Services

Fontsmith is now part of the Monotype Studio. The Monotype Studio offers a suite of services that help the world’s leading brands design, define and express their voice through type. From custom and modified type design, to helping brands expand into new global territories without breaking their brand system, our experts help you determine how to make type an impactful part of your brand strategy.

Channel 4

Create a bold and engaging typographic identity system to impress the young, culturally aware and savvy viewer.

Brief

Channel 4 is the British television broadcaster with a remit from Government to push boundaries and create dialogue amongst its audience. Channel 4 and broadcast design consultancy Rudd Studio, asked Fontsmith to join a top-secret pitch in order to build a new Channel 4 visual identity.

The brief was to create a distinct, bold and engaging typographic identity. To design a type family that was in tune with its boundary pushing broadcast environment. Matthew Rudd of Rudd Studio outlined that the font had to be “distinctive enough to be truly ownable and also impress the young, culturally aware and savvy viewer”

It was clear from the outset that this typeface had to be a game-changer in broadcast and identity design.

Solution

We began by exploring the opportunity for a bold and unapologetic attitude within a headline font, always keeping one eye on functionality and context. The fonts had to work on serious news programming as well as the Ali G show. Getting the tonal balance right was key.

We questioned whether to design to complement the new logotype style or to match it? We considered the balance between squareness and roundness within the letterforms. Too square in shape and the typeface failed to compliment and lacked gravitas. Our solution was to introduce subtle curves to the alphabets modular structure and then focus on achieving optimal character proportions for on-air.

A special version of the headline typeface allows the text of on-air menus to take up less vertical screen space, enabling menus to display more information on screen at any given time.

Effectiveness / Benefits / Experience

The Channel 4 type family communicates the values and principles of the brand, acting as a visual adhesive, gluing together all aspects of communication through television idents, content graphics, and print.

It has become synonymous with the brand and is capable of standing alone without the need to display the Channel 4 logo. Type is an incredibly effective branding tool.

As the first commissioned typeface for terrestrial television, it has changed the way in which television brands address their audiences.

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