Tag Archives: Typography

CNET’s new identity

Since launching in 1994, US media brand CNET (an abbreviation of Computer Network) has become a trusted source for reporting and advice on all things related to technology and digital culture.

As tech has evolved over the last two decades to influence almost every aspect our lives, the media company decided to expand its coverage and advice to what matters most in modern life – including money, home, wellness, culture and climate.

Collins’ brief was to turn CNET from a tech review site into an editorial-first brand known for its useful information and expertise, putting it alongside the raft of other news organisations that are placing renewed emphasis on trust, including the New York Times and the Guardian.

The new visual identity swaps the lower case sans serif logo that CNET had used for the past 30 years in favour of a more trim, custom serif wordmark inspired by editorial design from the so-called golden era of journalism.

In marketing CNET’s new approach, the studio leaned into bold surrealism with a series of striking artworks by Kentucky-based illustrator Robert Beatty. It has also introduced a slab serif typeface, Sentinel, and a new brand voice that seeks to make talking about the news more enjoyable.

Everyone loves Chocolate

Chocolate is a truly miraculous thing. The indulgent treat made from cocoa pods becomes a delicious food when mixed with other ingredients, such as sugar, fruit, or nuts. Unfortunately, most chocolate bars are made with refined sugars and stick to conventional ingredients.

Spring & Mulberry is a chocolate brand founded by Kathryn Shah and Sarah Bell to share more complex flavors beyond sweet, adding organic fruit, pollens, nuts, and spices, all sweetened with dates, a purportedly healthier alternative to refined sugars. Spring & Mulberry also uses organic ingredients whenever possible, and the bars are vegan save for lavender, bee pollen, and rose petal since it contains animal-derived pollen.

“The brief was to take the client’s product— date-sweetened chocolate—and build a brand supporting the concept of ‘exploring a world of sweet beyond sugar,’” said Allison Henry Aver, owner and creative director at Letter A, the agency behind Spring & Mulberry’s packaging. “We created the ‘land of Spring & Mulberry,’ where food and friends and feasts are abundant, good looking, and good-for-you. The land is showered in dappled light and dreamy sunsets, and from this, we took inspiration for our color palette, packaging, prints, and photography.”

The design is elegant, with fanciful and striking typography. The logo also makes tasteful use of Meek Display, with Brick DisplayClifton, and Nexus playing supporting roles. The mix of varying widths, round, and sharp edges shows complexity and craftwork, signaling a premium experience and product.

Baskin-Robbins

Baskin-Robbins has had a bit of an identity crisis the last few years. They’re still all about the ice cream they scoop up, ice cream cakes, sundaes, and shakes, but Baskin Robbins’ logo and branding haven’t delighted as much as its sweet, frozen treats. At the end of 2020, Baskin-Robbins introduced a new visual identity, replacing its maligned logo with a JKR-designed look, a definite step forward and inspired by “Living Flavorfully.”

Now, Baskin-Robbins has unveiled another logo and visual identity system, this time by creative agency ChangeUp (though, according to Baskin-Robbins, it hasn’t undergone a “major” brand refresh in decades). Time flies, supposedly, and recent events have likely distorted our perception of its passing, but the early 2021 refresh also included a new logo, visual system, and bespoke typeface.

“Baskin-Robbins is one of those brands with the unique potential to transcend generations. They wanted the branding to deliver the quality and creativity they’ve always offered but weren’t getting credit for,” explained Ryan Brazelton, ChangeUp CCO. “They needed to create a visual identity system that was exciting for people who grew up with them and future audiences as well.”

The new Baskin-Robbins logo turns to the brand’s visual history as inspiration for the new design. The brown and pink color combination is back, which sounds as gross as chocolate orange mayonnaise, but it works. The new logo keeps the oh-so-clever “31,” first introduced in 2006’s logo ( and held over in 2021). The type has a bit of the original’s circus feel, and the perfect circle shapes also recall the logo first introduced in 1947. Secondary typography is much more subdued in this refresh. Gone are the sharp angles, and the new type is less child-like and more mature, adding some soft lines that keep the new visual presentation casual and comfortable.

A tale of two halves

Founded in 1936, electrical appliances brand Morphy Richards has been a staple of many British homes for the best part of 100 years. Yet its brand vision hadn’t necessarily translated as it expanded around the world.

