Text fonts for a premium brand?

Jean Louis's picture

What text fonts (body and titles) would you advise for a new premium brand? What would be a clean and fresh alternative to Gill Sans, Gotham, Futura?

riccard0's picture

Premium brand of what?
Also, it need to be sans serif?

Thomas Phinney's picture

What besides "premium" does the brand connote? Modern? Antique? Classic and timeless? Warm? Cool?

grubstreet's picture

First idea jumps out of my head: Garamond.
Wrong. We indeed need more details to find out what you're trying to convey.

Jean Louis's picture

A boutique yacht consultancy, providing project management services. Basically, they manage new yacht projects from design to delivery.

Warm or cool? Definitely a clean and sleek style, but rather beach house chic. Not the obvious all-white sterile minimalism. Californian modernism comes to my mind.

Brand ID is authentic, individual (tailored to the client), contemporary, innovative, refined, boutique (not corporate), sexy (but still professional), a sense of timelessness. Office style is casual chic, no suits and tie. To translate this into a car, I would say a Maserati, stylish but with a sense of understatement. In architectural language, probably a modernistic house somewhere in LA, like Sheats-Goldstein, or a modern loft.

Besides that, they are a bit of the David vs Goliath in their industry. Small business, with vision and good taste, driven to make a difference, not just interested in building as much/large as they can.

For fonts, I considered Futura, but a competitor is doing that, and besides it sometimes looks a bit rigid. For body, I thought to stick with arial, clean and professional. I think serif is too formal for a smaller business, in this field. For titles/headlines, I consider Gill Sans, maybe Proxima Nova. This site http://www.fasano.com.br/ using Akzidenz looks great, but then you need to use it for body text as well. Univers is great, but lacks some edge for headlines and titles. These people http://www.oneauthenticproperties.com/ and http://www.spykercars.com/ use DIN for a premium brand, also looks good.

Té Rowan's picture

Perhaps one of Italian origin, (Semplicita Pro), for heading matter.

Jean Louis's picture

Great suggestion, Té Rowan. This warmer version of Futura makes sense here.

Of course, I'm still curious to hear what the others think too!

Thomas Phinney's picture

I can see Semplicita, for sure.

Actually, my own Hypatia Sans would fit fairly well with this brief, I think, for much the same reasons. http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/adobe/hypatia-sans-pro/

It has seen use for travel, architecture, and the like.

Jean Louis's picture

Looks great as well, Thomas, thanks for the suggestion!

Jean Louis's picture

Thanks, Andreas. Brandon Grotesque is a great font and works very well in this context http://www.laspiedrasfasano.com/ Fasano is also a premium brand (hospitality in this case). It looks modern, warm, kind and welcoming. However, maybe a bit too "decorative" for project management services (even in a leisure business)? What do you people think?

Andreas Stötzner's picture

No, Brandon does not look decorative. It looks characteristic, bears some classical 1930ies DNA but with understatement. An incredible mature design. And it has some warmth, Lapidaria is more chilly.
Another excellent choice might be Alright Sans. Add a cream tip of excentricity with Arthr Sans or Le Havre.

grubstreet's picture

I found most of the idea I came up with has been mentioned above.
Here goes another one: Akira Kobayashi's Akko. It also has a rounded version for convenience.

R.'s picture

If you like Brandon Grotesque, you might want to use Brandon Text for, well, text. I also think Neutraface would be a good choice; it seems overused in North America, but much less so in many parts of Europe.

Jean Louis's picture

@Grubstreet: Akko is new to me. Great, thanks for suggesting!

@R.: Seems like I'll have to re-consider Brandon. First I thought it would look too "1930's NYC", but maybe that's not good judgement. I think Neutra looks great, but in this case, and for headlines, I guess it would be a bit too rigid.

donshottype's picture

[Updated post]
Good suggestions. Hope you wont object if I add yet another.
Since your business is completely unrelated to digital devices, you might try thin weights of Myriad, which has gained a subconscious "good vibe" by being closely linked with the "cool" of Apple. Few if any people would consciously think, "oh, a boat from Apple."


Myriad is often used for titling, .e.g. the Springer science books, but it also seems to work at smaller sizes. Regret I don't have a good specimen to offer. But here is an opinion piece that claims Myriad works at tiny sizes http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2011/02/typefaces-i-cant-live-without-ado...
Don

JamesM's picture

I've always liked Myriad Pro and it's available in a wide variety of weights, condensed, extended, etc.

grubstreet's picture

This may be only me, but I'm the person who consciously thinks "oh is this iBoat?" Apple's tremendous success has linked this typeface with the image of itself.

If you (@Jean Louis) don't mind, Avenir may be a good alternative. But mind the dribbblisation it may ensue.

P.S. I remembered Akko mainly because of the name, not the letterform... I personally don't have much affection for such industrialized styles with some intentionally, ex post facto added humanism factors, but the name "Akko" is the diminutive form of "Akira" in Japanese – unconventional; because most such nomenclature use the full name, i.e. Frutiger from Adrian Frutiger.

Jean Louis's picture

@donshottype: I can certainly can image Myriad Pro on this project, thanks! It also looks great in thin weights, which I prefer over bold for titles.

@JamesM: Thanks for suggesting Myriad Pro as well!

@Grusbstreet: If this was a tech-project, I'd probably stay away from Myriad to avoid Apple associations. But in this field of yachting, I'm not so concerned. Avenir? Absolutely! This site is a great example http://www.sfarts.org/ This font works well for everything, including the titles.

R.'s picture

A hyphen wouldn’t have gone amiss in this URL to differentiate what I read – s-farts.org – from the actually intended sf-arts.org.

Jean Louis's picture

@R.: You have a point. However, art deals with the special and the banal, with the predictable and the surprising, with the polite and the rude. Maybe it's part of the concept?

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