A passion for typography
A short account of the meeting between CBA and the English type foundry Dalton Maag
DESIGN - Oct 15, 2019
In 1967 Marshall McLuhan declared: “the medium is the message”. Nowadays, this concept has been proven yet again through the use of typography, which has become vital to conveying a brand’s message and identity.
We have been delighted to host at our Milan offices Riccardo De Franceschi, creative director of the prestigious English type foundry Dalton Maag, who shares some fundamental principles with our agency, such as attention to detail, passion for good design and the desire to find the best creative solutions for the client.
Dalton Maag is a benchmark for the main communication agencies across the whole world, who they partner with to create fonts for companies such as Facebook, Airbnb, Amazon, Nike, Intel and Nokia, to name just a few.
Located in the bustling neighbourhood of Brixton, south London, it has been working in the field of typography for thirty years, with a team of about fifty people from all corners of the world. It offers font library services, which you can use to get hold of typefaces;custom fonts, and multiscript type, the production of fonts in various alphabets.
The meeting has brought about a shared design plan that leads to the creation of a font: the starting point is a workshop with the client, lead together with the creative agency, in order to set out common ground for conversation and identify what has provoked this need for a typography service.
When the creative brief is being put together, it’s important to hold fast to four principles: expression, establishing a unique connection with the end-user through the typography that describes the brand; accessibility,allowing different demographics to access the written text, through legibility, readability and likeability (factors that determine the text’s comfort and appeal); functionality, exploiting the fonts’ potential to the maximum through proper use of technology, and global presence, being able to reach new markets by developing wide-ranging sets of fonts in different alphabets, not only Latin.
The economic benefit is definitely one to take into consideration: the development of a proprietary font means you can use it on any platform for an unlimited time, without having to buy individual licences for each user. But as well as the immediate financial advantage, the real upside relates to communication: like the colours, shapes and photographic and illustrative style, the typography is to all intents and purposes an exceedingly important visual asset for a brand. It is the medium through which the brand “speaks” and makes known its tone of voice, forging a connection with its clients.
All in all, having a unique font firmly and undeniably highlights the brand’s uniqueness.
Mattia Ferrari, Visual Designer at CBA