“Morphy Richards is historically a British brand that over the years has grown globally. As this growth happened, the meaning of the brand became inconsistent across markets. From the UK, to China, to Australia, what Morphy Richards stood for became diluted and as a result there was no longer a clear and consistent message,” explains Otherway founder Jono Holt.

Tasked with helping the business “see fundamental change”, Otherway set about identifying the brand’s point of view on the world and making it relevant to a new generation of consumers.

“The new wordmark is designed to capture the positive tension that has always sat at the heart of the business,” Holt explains. “The engineer and the salesman. The right brain and the left brain. The rational and the emotional. This juxtaposition of two personalities is represented in the differentiated fonts but somehow work in harmony.”

As our homes are set to remain a place of both work and play for many people, balancing feeling and functionality seems like a proposition that’s fit for the future.

Moniker rebrands crypto platform Coinbase

San Francisco-based agency Moniker has rebranded cryptocurrency platform Coinbase, aiming to reach a wider audience outside the “crypto crowd”.

Moniker was initially brought in to create a new logo, but it was soon apparent that there was “a larger need and opportunity for the visual identity system”, says Moniker creative director and founder Brent Couchman.

The rebrand was initiated at a time when Coinbase was experiencing massive growth, and according to Couchman, had become “the most trusted and easiest-to-use platform for the cryptoeconomy”, but its former identity didn’t match that position.

Coinbase briefed Moniker to create a new visual identity that would balance “the excitement and energy of this new financial world” while communicating trust and security. “To reach a wider audience, not just the typical crypto crowd, they needed a visual identity that built recognition for the brand but also allowed for a really wide range of expression to speak to new users,” says Couchman.

The designers looked to the idea of wayfinding and transit signage systems for inspiration, since the team’s early conversations had unearthed the idea of Coinbase being a ‘bridge’ between traditional finance and the cryptoeconomy. “This was really the core driver early on and gave us a shared language and set of filters to think about each piece of the identity,” says Couchman. Another key concept behind the new identity was the idea that crypto is no longer a futuristic entity, but something tangible and real that can be used right now. “This also fed into the wayfinding concept, that the system needed to be immediate and grounded — not something too abstract that could potentially get in the way for users who were new to the space,” he adds.

The new icon is instantly recognisable as a ‘C’ and a coin, again conveying simplicity and accessibility. “We didn’t want people to have to work to get it, just like using the product,” says Couchman. The blue colour palette of the previous identity was retained to aid identifiability and the brand’s equity; and Moniker introduced a secondary palette to give the branding more flexibility as it grows into new markets and introduces new sub brands.

The new Eames Institute of Curiosity 

Through exhibitions and other programming, as well as a new magazine called Kazam!, it hopes to “equip everyone with the lessons of Ray and Charles Eames, so that anyone can use design to solve problems”, as the Institute explains on its website.

The organisation will be responsible for the Eames Ranch in Petaluma, California, as well as the Eames Collection – which includes furniture, photographs and artworks created by Charles and Ray Eames.

See the brand in action

Manual thoroughly immersed itself in the pair’s work while creating the organisation’s branding. The project was two years in the making, and saw the studio spend time at the Petaluma ranch, delving into the Eames Collection and the personal archive of chief curator Llisa Demetrios – the couple’s granddaughter.

“We set out to approach the project with the same sense of curiosity and inclusivity that Ray and Charles demonstrated in their approach,” Manual writes on its website.

The identity revolves around what Manual describes as “the curious e” – a dramatically curving letter that feels like it embodies all the same mid-century charm as the Eames’ own work. “The monogram has the ability to shift its gaze in order to observe its context, emphasise content, and carry on the Eames’ legacy of spirited discovery,” writes the studio.

Typography was directly inspired by the archive, with the Eames’ use of News Gothic in film titles prompting sans serif Topol Bold, which is paired with the serif Century Schoolbook.

For Them launches new identity inspired by nature

For Them, a queer wellness brand currently selling a range of chest binders, has launched a new typography-led visual identity inspired by nature.

Created by art director and designer Alex Pankiv Greene alongside For Them creative director Kate Vozella, the new branding looks to represent the expansiveness of the community that forms its audience. “When For Them launched last year it was a shot in the dark creating an aesthetic for the queer audience that has been almost entirely unserved until now,” says founder Chloe Freeman. 

