Branding / P6 / P6.1 / Typography

Wheeler on Typography in Branding

Typography is a core building block of an effective identity program. Companies like Apple, Mercedes-Benz, and Citi are immediately recognizable in great part due to the distinctive and consistent typographical style that is used with intelligence and purpose throughout thousands of applications over time. A unified and coherent company image is not possible without typography that has a unique personality and an inherent legibility. Typography must support the positioning strategy and information hierarchy. Identity program typography needs to be sustainable and not on the curve of a fad.

Thousands of fonts have been created by renowned typographers, designers, and type foundries over the centuries, and new typefaces are being created each day. Some identity firms routinely design a proprietary font for a client. Choosing the right font requires a basic knowledge of the breadth of options and a core understanding of how effective typography functions. Issues of functionality differ dramatically on a form, a pharmaceutical package, a magazine ad, and a website. The typeface needs to be flexible and easy to use, and it must provide a wide range of expression. Clarity and legibility are the drivers. (Wheeler 2009:132)

Type is magical.
It not only communicates a word’s information, but it conveys a subliminal message. Erik Spiekermann, Stop Stealing Sheep (ibid)

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Fig 1 & fig 2, Wheeler 2009:133