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designRoom’s New Typeface | Part 1

By Anna Richard | January 23, 2018


designRoom is getting a custom typeface! As part of our efforts to refine our brand typography, I will be creating a typeface from scratch exclusively for use by designRoom.

When designing anything, it’s hard to know where to start sometimes. With fonts that can be a particular problem. So, before I start the design process, I did what we do for any other client. I began by assessing the client.

Together with Kelly and Chad, I reviewed what we currently use. Trade Gothic is the main typeface used, with Wisdom Script for personality. Both of these fonts share some characteristics, including strong vertical strokes, flat curves, and mechanical curves. They also have a similar tone of voice, so to speak. Both feel professional and approachable, as well as personal and modern.

We decided we’d like the new font to share some of these characteristics. Approachable and personal are both things we’ll be looking for in the new font. We also want the new font to look more casual and relaxed than our current options. It needs to be more uniquely suited to designRoom’s personality.

I also presented a variety of typefaces that exist to get a feel for what shapes were appealing to the team. I won’t be copying any aspects directly, but what I learned will help shape my direction later in the process. Kelly, for example, likes fonts with a good sense of rhythm and movement. One of her key words for this new typeface was “dynamic.” That’s important information, and helps me pick a clear path for this typeface.

Right now, we’re contemplating several possible options. I could make a typeface to complement our current ones. Or I could make a replacement handwritten kind of font to replace our current use of Wisdom Script. Or I could even create a whole family of custom type, for even more specialized communication. Before we choose, we’re going to do a more in-depth survey of our various communication, including trade show materials, social media, web, and print materials. After that, we’ll choose a direction and begin moving forward with design.

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Anna Richard

Anna is a Graphic Designer, assisting with production and design on a variety of projects. Anna earned a degree in Visual Communication Design from Kent State University, where she specialized in typography, lettering, and type design. Before working at designRoom, Anna was part of a team of contractors at Google Fonts who improved and expanded the design of typefaces in the Google Fonts library. Her favorite font that she hasn't worked on is Greta Mono. She owns three different coffee makers, and is on a never-ending quest to find her favorite pen.

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