dec 8, 2016

A customise type report from Stockholm

written by Anna Thurfjell

Last week I visited my hometown to do a speak at the Cap&Design Live Type event at Berns in Stockholm. I am most pleased to see that the trend with customised typefaces are developing strongly in Scandinavia … Carolina Laudon showed her work with customised typefaces, she made a serif font for »Länsförsäkringar«, one of Sweden’s largest insurance companies. The font is a serif font based on the shapes of German fat face from the late 19th century. I just love her work with the rounded geometric sans typeface for »Rusta«, one of Sweden’s largest commodity trading companies. It is as happy as it should be. I can only agree to Laudons view: »Type is interpretations of a contemporary expression«.

The design agency »Söderhavet« showed their new typeface design for SF Bio(Swedish Cinemas), the new »SF Bio« is a sans in 3 weights and a display font. The »pop« of the popcorn was the turn-off and on the light- effect of the typeface: »SF sans display style«. A smart way to hit the nostalgia around the cozy cinema feeling but also Stockholms great history of neon light signs at the cinema buildings. Stefan Hattenbach, typeface designer, and one of the partners at »Söderhavet«, also have been involved in the development of the new »SJ Sans« (Swedish railways system) directed by Martin Bergström at the design agency Happy F&B. The »SJ Sans« typeface is inspired by the old logotype for SJ. A customised type doesn’t have to look like an ordinary typeface, it can also be designed by a lettering artist. Maja K Zetterberg talked about the process of lettering and her work with the handwritten typeface »Björkhagen« for global IKEA books, it’s really beautiful.

My speak was about designing with type for news media, with a clear design DNA. I showed my work with commissioning an exclusive designed typeface, the »Sueca« for Svenska Dagbladet where I was Creative Director (2003 – 2013). »Sueca« is made by typeface designer Mário Feliciano, and a typeface developed for print and digital platforms.
I talked about why is it’s important in media today to develop a clear design dna in digital. Type, that should be read by a broad media audience should be distinct, strong with high readability and a human touch and I also always look for a typeface that is contemporary and speaks news. I also showed my work with the recent redesign and rebrand of the Danish daily »Berlingske« (launched in September this year) . A job I was hired to do with and for Mark Porter (MPA.com). We worked with typefaces from »Commercial fonts«, a foundry based in London and New York.

Marcus Gärde at »Bold« showed the work with developing a new customised typeface for the Scandinavian bank: Nordea. The typeface »Nordea Sans« is designed by Göran Söderström at »Letters from Sweden«. I had the pleasure to, also do work with Göran, when I consulted Svenska Dagbladet in the responsive news typography at svd.se, the web version of Sueca is hand hinted by Letters from Sweden. The trend with customised type in Sweden is growing and, as we speak, Happy F&B agency also rolls out the new identity for svt (Swedens public broadcasting television company).
It sure feels like Sweden put them self on the map again in the noble art of developing typeface design. Dear old Forsberg (1914-1995), whom is considered one of Sweden’s foremost typeface designer, would have been so proud of you!

See the new Berlingske typefaces here: https://annathurfjell.com/the-new-berlingske-type/

Read about Sueca here: https://annathurfjell.com/portfolio/sueca-the-dna-of-svenska-dagbladet/

My blogpost about Forsberg: https://annathurfjell.com/forsberg-a-distinct-type/