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Step 4 — Designing a new identity

iSAMS Blog

With the research and strategy stages complete, the following attributes have been highlighted as the personality of iSAMS:

  • Flexible

  • Web-based

  • Forward thinking 

  • Progressive

  • Experienced

  • Dynamic

  • Customer focused

  • International

The challenge now is to assign these attributes to the elements that make up the customer experience.

First consideration is a suitable typeface for the wordmark.

Typefaces

When it comes to choosing a font for use as a logotype/wordmark, I look no further than UK-foundry, Fontsmith. They offer both a custom font design service and access to a range of pre-designed typefaces.

The great thing about Fontsmith is they clearly define the personalities of each family, which allows the designer to match a font to the attributes highlighted in the brand brief.

Let’s take a look at six typefaces by Fontsmith that all have flexible, dynamic, progressive personalities:

FS Joey

FS Joey is the chosen typeface and was originally conceived as a logotype for an internet-based company.

FS Joey is highly legible on-screen, especially when scale is compromised. FS Joey also has a good range of weights, which work well in print.

FS Joey has a strong corporate character that’s fresh, friendly, geometric and energetic.

FS Joey is a progressive typeface that will help promote continued growth.

The personality of FS Joey

Lowercase or uppercase?

Lowercase or uppercase is a big question to answer when creating a new logotype/wordmark. 

Lowercase creates an approachable brand personality that’s both credible and human-centric. 

Lowercase increases the friendliness of a company and its outward expression.

Lowercase helps to create an identity where the customer is the main focus.

Uppercase feels inflexible, but it is official and traditional.

Wordmark kerning (lowercase FS Joey bold)

Company strapline

As stated in the creative brief, we need to finalise a company strapline. We also need to select a font for the strapline that typographically matches Tablet Gothic (the sans serif typeface used by iSAMS for titles and headlines).

Tablet Gothic was designed by Czechoslovakian foundry, Typetogether (TT). After consulting the team at TT, I’m pleased to say the serif typeface they recommend is: Abril Titling.

Strapline set in Abril Titling Regular

Abril Titling

Abril Titling is a contemporary interpretation of a classic serif typeface, conceived specifically for intensive use, both off and on-screen.

The four main text weights of Abril Titling were manually hinted, which means there’s a smooth transition from printed media to web platform.

Abril Titling is also the typo-match to Tablet Gothic because both fonts share the same vertical stress, large x-height and mechanic feel.

Flexible identity system (landscape)

Sub-brands

Another element highlighted during the audits was a need to reorganise the sub-brands.

Using the new flexible identity systems (both landscape and portrait), accommodation can be made for the reorganisation of sub-brands, plus future expansion.

All sub-brands and the finalised strapline sit comfortably against the wordmark. Spacing is determined by the wordmark’s x-height and the sub-brands are set in FS Joey Medium (uppercase) with tracking at -50, respectively.

Sub-brand architecture (landscape)

Flexible identity system (portrait)

Sub-brand architecture (portrait)

With the wordmark now established, we can move onto considering colour and how it’s used to express personality.

The audit readout established that the existing colour palette must be continued and will unify the new identity, while each colour will clarify elements of the brand architecture.

Producing a range of trial applications, both on and off-screen, will help define the use of colour and typography.