Dalton Maag have recently refreshed the logotype of Swiss fruit juice giant, Michel, building upon its previous much-loved and established script logotype. As part of the rework, the designers at Dalton Maag made the necessary refinements to the original whilst also preserving the heritage of the mark.
This historical Michel poster inspired the refinements
It was essential that the design retained the unique character of the original, but also moved it forward typographically. A script can infuse a logo with a freshness and vitality that type can often struggle to match, so approaching the brief from a lettering perspective was key to maintaining its spontaneity.
Drawing in progress
We looked at harmonising the contrast in keeping with the angle of slant, which helped to create a fluid and pleasing rhythm across the letterforms. Connecting strokes were slightly thinned to sharpen the overall appearance, and hairlines have been made consistent in weight. The x-height and overshoot were also tempered to prevent individual characters from jumping above and below the baseline. Removing the bluntness of the original, the terminal of the c has been shaped appropriately for this kind of brush-inspired style and the shoulder of the h has also been contracted to avoid unnecessary white space. Additionally, The distinctive splayed M, which sets the tone of the mark, has been given subtle definition where the strokes meet to avoid blackness when reproduced at small sizes.
Current Michel logo
New logo refined by Dalton Maag
The new design feels cleaner and more balanced without losing its hand drawn charm, and places the Michel brand in a strong position for the future.
Huguenin wanted a new wordmark for their business.
Huguenin are manufacturers of high quality medals and other minted metalwork items. Based in Switzerland, in the heart of the watch making region, they have been in business since 1868.
They recently found that a number of new competitors had entered their market and Huguenin had not been able to create a clear market position to differentiate itself from the new competitors. Andreas Roth of gyselroth created a new brand that emphasised the craftsmanship of creating bespoke metal items. They repositioned Huguenin as a brand leader in a high end market around the claim “Sentiments sculptés en Métaux précieux” – “feelings carved in precious metals”.
The new logo is an expression of craftsmanship and elegance.
To do this, they needed a typographic logo that embodied luxury and quality. Dalton Maag worked with gyselroth and Huguenin to find the best typographic expression of the values that Huguenin needed to express with their new brand. The old sans serif logo suggested modernism and mass production, so it was clear that the new wordmark had to be totally different.
The new lettering had to reflect both the history of the company and the refined, high-class products being created. We designed an elegant serif font that embodied the artisan nature of Huguenin’s work and also had enough character to be the backbone of the company logo. We refined the letters so that the serifs were slightly softened, and fitted the new look of the identity to perfection.
Dalton Maag provided Huguenin with several variations of their serifed wordmark to choose from.
The wordmark that we created is bold enough to carry the Huguenin brand, but sufficiently understated that it doesn’t detract from the images used alongside it. It is a reflection of the ideas behind the company’s new position in their market and fits superbly with the tone of the publicity it supports.
Following the successful deployment of the new identity, gyselroth won a Rebrand 100 Award for their work on the identity, and was a finalist for the World Luxury Awards in the Branding and Visual category.
The logo works well typographically alongside the new visual expression of the brand.
The wordmark complements the brand imagery without detracting from it.
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.
Petrobras is one of the largest energy companies in the world, with a presence in 28 countries. It is a household name in Brazil with more than 7,000 petrol stations across the country. All this made designing a font for them an exciting but daunting undertaking.
Dalton Maag were approached by The LED Project, based in São Paulo, who asked us to help them with the typography for a new approach to the Petrobras identity. We began by looking at the requirements for the font. It had to be legible and accessible for everyone who would come into contact with it, from the person seeing it at the petrol pump, to the employees who would use it within Petrobras. It would be needed for typesetting in a variety of situations so several styles were included in our initial specification, Light, Regular, Bold, Extrabold and italics. It also had to be unique, but stand the test of time and remain contemporary in years to come. This was a lot to pack into one font family.
We wanted to evoke a sense of professionalism in the brand, but we also had to give the font a modern and international feel, to convey the personality of the Petrobras brand. We created a total of 40 concepts, working as a team with designers in Brazil and London, before getting together with the LED Project to narrow this down to the 6 most appropriate solutions. Our clients then selected two of these designs which we refined further until we arrived upon what became Petrobras Sans.
Petrobras Sans is a confident sans serif typeface with a firm construction that suggests the solidity of a multinational business, whilst including a softer human side. The terminals taper smoothly to create a more organic feel to the letter forms, which also adds individuality to the design. We created this difficult and interesting balance to reflect the human talent which is one of the key aspect behind the success of the company. Even with this great design we had to make sure that the font was easy to be read, so we used the classic principles of typography and made sure that every letter was legible even in the smallest sizes. However, the character of the font comes through at its best when it is used at large sizes.
Petrobras Sans is now being implemented by Petrobras to express their brand around the world.
For our first blog post about our work, we thought we’d talk about one of our favourite projects from 2012, Faena. With a fearsome reputation for stunning hotel design, the Faena Group needed to complete their brand identity by updating their corporate typography with a new display font. Their original choice of font, Bodoni, simply didn’t convey their unique sense of style, or their art and design credentials. The Faena Group was founded by Argentinian fashion designer Alan Faena, who, with Philippe Starck, brought his love of fine design and creativity to the group’s first hotel in Buenos Aires. Dalton Maag were very pleased to be able to work closely with the Faena Group to establish what they needed from their new font, and how it would fit with the elements of their existing identity.
The starting point for the design was the Faena logo, which went on to inspire the main elements of the typeface. A serifed font design fitted with the logo and seemed to be the most logical option for a font that had to convey elegance, luxury and refinement. It also had to be a contemporary design that wouldn’t look dated in years to come, so this font had to be able to tick a number of boxes for our client. The logo itself was also refined to bring out its personality and give it a more contemporary feel.
The final design is a beautiful combination of digital functionality and elegant serifs, making use of playful features to give the font more interest. As this is a display font that will be primarily used on the Faena website, its contrast was decreased slightly compared to the previously used font, making the hairlines a little heavier, so that its appearance on the website will be enhanced. A set of elegantly thin ligatures add to the perfection of this font’s refined beauty and give it a special personality all of its own.
You can see the font in action on the Faena website.