Infoletter: December 2011
It has been a year of change and growth for Dalton Maag. It began with our move to our beautiful new studio in Blue Star House, and has continued with our new identity, website and new staff members. We have been celebrating our 20th year in business and some of you attended our anniversary party, receiving copies of our new brochure, notebooks and specimen sheets as part of our anniversary give-away pack.
After ten years of working with our previous identity, designed by Mode, we needed a new logo that reflected our business today, and emphasised the collaborative nature of our studio. Naturally, it needed to measure up to our own high standards of typography and demonstrate that we know good design. After initially trying to tackle this in house, we realised that we were too close to the subject, so we turned to North Design for some help. We have had a great working relationship with our friends at North in the past, and we knew that they wouldn't let us down when it came to our own rebrand.
Our new logo uses our own Aktiv Grotesk in a smart design that demonstrates what we do as well as referencing the famous font weight grid created by Adrian Frutiger. The new design uses four weights of Aktiv Grotesk to give interest and texture to our logo, but has an uncluttered simplicity of form. We feel it really does speak for the good design values and precision work that Dalton Maag is known for.
The new logo was immediately pressed into service for our redesigned website. As with the logo, we thought long and hard about what our website's exact function is and decided that a priority was to improve the process of buying font licences from our website. By making clear distinctions between our font library, portfolio and company information, we believe that we've managed to give better access to our content and have made the navigation more intuitive. Our in-house design team created a cohesive look and feel for our website that complements the spirit of our new logo. We're still listening to feedback though, and tweaking things to make them even more user friendly.
We haven't been neglecting our font library either. We're currently finalising the expansion of Aktiv Grotesk with Arabic and Hebrew character sets, and they should be ready in the New Year. We also have new Cyrillic and Greek additions to Effra in the pipeline, so keep watching for an announcement about those soon.
With our increasing work load, we have once again added to our talented team. The new additions are:
- Mark Shaw – Office Administrator
- Bianca Berning – Designer
- Ferran Milan – Designer
- Riccardo De Franceschi – Designer, from 3 January 2012
- Tim Janes – Graphic Designer
Best wishes from everyone at Dalton Maag for the festive season and we'll be back in the New Year with more font news.
German pushchair manufacturers, Teutonia, have been making baby carriages for parents since 1947. Their special modular construction system means that pushchairs can be customised to meet the individual tastes and needs of parents when caring for their little ones.
London ad agency DLKW Lowe were working with Teutonia and approached Dalton Maag to design a new script typeface for their website and catalogues. Their existing font was too formal and didn't convey the desired attributes of high quality and style. They wanted something which was friendly but chic, as if it had been written in the hand of a mother recommending Teutonia to her friends.
Dalton Maag met the brief with a delicate script font that has the feel of real handwriting. Lukas Paltram, our lead designer on the project, hand wrote many of the letters to get a feel for how they would fit together, and then created a digital version. His designs contained alternative glyphs for each character, depending on where they appear in a word, to break up the uniformity of the typesetting and add more variety to the texture. The characters link seamlessly to one another to create the illusion of joined up writing. This presented a few engineering challenges for us, but a number of advanced OpenType features were used to determine the correct glyph variation for a position in the word.
There are two complementary sets of capitals, a swash style design for the beginning of a sentence, for example, and a simpler version for use within a text, which doesn't disturb the texture of the type. In addition we also created a Cyrillic character set to enable Teutonia to communicate in new markets. As with the Latin characters, the Cyrillic glyphs, too, are designed to give the impression of effortless handwriting.
The new font is now being used on Teutonia's website and in their publicity material.
Nestea is a brand of iced tea owned by Nestlé. They recently began a new advertising campaign: "The Start of Something Different", which encourages people to start doing a new activity that they've always wanted or intended to do. This can be anything from asking out someone that they've had their eye on for a while, to going on a round the world trip. This was the work of global advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy, who asked us to provide the perfect font for the campaign.
The campaign needed to be up and running rapidly, so we were given just two months to produce an original font design. We had to work quickly without sacrificing any of our usual quality, but great collaboration between our designers and the creative team at W+K meant we got a great font done on time.
The campaign artwork had a 60s feel to it, with swirling images and bright colours reminiscent of psychedelia. Accordingly, the font design needed to have a similar look and feel, with wide, rounded letters, full of energy and spirit. The font design included ligatures, alternative glyphs with long swashes, and a leaf shaped dot on the lower case "i" which was suggestive of the tea leaf on the packaging.
We also had to take into account in our design the way that the font would be used by our client. We had to plan for the font to be used on a curve in adverts, both on screen and in print. Once the Latin design was finalised, we expanded the character set to include Cyrillic and Greek. The font is now used by Nestea in the print and digital campaign across the world.