The subliminal power of city fonts

13th January 2015
Paul Bailey

Can typefaces have an impact on the brand of a city? We spoke to The Guardian to discuss the power of typography on city brands.

See what we had to say on this below, or read the full article in The Guardian here.

‘Paul Bailey, a brand consultant at London-based 1977 Design, says it’s exactly by tapping into “what makes this place this place” that makes a typeface work. As one of the most important visual aspects of any brand, typography can be used to “reflect a certain kind of personality”, he says – reflect, he stresses, not create. “You can’t pick a nice, modern typeface if the city is actually really run down. People can quickly see through it. You can’t rebrand something and then tell people ‘This is what your city is like,’ because if it’s not, they’ll just say ‘That’s rubbish, it’s not like that at all.’” But you can, Bailey says, use fonts to signal “where a city brand is moving to”.’

and

‘But while it’s clear that typography, as one manifestation of design, can and has done a lot for these smaller cities, it cannot be the whole solution. “A new typeface in itself isn’t going to change a city,” says Bailey. “But it might help change the mindset of the people in a city and inspire them to make the change themselves.”’

Image © Nico Paix

As one of the most important visual aspects of any brand, typography can be used to “reflect a certain kind of personality”