The team chose to focus the new designs around nature, “where authentic fluidity, evolution and expansiveness are already present”, as Freeman puts it. This plays out across a suite of icons taking their shapes from elements in the natural world, each representing one of nine ‘dimensions of wellness’, such as ‘nourish’, ‘transcend’, ‘bloom’ and ‘belong’.

The new branding abandons the former look’s pink and purple, and instead looks to make the colour palette more bold and expansive and move away from colours traditionally associated with being feminine.

The logo uses a wordmark alongside a triple heart symbol which can be used in any of the seven For Them brand colours, which include a blue-green, mustard yellow, pink and red, and aim to form a rainbow spectrum that’s bold and inclusive. “The double typography with the three-heart symbol encapsulates the idea of ‘nature in full bloom’ providing the movement, expansion, and weight the brand deserves,” says Freeman.

Wolff Olins identity for DailyPay

First revealed last May, the updated identity revolves around the idea that DailyPay is “flipping the system” with regards to acccessing earnings. It’s reflected in a symbol that doubles as a sun peeking behind the horizon and a coin dropping into a slot. The two interpretations are joined together in an animated execution, in which the sun motif flips over to reveal the coin.

The colour palette has been updated from light blue to a sunny orange, and a new custom typeface has also been introduced. The type design, called Horizon, evokes the main symbol through the elongated serifs, exaggerated hooks and the full stop.

DailyPay animated logotype designed by Wolff Olins

Seed Library Visual Identity

Magpie Studio has created the branding for cocktail bar Seed Library, creating a visual identity to match the ‘lo-fi analogue’ vision for the bar.

Seed Library, which is based in the basement of One Hundred Shoreditch (Formerly Ace Hotel), is run by Ryan Chetiawardana — better known as Mr Lyan — who Magpie says is “often referred to as the world’s best bartender”. His first bar, White Lyan, opened in London in 2013 and explored sustainability and waste-reduction through using no perishables, fruit or ice. He then went on to launch a series of bars around London, as well as in Washington DC and Amsterdam, including Super Lyan, Dandelyan, Cub, Lyaness, and Silver Lyan.

Magpie has previously worked with Chetiawardana on projects including theidentity for Dandelyan and Super Lyan, which scooped the agency a D&AD Pencil in 2020. The studio worked closely with Mr Lyan and hospitality company Lore Group on the Seed Library project, starting work in September 2021, with the bar opening in late February this year.

The small copy that intertwines the patterns is an excerpt from a section about black holes found in Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, a nod to Chetiawardana’s scientific background. The wordmark uses the typeface Ambit by CoType, a modern take on classic sans serif fonts. “It felt fitting with the modernisation of the patterns, it felt like it had just enough character,” says Christie. The vibrant orange colour palette was chosen to amplify the warmth of the interiors while also feeling fresh and modern, and standing out in the low lighting. The interiors for Seed Library were designed by architect, designer and Lore Group creative director Jacu Strauss.

The power of Typography

Sarah Hyndman has been exploring how typography influences us for the past decade or so; setting up experiments and studies around its effect on our moods and senses and demonstrating how letterforms have powers far beyond mere legibility or decoration. 

Hyndman, a designer and founder of the Type Tasting enterprise, published the book The Type Taster: How fonts influence you back in 2015, and her interest in the subject hasn’t waned since. Now, with the help of an Arts Council grant, she’s created an innovative new ‘exhibition’ of sorts: but one which comes to you, in a small box.

Within each box is a series of three zines, as well as three small bags, each containing a different scent-giving object (one takes the form of dried plant matter; others are more like perfume sample sticks). Each scent corresponds to different exercises within the zine’s pages, which also include sensorial cues such as textures to feel, typographic trompe l’oeil and links to sound pieces including a collection of audio recordings from open-source NASA data, as well as ASMR cues and online kinetic type examples. 

It’s a smart take on the exhibition format in a post lockdown world: obviously, you can ‘wander’ round the exhibition from your own home (or wherever else you fancy taking the box); and it also makes good use of QR codes, taking them out of the realm of track and trace and into something rather more enjoyable. In addition, Elixir plays with the idea of the hybrid format: while it’s a gorgeous piece of print, the experience only becomes possible thanks to its online elements.

Elixir: Mood is available to buy at typetasting.com