So how does an international collaboration between a London and a Korean type foundry work?



Daum Kakao is one of the largest Internet companies in South Korea and its multi-platform texting app, KakaoTalk, is available in over 230 countries and used by 100 million customers in 15 languages.

Daum Kakao was working on their new corporate identity and they approached one of South Korea’s most established type foundries, Sandoll Communication (산돌커뮤니케이션), based in Seoul, to design a new Latin and Korean typeface. The brief was for a sans serif design for both UI and branding purposes. With a big launch date approaching at the end of 2014 there was no time to lose.

And so the project unfolded.

  1. Sandoll brought in Dalton Maag to design a concept for the basic Latin characters.
  2. Sandoll then took the design concept and, with Design Consultancy from Dalton Maag, developed the full Latin font themselves.
  3. Sandoll then extended the Latin design into Hangul.

We wanted to design something for Daum Kakao that delivered equally on functionality and personality. The concept Daum Kakao eventually settled on was a simple and warm typeface given strong character by the oblique angle in its diamond ‘dot’ over the letter ‘i’. Strong because it works in small sizes on screen. Strong because it’s adaptable for the Korean design. Strong because it differs from other fonts available for the mobile market.

Dalton Maag often works with consultants when working on non-Latin scripts. But being consultants for the Latin script, working with a team of Korean designers developing the full font, was a unique case. But from the time we passed the font files over to Sandoll, communications flowed very smoothly.

With deadlines very tight there wasn’t time for miscommunication. The 9-hour time difference allowed us to arrange our  meetings with Sandoll at 9am UK time, when it was 6pm in Korea. Usually, it would be a conference call in English between Sandoll’s Korean team and Dalton Maag’s international team. Often there were no native English speakers involved!

“When I observe the great work Sandoll has done with the fonts and the great way Daum Kakao is using them, I find it fascinating how design (more than English) is our common language. A great understanding of design is how I would describe this collaboration. Daum Kakao’s mission is to ‘Connect Everything’. I really like how it applied to this project. Sandoll is now designing the Hangul and we just can’t wait to see it!”

Naima Ben Ayed, Dalton Maag Font Developer and Project Lead for the design and consultancy.


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