Tátil, the Brazilian design studio responsible for the Rio 2016 logo, are currently updating their branding after twenty years with their old identity. The question of which font to use to complete their brand was something that they spent some time thinking about, because they knew that it was going to be an important part of their new identity. They chose Dalton Maag’s Effra.
Tátil is now the largest Brazilian design agency and is about to celebrate its 25th anniversary. In Brazil, which is a fast moving market where companies come and go, this is definitely something to be proud of. Their growth has been a natural process, and it seemed equally natural to look at reviewing their branding at this point.
The new Tátil branding is bold and colourful, so they wanted a font that wouldn’t be competing for attention with the visual expression of the brand. However, they also didn’t want to fall back on the same sans serif fonts that are used in many other corporate brands. They needed a contemporary font that would age well and Effra offered the right balance of character and simplicity.
In particular, Tátil loved the elegance of the Light weight, which contrasted well with the stronger features of the Heavy weight. A strong relationship with our Brazilian office meant that experts were on hand to offer advice with licensing and implementation.
Tátil will be using Effra in all their printed materials and on their website. Their new website will be launching soon.
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.
From today, Dalton Maag’s Aktiv Grotesk is being used in a brand new campaign for the English National Ballet as their new logo and font. The campaign, by creative agency The Beautiful Meme, features stunning photography of English National Ballet dancers wearing couture garments by Vivienne Westwood. The idea behind the campaign is to turn over the traditional stereotypes of ballet, and get people to look at the English National Ballet with fresh eyes.
For the logotype, we modified Aktiv Grotesk to create a unique form for the ballet company. The starting point was Aktiv Grotesk Bold, with the spacing and leading of the individual characters being refined to create the perfect typographic balance for the words “English National Ballet”. The most major modification was to replace the standard Aktiv Grotesk “g” with a new two-storey version for greater aesthetic appeal.
Aktiv Grotesk was chosen for its clean lines and modernity, which challenge the traditional images of ballet. Ben Haworth, Creative Director of The Beautiful Meme, gave us an insight into their creative process and why they decided that Aktiv Grotesk was the perfect font for this campaign.
“The decision was made quite early on to deviate from any visual preconceptions of ballet predominantly including script or baroque serif typefaces. We wanted a brand typeface that would reflect and support Tamara Rojo’s artistic vision of communicating a core truth that everyone in the Company has something to say,” said Ben
“Aktiv Grotesk seemed the perfect vehicle to profess the English National Ballet’s new bold and confident position. It’s an exquisitely drawn typeface that has the creative quirks and character to distinguish from other more clinical grotesque fonts. Its clean and contemporary feel also has a degree of neutrality which is key for future collaborative projects across a wide range of the arts to enhance the vision of the ENB being the UK’s most creative company.
“This was our second collaborative project with Dalton Maag, and once again their professionalism and creative insight was a huge benefit for a young company such as ourselves. From chatting ballet over lunch last summer, to creating a bespoke Aktiv double story ‘g’ for the logotype, it’s been a fantastic journey and an absolute pleasure.”