A Shameless Plug for Custom Typefaces

As designers, we know the power of typography. Good type, bad type, the best kind of type—the kind that conveys everything you’re trying to say in a glance to a person on the street that doesn’t know what they’re looking at, but suddenly your words, in type, make a pretty good case for why they want to enter this storefront as opposed to that storefront. Typography speaks to people, all people, in ways that surpass what they’re actually reading—it gives them a feeling, a reaction, an understanding of the content that stretches past words and becomes a connection.

In today’s visual space, occupied by exactly a TRILLION brands (fact), that connection can mean the difference between five seconds of your audience’s attention versus none at all. It can give that “feeling” that leads an audience member to believe in or purchase your product, or become an outspoken brand ambassador. Typefaces can convey personality and culture—the things more and more companies are finding they need to stand out in today’s crowded market.

Enter the idea of the custom corporate typeface.

You know that client you have that’s not constrained by budget? The one that says “yes” to everything you’ve ever wanted to do, be it letterpress, die-cutting, metallic inks or duplex paper? No? Me, neither. But for all the reasons described above, a custom designed typeface is a growing trend for companies that find the investment in a fully cohesive brand experience to be worth the cost.

Much like custom photography, designing a typeface (or having a typeface designed) for one specific company ensures that they alone hold the copyright, and that they alone are the only ones who can use it. Because they own the typeface, they have unlimited use of it: no multi-license purchases, no annual fees for digital use. It’s a long-term investment with a plainly apparent positive side. The company can develop the typeface into multiple faces (bold, italic, light) and even multiple languages.

Enter Bruno Maag.

The Swiss typographer and founder of custom type foundry Dalton Maag Ltd is coming to Houston next month to talk type design, custom corporate typefaces, licensing and logotypes. He and his team of type designers have worked with the likes of Intel, BMW, Burberry, Puma, Samsung and others. He was even featured in this video interview earlier this month by ADC Global in conjunction with their Typography Month.

AIGA Houston invites you to join us Thursday, February 5 at Sundance Cinema from 6:30–9:00 p.m. as we host type celebrity (fact) Bruno Maag. Registration is open now until we sell out!

By Jo Skillman
Published January 23, 2015
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