Custom font for the digital brand Scout24

Pedro Arilla Custom fonts
11 Dec’19

‘Make It Sans’ is a fresh typeface created in collaboration with DesignStudio for the German classifieds group Scout24. Designed specifically for small use on screens while retaining the friendly open feel of the new rebrand.

Scout24 is a leading operator of digital marketplaces for real estate and automobiles in Germany and other selected European countries. For the most comprehensive redesign in the company’s history, DesignStudio contacted us for help with the font. The brief was to create a custom typeface with a simple family structure (Regular and Bold), support for two scripts (Latin and Cyrillic) and an ownable design to encapsulate the new brand voice.

The three main brands of the group (ImmoScout24, AutoScout24 and FinanceScout24) now have a modern highlighter style and fresh colours for easier orientation and simplicity. FS Koopman was chosen to be part of the new design system because of its organic grotty terminals, elegant shapes and open skeleton. In order to design an ownable brandfont, we incorporated angled stem endings and wider, less contrasted round shapes.

We worked hand in hand with the DesignStudio London team to customise the font. We wanted to emphasise the playfulness and simplicity in the letter shapes. Since Scout24 is mostly a digital brand, the main focus was also on-screen rendering. We performed different tests to find the correct weight for an optimal digital performance while keeping a distinctive balance between the two weights.

To get a geometric sans serif feel with a slightly less grotesque shape, the characters were rounded, contrast decreased overall and shapes opened up. Some characters were sliced to match the cuts in the wordmarks. The junctions were modified in letters like ‘u’, ‘n’, ‘m’ and so on. We made some of the characters more bottom heavy, moving the centre of the character optically higher. We also accentuated the tittles and dots with punctuation and used this characterful rounded feel to influence other punctuation marks.

Although we were very happy with the final outcome, we thought that the whole project could be enriched by adding a few distinctive characters. This set of alternates will stand out when used at big sizes emphasising the geometric look — while keeping the standard set for a workhorse option.

Scout24 operates across Europe, including some Cyrillic native countries. As in all multi-language Brandfont® projects, we designed ‘Make It Sans’ Latin and Cyrillic in a parallel process, so the same approach was taken for both. Brands need to share a consistent visual voice even when speaking in different languages.

‘Working with Fontsmith is always fun. Together, we developed a clean and elegant font that captured the personality of Scout24. Designed specifically for small use on screens but also to work across printed materials, Fontsmith designed the perfect solution for the Scout24’s world.’

Vinay Mistry (Design Director at DesignStudio)

The custom font family ‘Make It Sans’ is and will be a key asset of all Scout24 branded communications as part of the brand refresh that DesignStudio have carried out. ‘Make It Sans’ is licensed under our exclusive Brandfont® licence allowing the Scout24 group to use it in the easiest and most flexible way.

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