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Emanuela Conidi

Mahou

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12 March 2012, 10:00

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Fontsmith have designed a bespoke typeface for Mahou, the largest beer brand in Spain today.

Paul Marshall of Interbrand Madrid asked Fontsmith to explore the possibility of a bespoke typeface to work alongside the Mahou logo ahead of the brand’s launch in the UK in 2012. Fontsmith director Jason Smith and type designer Emanuela Conidi began the design process on paper by sketching and exploring a new latin spirited personality before moving on screen and applying the finer touches inherent in todays modern digital typeface design process.

As Jason explains – “The crafting stage is the part of the process that always takes the longest time, where we’ll just be painstakingly moving digital points by fractions of a millimetre to get them exactly right. Type designers are like architects, they have a real eye for balance, and anything slightly out or not straight.”

The new design is going to be used as a title font, which meant that it is important to have contrast between the font and the heaviness of the Mahou wordmark, while ensuring that they still visually connect. But one of the main challenge was to retain some of the character of the Mahou logo, which is a big, solid, German-esque mark. It was a challenging process of fine tuning, trying to bring a bit of what happens within the logo to the typeface whilst also creating a difference.

San Miguel and Interbrand, were both very happy with the results. As Paul Mashall explains – “The typeface has enough standalone presence to be recognisable by itself, and it also lives comfortably alongside illustration and photography. A good font will work as part of an overall unit, but equally it will have enough personality to speak for itself.”

More on the process for the Mahou typeface can be found in the latest issue of Computer arts magazine.

Metropolitan Arts Centre

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7 March 2012, 11:36

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Fontsmith have designed a brand new bespoke typographic identity for the Metropolitan Arts Centre in Belfast.

In July 2011 the good folk at AV Browne asked us to explore the creative possibilities for a MAC typeface that supported the architectural style of the space and one that retained a definite graphic quality.

Fontsmith designers Phil Garnham and Fernando Mello set upon developing a modern geometric type style that integrated and provided support to AV Browne’s angular brick concept, which is based around 30° angles. Project design director Chris Killeen of AV Browne explains – “The two main elements to the visual system take their cues from the building itself, the materials and the angles within the space. The first is a bespoke typeface using combinations of 30° angles to create characterful letters. The second is the wireframe pattern based on the bricks used within the building”

The logotype also uses the bespoke typeface with a few added extras. The fold in the logo mirrors the angles used within the font and brick elements which implies the context of the larger arts space environment as well as creating a nice consistent yet evolving relationship throughout the identity.

You can catch all the latest developments at the MAC here – http://themaclive.com/

Fontsmith @ Manchester Design Symposium 2012

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6 March 2012, 17:29

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Jason Smith will be among the speakers of the forthcoming Manchester Design Symposium.

This year’s event will explore the complex relationship between design and the economy, bringing to question whether the UK’s place at the top table of world design is under threat as emerging economies invest more in their ‘knowledge economy’ – and whether design and innovation has the potential to power the UK out of a recession.

Blake in typodarium

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5 August 2011, 11:03

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