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Old 03-24-2005, 11:00 AM   #1
lstout
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Default Choosing New Corporate Font(s)

I'm the in-house designer for a small technology company serving a fairly conservative industry (oil & gas). I'm developing a new look for the company which needs to have a contemporary, high-tech feel, without appearing trendy. The look will be applied primarily across printed collaterals, stationary, press releases, case studies and white papers. At the moment, I'm agonizing over choosing new corporate fonts.

Being the only creative in the company, I'm pretty isolated in making decisions, and so I'm looking for suggestions, advice, things to consider and any kind of feedback.

The old look, which I inherited, used a mishmash of fonts -- Officina Sans for heads, Sabon for body text, Gill Sans on stationary, Univers Condensed for small print...

I want to use a different sans family, and I'm looking for one that is big enough and versatile enough that it can work for heads, stationary, condensed print and be acceptable for limited display use (ie trade show booth).

Sans...
I've been trying Myriad Pro, and it certainly has the breadth I think I need, but I'm not keen on what I would call its rather generic feel.

Thinking about: Lucasfonts CorpId or TheSans; FF Scala Sans; Linotype Avenir Next; FF Fago

Serif...
I like Sabon, but maybe its a little too conservative for the look I'm going for, especially if paired with one of the above sans?

Please give me comments, thoughts, advice, past experience, things I should consider!

Leif Stout
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Old 03-24-2005, 11:38 AM   #2
ktinkel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lstout
I'm developing a new look for the company which needs to have a contemporary, high-tech feel, without appearing trendy. The look will be applied primarily across printed collaterals, stationary, press releases, case studies and white papers. At the moment, I'm agonizing over choosing new corporate fonts. …
Just off the top of my head, a few reactions to the candidates you are considering:

If Myriad Pro works (and I’m not sure that Frutiger might not be preferable, actually) then you could also consider Minion Pro as the serif companion. Minion and Myriad were designed as a sort of set, and work well together, but I wonder about using them for signage.

Sabon is not so much conservative as seriously transparent (in general a good thing for corporate — or perhaps all — text). But if you are thinking about Scala Sans, you might want to consider Scala (serif) as a companion. (There is even an ornamental display member, Scala Jewel, for the occasional bit of fun, drop cap, whatever; and a footnote font, which may be handy for annual reports.) Again, though, not sure about signage sizes. Guess you’d have to mock some up and look at it.

You refer to your company as conservative but don’t say where you are. It sounds as if you are angling for a sort of European look — will that fly?

—Kathleen

   
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Old 03-24-2005, 12:30 PM   #3
Norman Hathaway
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The Sans! Use it with The Serif (Thesis)
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Old 03-25-2005, 08:00 PM   #4
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If you go with Myriad, one caution from someone who has had to live with it for a few years now: Don't make the light weight your standard body copy. It's OK for body copy in one- or two-page pieces. But it gets hard to follow if there's lots of text (as in the software manuals my group produces). And it's even lighter in high-resolution offset printing than it is when you print it out on a laser printer.

   
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Old 03-26-2005, 06:18 AM   #5
John Nolan
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Leif:
As I said to you in the Adobe forums:

When choosing corporate fonts, another consideration is the EULAs for the fonts.

Sooner or later, you'll want to make a PDF, and different foundries have different rules for such things.

Or, you might want to modify a font; some foundries will allow it, others won't, or won't allow modifications until you obtain their permission. Only a careful reading of the license agreements will ensure you're buying what you need.
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Old 03-28-2005, 10:01 AM   #6
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Everyone; thanks for your valuable feedback...

The company is based in Calgary, Canada, but our market is N. America with an occasional nod toward Europe and the Mid East. I'm not specifically going for a European look, but the goal is to give the company a fresher look than what's typically done in Oil and Gas. We'd like to be seen as a technology company in the Oil & Gas market, rather than an Oil and Gas company that does software.

Norman; I'm interested in your recommendation of TheSans. Seems you're quite enthusiastic about it... Where have you used it and have you run into any issues such as those John S. mentioned?
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