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Is it time to think about type?

March 29, 2011


Nokia just announced its new font, Pure and it might be the first step in the turnaround for the mobile giant.

“We’re certainly all far more aware of how they work and what they mean – so when a major new typeface is released, it generates a barrage of interest and opinion in print and on the blogosphere. That’s why it’s so important to get it absolutely right. The effect of a typeface on a reader happens at a visceral level – they react to its spirit and intention almost without realising it. And yet, the choice and application of typefaces can totally change the nuance and emphasis of the words they convey. For a brand like Nokia, looking to reinvent and revitalise, the typeface literally sets the tone. In many ways, it’s the touchstone for every other visual element in the branding palette. So it needs to be considered, rigorous and send out exactly the right message.

Type matters to Nokia because it’s the “thing” that is front and center for users as they navigate, use and experience Nokia’s devices.

It’s an essential element for usability, but it’s also a significant piece of brand communication.

I wonder if type is something we need to pay more attention to now because it’s the way we navigate the digital space, but also given that so many other large media brands are trying to overlay their type on other brands- think Google and Facebook- do brands need to fight back to own type?

Perhaps they should be more assertive and disciplined and spend time crafting type that they can own- that’s not derivative of everything else around and something that they use to communicate their brand.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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