantly for appropriateness every day.

Louisa Heinrich from Fjord then delivered her take on “where the brand breaks.”

“Today the brand has come home via mobile appliances and is no longer controllable, thanks to Facebook and Co. Stop stressing out about consistency – start thinking about context around your brand, because only 10 percent of a conversation is coming from what I say. The other 90 percent are coming from my body language or the color of my eyes. So for me personally, context is also the business of my friends to which I’m linked, the place I’m at, what I need, where I’ll be going. Technologically speaking, it’s the appliance, the operating system, the access point…”

People want to have control; there’s a lot of static noise in the world. All day long, we’re considering which content seems relevant to us. And we no longer read everything. Whatever we find exciting, we share with our network. If you’re doing it right as a brand, you’re supporting this current phenomenon. But many brands which are using, for example, Facebook, are the equivalent to the so-called “party buggers” who are eavesdropping on the door and then come in yelling “but that’s not right!” It’s also important that the digital brand experience goes with the brand: If a brand like BMW, which is associated with fast cars does something digitally slow, the brand loses its authenticity.

Louisa’s conclusion is: 1. design for context; 2. design for a brand in action; 3. design digital DNA.

After lunch delegates joined three master classes.

Working in small groups in a workshop, “strategies for multiscreen interaction,” led by the Hamburg design studio, precious, the delegates got involved in designing a customer Journey for the family Reifberger. How were they going to organize their holiday? What inspires them? What needs do they have when being on holiday and what is happening after the holiday?

Subsequently, delegates developed a new digital travel service together called the “Travel Butler.” The Travel Butler is discreet, always there when you need it, competent, elegant and sophisticated. Which applications and features does the Travel Butler offer? How can you integrate at least three different devices in a holiday cycle? What makes sense on a smartphone, on a personal computer, on a tray or on TV? Which needs are being met with the application, which problems are being solved with it? And how does the application work? What could the interface look like?

Dan Reynolds explained the different challenges we face using type on the Web and the practical considerations for applying typography in different environments. Using a tool to quickly show how selecting a different typeface can completely change the balance and tone of a Web page, delegates experienced Web fonts first hand. You can try too at www.webfontspreview.com.

Fran Gruber & Alexander Polzin (left to right), Fork Unstable Media

Frank Gruber & Alexander Polzin (left to right), Fork Unstable Media

The final class was “Times New Romance” – typo diversity in the Web.  Alexander Polzin and Frank Gruber of Fork Unstable Media asked the question, “Do you only want to watch or program with us?” (The answer was watching…) was a trip into the world of Web fonts that illustrated the clear advantages of applying fine typography to communications and the challenges different rendering environments pose.

On to New York City next…

 


by Vikki Quick

The New York arm of The Brand Perfect™ Tour is taking place on June 22 at The Ney Center at Young & Rubicam Group, 285 Madison Avenue, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Launched in May, The Brand Perfect Tour is a series of global forums hosted in London, then Munich and now in New York City, which bring together brands, brand managers, directors, designers and developers in a unique exchange of communication and discovery. The Brand Perfect Tour is not a singular company, a specific brand, or any one profession or organization – it’s ALL of that. It’s an open exchange of ideas, strategies, processes and technologies designed to improve brand consistency and the user experience in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.  

Join us in New York to share knowledge and discuss the collective challenges of building, maintaining, growing and delivering a unified customer experience. A task made increasingly more complex and demanding by real-time technological advances, multi-channel interactions and the unpredictable fluidity in consumer trends and “click-thru” behavior.

More information on the event and speakers can be found here. Reservations for the Brand Perfect Tour can be made at http://brandperfect-tour.com.

Speakers include:

Chuck Bigelow, Rochester Institute of Technology

Dan Rhatigan, Senior Type Designer

Dennis Michael Dimos, Monotype Imaging

Doug Wilson, Film Director

John Oswald, Fjord

Julie Strawson, Monotype Imaging

Lee Aldridge, Young & Rubicam Group

Paul Owen, Landor Associates, New York

Rietje Gieskes, Landor Associates, New York

Steve Matteson, Monotype Imaging

Mike Lundgren, VML


by Julie Strawson

Brand managers tell us the ideal scenario for a brand is to deploy consistent, pristine communications across all media: print, Web, mobile, TV, even into the home. But there are so many challenges for a brand to overcome to deliver a seamless journey that few are succeeding at present.

Once print was the principle platform to design for. Brand guidelines were created based on the requirements for printed material.  Now there are a plethora of digital platforms, browsers, tools and display formats and a different technical design ecosystem combining graphic designers, user experience designers and developers with little guidance on how to interpret their brand in these environments.

Reading Vincent Steer’s book Printing Design and Layout (first edition circa 1934) it strikes me that we’re at a similar inflexion point in the type industry now as it was then. In the 1930s competitive forces in the publishing industry and the growth of the advertising industry led to increased demand for different typeface designs. Printing technology demanded close attention to the then new art of typography to produce effective communications and increase sales.

The role of a typographer is to layout the message for optimum performance depending on the printing platform being used and the nature of the communication.

Today we have many different digital platforms to deal with and few typographers in the mix creating content. Achieving interactivity with a customer depends a lot on the discipline of typography.

Since font provision and support for typography varies so much on digital platforms taking brand typography forward is in itself a challenge. Web fonts have freed brands from the tyranny of system fonts giving yet system fonts still rule the fragmented mobile world.

While scratching the surface of the mobile market with the iPhone® device is relatively simple, capitalizing on the remaining 90 percent of the opportunity requires meticulous attention to detail in terms of planning language support and QA. It needs a truly global approach to development that begins with a consideration for typographic performance at the very start of a project, in the brand manager’s office, to be successful.

In the home, too, white goods are becoming the deepest consumer touch points yet. Whether deploying a digital user guide or relaying the latest TV commercial, there’s another opportunity here to delight and engage customers using light, on-brand content.

When considering brand consistency, consider all your touch points not each one in isolation.