Fred thoughts
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My love affair with typography.
Nov 2018

Being a designer means that I am influenced by everything. The way something makes me feel, think and the emotions it conjures up are all elements that I want to create in the work that I do for my clients.

If I can replicate those emotions and put them together to design something that creates a desire to buy a property, use a certain recruiter or chose a particular care home then I’ve done my job properly.

Images, video, colour palettes – they all have their roles to play. But for me, typography is the front runner. Typography lays the foundations for great creative, sometimes putting that final touch on a design or being the basis for it.

The right font, used in the right way, can really enhance a design. It can also say a lot about an organisation and its important to get it right. Typography that works well for an architects practice might not be right for an estate agent. It needs to create the right message be that sharp and precise or soft and elegant.

Typography is a powerful tool for brands. Over the years typography logos have grown in popularity. Just look at Google, Facebook, Amazon. All of these globally recognised brands use very simple typography in their logos. Yet they are instantly recognisable and help identify the brands quickly. Someone looking at these logos has no need to guess what it is, it’s there for them to see. Clear and simple.

Despite this, typographical logos are very hard to make. Look at Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Kelloggs. The Coca-Cola logo has gone through several different forms since its creation in 1886. The company chose the font Spencerian Script which helps convey a playful yet simple brand which stands apart from the rest. In 1890 the logo typography was given a somewhat swirly makeover. But this didn’t last long and a year later the company went back to the original font which it has stuck with ever since.

From time to time the shape and background of the overall logo has changed – the tail of the C has been tweaked, the ‘fish’ shape was used for a while. In 1969 the company added the ‘white wave’ or ribbon as it is sometimes referred to which has stuck with them ever since. They added white and yellow ‘shock bubbles’ in 2001 to refresh the look and added bubbles to celebrate their 125th anniversary. Yet despite these small changes, the typography of ‘Coca-Cola’ has stayed the same and retains the iconic image of the brand.

The use of typography helps to convey a feeling of trust and reliability which can help to build and expand a brand. It helps attract the attention of the reader and ultimately creates an image for an organisation. Despite the advances in technology, social media, video, even virtual reality, the power of a font doesn’t diminish. And long may its reign continue.

Nick Street – Co-founder and Creative Director, We Are Fred

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