The Fragmented Future of Interfaces and What That Means for Fonts

Guest Post by Stewart Devlin
Chief Creative Officer at NYC-based Red Peak Branding 

We’re now a few months into 2015, and have already witnessed several of the big tech conferences — CES to MWC, Cebit and SXSW. One thing that strikes me at these events is the incredible diversity of the interfaces we are now interacting with. From smartbands and smartwatches to 3D printing to virtual and augmented reality — the content we engage with is changing in a big way. And who knows what’s coming next.

As a designer and type enthusiast, I see a lot of implications for fonts. This interface fragmentation makes me excited to see how type can adapt to new surfaces and materials. If the jump from pages to screens twenty years ago caused a massive shift in the type industry, we can only imagine the disruption that these new forms and devices will cause. The implication, of course, is that brands that want to present content on cutting-edge devices need to have the power to control the very fonts they use. This is one of the most compelling reasons to invest in the development of a proprietary font. The trend is on the uptick — and it’s no surprise. Check out some of my favorite examples below:

Intel
Red Peak Branding worked with type foundry Dalton Maag to design a global proprietary font for Intel, called Intel Clear. Watch this video to learn more about Intel Clear.

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Sony

Sony developed SST as the global proprietary font in collaboration with Monotype.

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Airbnb
Airbnb’s somewhat controversial rebrand last summer included the implementation of a proprietary font, called Air.

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Cooper Hewitt
The newly reopened Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum relaunched with a fresh identity, including a typeface called Cooper Hewitt, which is available for free unrestricted public use.

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About the Author
Stewart Devlin is chief creative officer at NYC-based Red Peak Branding. Email him at sdevlin@redpeakgroup.com, or following him on Instagram @Devlin7.

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