In the communication between brands and the public, text plays an essential role, and of course its appearance too. Some brands will want to appear close and simple, and others will prioritize technical excellence or elegance; but whatever the concept is that they want to convey, typography will be the key tool for it to be present in every touch point between brands and their users.
We have chosen five examples of custom typography that will show the diversity and richness of paths that the design of a corporate typeface can have to show a little of this scene here in Spain.
(1) Seat BCN
Let’s start with Seat BCN, a typeface designed by Andreu Balius and published by his Barcelonian foundry TypeRepublic. It is a sans serif family with many weights in a normal and compact version.
Despite its geometric appearance — necessary to convey that technical excellence expected from a car manufacturer — Seat BCN has more personality than fonts that are considered “neutral”, which is noticeable in M with sloping sides, for example, and the great contrast between curves and straight lines in letters such as bdpq or characters that seem to smile like e, g, or number 9, especially in the heavier range.
(2) Zara Home
Iñigo Jeréz and his foundry Extratype have developed a superfamily for Zara’s home branch, Zara Home. The family is considered “super” because it does not confine itself to a single typographic classification, but it’s composed of five families including a Sans Serif, a Serifada and other variants in between that reach a total of 70 fonts.
This typographic range makes way for a huge expressive variety and responds to the requirements of the Brief: To work both for neutral and bare text as well as for huge headlines marked by the elegance and delicacy of the brand, which provides a recognizable and versatile identity enough for what Zara Home needs.
This typeface with a single style and many voices was created by Jordi Embodas in collaboration with Práctica for ZETAK, a project of Basque electronic music that seeks to expand the boundaries of the traditional music of the Basque Country. With that same intention, Arbizu also relies on the Basque imagination but with an eye to contemporaneity.
Each of the letters of the alphabet has four variations that — through opentype technology — appear randomly, adding rhythm and musicality to the text through the mixture of ancient forms of Basque Letters with a current Sans Serif. The result is visually stunning, and culturally relevant.
(3) ATM Metropolitana
In an environment that is as changeable as football, it is uncommon that a typeface lasts as long as the ATM Metropolitana, Atlético de Madrid’s personalized typeface introduced by Vasava in 2017 that is still used in every European football match of the Madrid club. A successful example of how to bring the historical identity of an institution to its typographic expression connects the brand’s future with its past.
(5) Trisco CGAC
Trisco CGAC is María Ramos’ creation that was published by her foundry NM Type for the Galician Center for Contemporary Art (Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea). It was created for the series of publications “CGAC_Ensaio”, which would publish the winners of the Research and Essay Award on Contemporary Art promoted by the center since 2018.
The shapes of the letters are geometric and compact so that they can be used in large sizes on the covers, but what really stands out in this font type is that all characters are divided into two layers designed to allow combining colors in the same word generating areas of overlapping when composed with transparency – a metaphor for contemporary art and the fact that a piece of art always contains multiple layers, readings, and interpretations that can overlap between themselves –
Which “Made in Spain” typeface did you like the most?