A new family of typefaces for use around the world by one of the world’s biggest brands — one which tens of millions of people see before bed and when they wake up each morning: Colgate.
- Phil Garnham.
Colgate is the leading oral care brand globally and extends across a number of diverse and contrasting sub-brands – from numerous toothbrushes, toothpastes and mouthwashes to cosmetic and therapeutic products, each with its own specific communication needs. Through design and branding agency The Partners and Colgate’s global, full service agency, Red Fuse Communications, Colgate approached Fontsmith to design a new bespoke typeface.
The brief was to design a versatile and distinct Roman/Latin typeface in three weights to reflects the emotional and tonal dimensions of the Colgate-Palmolive brand.
“Charged with strengthening Colgate's brand identity in worldwide communications, we knew that typography would be a central consideration,” says Nick Clark, Creative Director at The Partners. “Jason and his team have been able to identify, extract and work with the DNA of the brand and translate it into a versatile family of typefaces that are uniquely identifiable, consistent and representative.”
Fontsmith first designed the new typeface, called Colgate Ready, as a Roman/Latin character set in three weights, Light, Regular and Bold, each with its own italic. Colgate then commissioned Fontsmith to create further language versions: Cyrillic, Eastern European, Devanagari and Thai. By defining the key attributes of stroke weight, x-height, cap height, width proportions and terminal designs we were able to extract the DNA of the typeface design and translate the characteristics into these non-Latin designs.
Colgate has loyal customers all over the world and we were excited about the potential for creating not just a versatile and recognisable typeface but also establishing global typographic consistency for such an iconic brand. Having also delivered brand typefaces for clients including ITV and Channel 4 in recent years, I believe no one else could have delivered the typefaces we have. Fontsmith’s strengths are its size, passion and experience. We are a small team and therefore can offer great value while nothing gets lost in translation from brief to delivery.
The typeface will be used across all of the brand’s communications, from retail point-of sale displays to print and TV advertisements, and on web and mobile comms too.
“Charged with strengthening Colgate’s brand identity in worldwide communications, we knew that typography would be a central consideration. We wanted to work specifically with Fontsmith as its reputation and experience working with global brands on corporate typefaces is second to none. Jason and his team have been able to identify, extract and work with the DNA of the brand and translate it into a versatile family of typefaces that are uniquely identifiable, consistent and representative.”
— Nick Clark, Creative Director, The Partners
Phil is a Creative Type Director and type designer with many years of experience in the design and engineering of fonts for global brands. Working in collaboration with design studios and global clients, Phil understands the creative and business needs of brands looking to build continuity with type.