One of the projects we began work on last year was a new font for the multinational information technology company Hewlett Packard. They had been working with design agency Siegel+Gale to create a brand new identity, and a key part of Siegel+Gale’s vision for HP’s brand refresh was a new font to be the bedrock of that identity. The font had to be something that would make HP stand out from the crowd and be truly unique to them.
Dalton Maag’s designers wanted to come up with a strong aesthetic for this font, but functionality had to go hand in hand with design. HP is a global company and the font would be used by all of their regional offices on screen, in user interfaces, in print, and as part of their advertising strategy. We had to make our approach to this font as simple as possible so that implementation on such a large scale was simple too. To reflect this, we called the new font family HP Simplified.
We gave the font a condensed feel, a generous x height, and added bowed diagonals to create a more interesting and spirited look. The addition of slightly rounded terminals softened the letterforms and contributed to its individuality. Several of the letters were given a characteristic structure which added to the strong personality of the font but did not detract from the overall readability. For example, the W was designed with a lowered middle apex, whereas the g, p and q were given an unusual extended stroke feature at their top. However, the majority of the letter forms stuck to familiar shapes, projecting openness and honesty with their humanist style letterforms.
We produced the font in three weights: Light, Regular and Bold, and created italics for each weight. This gives our clients a wide, but consistent, range of tools to use when deploying their brand strategy. The font is also hand hinted to aid legibility, which is especially important at small sizes, where the placement of each individual pixel can make a huge difference to the appearance of the font.
The font conveys the inherent values of the HP brand and will be an aid to brand recognition everywhere that it is used. We’re now working on adding more scripts to the font to give HP even more flexibility on where and how they use their new font in an international marketplace.