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.”