During 2009 and 2010 the Swiss public broadcasting organization SRG SSR underwent major structural changes that meant that local and regional stations would be unified under a single identity. Bringing four distinct cultures under one umbrella, whilst making sure that each received equal treatment and respect, was something of a challenge. This was less problematic where the various local stations were from one language region, but SRG SSR needed to treat German, French, Italian, and Romansh speaking communities equally. Each one had their own cultural needs and desires.
The problem that faced the client was that the German-speaking community is generally perceived by the others as dominant in all aspects of life. Accordingly, the new identity, driven by the German-speaking sector, had to be approached with great sensitivity.
We worked in close collaboration with the client, and with London-based design agency Dunning Penney Jones, to establish a contemporary lettering style for the broad range of logos for both TV and radio stations. We then created a font design, with two styles, that was sympathetic to the logo lettering.
In German-speaking Switzerland, the new typeface replaced an identity primarily based on Helvetica, and across the other regions it superseded a variety of designs. With the lettering of the logos clearly drawing away from a strongly Germanic look-and-feel, it was the French speaking regions which embraced the change wholeheartedly. They were quickly followed by both the Italian and Romansh speaking regions. The font design quickly gained acceptance due to its modern expression and coherent functionality across varied media, ranging from print to broadcasting.
The new identity has now been rolled out comprehensively across the entire organization. It has been so successful that SRG SSR has decided to commission further font styles to allow its new identity to be applied with even greater flexibility and impact. Throughout the entire project, Dalton Maag's design and engineering teams have aided the client in the decision-making process by providing functional alternatives that could be tested across the client's different environments.