When people think of logos, most often, an icon first comes to mind. For example, the logo for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver received much initial criticism from indigenous cultures over the choice of an INUKSHUK as the symbol. An often overlooked but equally important component of a memorable brand is the choice of typeface.
THIS ARTICLE does a fantastic job articulating the importance of typographic choice in creating a brand language (and in particular that of the 2010 Olympics). In addition to being a workhorse for communication (a typeface must be legible in a variety of situations, from headlines to long blocks of text), the typeface must be distinctive, and communicate the essence of a brand via its design.
For the Vancouver Olympics, the branding committee chose NEO SANS, designed by Sebastian Lester. It is a contemporary sans serif with many weights, which makes it more flexible. To make the typeface more distinctive, a custom version was created. According to Ali Gardiner, VP of brand and creative services for the committee, "We thought that a unicase font (one that had several lowercase characters designed to the height and proportions of the capitals) could be used for display text in a way that felt both warm and friendly as well as contemporary and cool, which was how we wanted to represent Canada to the world. It also had the potential to become a unique, recognizable typeface for Vancover 2010, which was important as we established our own look and feel and brand identity leading up to the Games."
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