Jeremy Mickel writes: “I first ‘completed’ the new widths of Fort for AFAR magazine, but rethought the range of widths shortly after. I decided my Condensed wasn’t narrow enough to really differentiate from the regular width. I also redrew many of the characters, realizing that as a font gets more condensed, open forms like the C G S need to close up more, otherwise feeling too open. I cut the middle width and create a much narrower version and named that ‘XCondensed’.
AFAR wanted italics for all the styles, and I debated whether to draw italics for the new XCondensed weight. Almost on a dare from a type-designer friend, I knuckled through it and drew the italics for all the widths. It would have felt unbalanced not to, and in the end, I’m glad I made them. I think narrow italics can be useful, and are a worthwhile addition to an underserved part of the typographic spectrum.”
Newzald firm, imagic, designed the identity programme for the Christchurch Arts Festival with Shift in use as a text and display typeface across the all identity materials.
imagic writes: ‘The story they wanted to tell was one of “shifting the lens” to the people in the audience. Showing how art shifts you as a viewer. We did a city-wide search for four faces that embodied our citizenry and their different backgrounds. With the help of award-winning photographer, Dean McKenzie, we captured their essential selves, then we shifted them by playing with the lens.’
‘Partnering with the Christchurch Arts Festival has been an opportunity for us to create brand work that is challenging and provocative. Like a piece of art should be. This iteration of the CAF brand is thematically underpinned by the word “shift”. The idea being, we are exploring how Christchurch has shifted as a culture in the past years, and also how art can shift a person, emotionally.’
Pentagram writes: Travel + Leisure is one of the world’s top travel magazines, inspiring a readership of over 5 million with a unique, lively mix of travelogue and useful information. Published by American Express, the magazine is recognized for its stylish photography and smart writing. Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and team have redesigned Travel + Leisure with a dynamic new format that matches the magazine’s chic, sophisticated tone. The redesign launches with the June issue, on newsstands now.
‘The refresh introduces a clean, modern design that clearly delineates sections and opens up page layouts. Most significantly, the redesign restructures the magazine, moving the editorial well forward for greater prominence. Feature stories now run in full without interruption — no more flipping to the back of the — and are separated by advertising, which has been introduced to the middle of the book. This allows the magazine to offer advertisers adjacencies to the larger feature stories. The structure also more easily accommodates the magazine’s special packages, like June’s It List.’
Pentagram writes: ‘When the two publishing giants Penguin and Random House merged in 2013, the combined companies faced the challenge of merging two iconic graphic identities. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team have created a flexible brand system for Penguin Random House that establishes a new identity for the corporate parent while also preserving and enhancing the individual identities of the group’s 250 imprints.’
‘To develop the identity, the team explored many different combinations of penguins and houses—one sketch imagined an igloo—as well as abstract symbols that had nothing to do with either. It eventually became clear that it didn’t make sense to create a new symbol for a company that already has 250 symbols, none of which are going away, and each of which has its own heritage and value. The challenge was to come up with a wordmark that could at once provide a strong endorsement for each of the imprint symbols, and that could in turn gain itself in meaning through association with them.
‘The wordmark required a typeface that was neutral enough to work with all the different imprint symbols, yet wasn’t a cold sans serif. Shift has charm and a literary character, along with good legibility at small sizes. In its lighter weights the typeface has the look and feel of a typewriter font—Shift was originally designed by Jeremy Mickel as an heir to Courier—and it provides a connection to the traditional world of writers and writing.’
Pentagram writes: ‘Paula Scher has designed a new brand identity for Weight Watchers, the world’s leading provider of weight management services. Modern, open and energetic, the identity brings to life the transformation that members experience when they adopt a new lifestyle that can lead to significant weight loss.
‘The new identity features a friendly, accessible logotype with the Weight Watchers name set in lowercase. The logotype appears in a gradient that visibly lightens from left to right, embodying the idea of transformation and losing weight. The designers also developed a logomark version that can function as a monogram or icon, as well as logotypes for PointsPlus, the new Weight Watchers 360º program, and the various Weight Watchers sub-brands. The identity uses a proprietary typeface designed by Jeremy Mickel, based on a customized version of his font Fort.
‘Gradation is an essential element of the entire program, symbolizing change. In addition to the grayscale gradient of the primary logotype, the gradation appears in the primary palette of five bright, bold colors. In horizontal elements, the gradation appears from left to right; in vertical elements like logomark, from top to bottom. The transition may also use multiple colors, appearing as a dual gradation, but always moving from dark to light. On print pieces and packaging, the gradation is applied to a colored bar, a distinctive graphic element that helps tie the brand together. This bright band of color is complemented by images of food, photographed on simple, neutral backgrounds.’
‘Büro North worked in close collaboration with the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) to develop an evidence-based design solution for its wayfinding redevelopment.
‘Over 500 children between the ages of 5 and 17 were engaged in the development of themes for the RCH that would underpin the unique naming strategy for the hospital. Research relating to the navigational behaviour of both adults and children was referenced throughout the design process and lead to the development of a wayfinding system that integrated the naming of destinations with highly visible and describable landmarks.
‘As a direct result of this consultation, environmental themes and related characters replaced many of the clinical and technical terms that had been used to describe destinations and functions in the previous hospital. As a result journeys were created that were easy to describe and remember, using simple English that could be understood by adults and children alike.
‘Following this the theming strategy Büro North collaborated with local illustrator Jane Reiseger on the development of illustrations for the wayfinding signage to create an environment where as patients move through different floors of the hospital their journey takes them from ‘underground’ at the lower ground levels through to ‘sky’ on the top floor. Specific areas within each level are described in relation to an appropriate animal, for example, ‘Koala Ward’ exists on the ‘Tree Tops’ level.
‘Büro North developed these illustrations to create highly distinctive wayfinding graphics and over 5,000 signs, wall panels and essential landmarks for the large hospital site and introduced a playful and distinctive personality to the interior of the new Royal Children’s Hospital.
‘Based on Büro North’s own trials in the previous hospital, it was decided that the major journeys within the hospital had to be describable in no more than 3 simple steps. Büro North worked closely with the client and the design team to create an environment and develop processes that would deliver highly legible and simple journeys.
‘As a result the new wayfinding system has resulted in an estimated 45% reduction in journey times compared to the previous hospital.
Pentagram writes: ‘Cosmopolitan is the most popular women’s magazine in the world, a publishing powerhouse with 63 international editions, printed in 32 languages and distributed in more than 100 countries. With a circulation of over 3 million in the U.S. alone, the magazine is one of Hearst’s most valuable properties and longest-running titles; it was first introduced in 1886 as a family magazine before transitioning in the 1970s under legendary editrix Helen Gurley Brown to become the sexy women’s “Cosmo” of today. Currently led by editor in chief Kate White, the magazine enjoys its status as a pop-cultural mainstay and trusted go-to source for information on topics like sex, relationships, fashion, health and beauty.
‘Now, working closely with White and Cosmo design director Ann Kwong, Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and his team have redesigned Cosmopolitan to create a bold new version of the iconic magazine. The refresh launches with Cosmo’s January 2012 issue.
‘With fewer words on the page, the formerly tight columns of justified text have been jettisoned for a looser, more relaxed grid that keeps the layouts lively. The redesign employs a mix of fonts (why choose just one?) that includes Helsinki, Router, and the typewriter-esque Parry and Tiempos (used for text), which communicate a sense of immediacy.’