Accessible typeface FS Millbank wins again for leading the way in inclusive design

Phil Garnham Fonts for accessibility
11 Mar’16

Fontsmith typeface, FS Millbank, last night won at the Creativepool Annual awards in the typography category. The Annual is a showcase of the best creative work from the previous year and 2016 saw eight times as many entries as 2015 so competition was tough.

FS Millbank was designed by Stuart de Rozario in 2015 and is an accessible typeface for wayfinding. Since its launch it has gone on to win a D&AD Pencil and a Red Dot award, inclusion in the Creativepool Annual being its third accolade.

When Stuart started his research into wayfinding typography he found that legibility was key alongside functionality in a range of different environments. He needed to consider how the font would perform in poor lighting, when people were reading signage on the move, on-screen 
and in various sizes for devices, apps, route finders and electronic displays as well as in print.

To make sure the typeface was as clear as possible rigorous testing was carried out, with different sizes, illuminated backgrounds, on-screen blur tests and positive and negative balance trials. A range of wayfinding icons were also created covering arrows, transport, general information and user interface design.

Stuart had this to say about last night’s win, ’FS Millbank was a real labour of love so I am absolutely thrilled with the recognition it has received. During my research I discovered there was very little choice for wayfinding designers and the options were largely lacking in any real personality. I was surprised to find such a huge gap in the market and incredibly excited by the opportunity to fill it.’

Jason Smith said, ‘Stuart did an absolutely exceptional job with FS Millbank going above and beyond in terms of research and testing. The result is a typeface which is incredibly robust but still full of character. I am very proud to have it in the Fontsmith library – a brilliant addition to our accessible offering.’

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