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Design a typeface for 24-hour news broadcasting. Balance impact with clarity and an impartial distinction whilst complying with intricate systems in relation to typeface rendering, legibility and line length.
Sky News UK is the 24-hour, multi-media news operation based in the UK. It provides non-stop rolling news on television, online, and on a huge range of mobile devices and apps. In 2010, the Sky News design team contacted Fontsmith directly to discuss their planned launch of the Sky News HD channel, and a proposal for a new typeface design that would bring harmony to their identity and cross-media output.
Sky News prides itself on straightforward and concise storytelling in the best traditions of commercial, populist television. We were asked by the Sky News team to create a typeface that balanced impact with clarity and an impartial distinction. The new typeface also had to comply with Sky’s intricate systems in relation to typeface rendering, legibility and line length.
Designing a typeface that imbues a branded character yet also commands the ability to work across a wide range of content is a very difficult task. It was clear right from the off that this new typeface should be respectful and have a degree of neutrality to convey the weight of the information with sincerity.
On proposing a full range of options to the client and receiving a firm ‘go ahead’, we were the faced with the technical challenges of the Sky News operating system. How does one work a design into freshly defined and very specific graphical spaces across the board? By working with templates and understanding context, and changing attributes of the fonts design as the systems demanded. It was a tricky, yet highly rewarding learning process!
The Sky News font family has its own character and personality without overstepping the mark, making it individual enough to become a brand asset, yet never detracting from its purpose as a conveyor of a wide range of information. It carries both serious world issues and local trivialities with a impartial confidence and intent, communicating clearly to the viewer.
“The real beauty in what Fontsmith have created is its unique usability. The font weights are bespoke; somewhere between bold and regular; ideal for a news font which is often required to shout and whisper in the same breath.”— Chyaz Buffett, Sky News