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Custom-made font designed for Bristol24/7's Better Bristol
June, 2019

Creating a brand new font from scratch

Just like the city it celebrates, there’s more to Better Bristol’s custom-designed font than first meets the eye.

The brand new typeface was a labour of love, created from scratch by our very own Tom Ovens, Creative Director, for the lovely chaps at Bristol24/7.

“I’d been exploring various existing typefaces to see if I could adapt them or bring my own twist but found them too restrictive. So I then explored various executions and iterations of creating my own, but was struggling to develop an approach that could work across the numerous letterforms in a cohesive yet creative way.”

We worked with the folks at Bristol24/7 to create their Better Bristol branding, so we were only too happy to help when they approached us to create their new ad campaign.

The brief? No less than to design an outdoor campaign to “celebrate and enhance the creativity, diversity and independence of Bristol”.

“I wanted to create a family of characters that had a sense of individual identity, a creative edge but also ensure that they worked well all together and as a brand.

It’s fair to say that I’m not a typeface designer, I had no experience of creating one and so it presented a number of technical and creative challenges.

Typeface for Bristol 24/7

 

The breakthrough came with the letter ‘R’. After enough experimenting it suddenly all came together, the slight Escherness (okay, not a word, but we reckon it should be!) of the bowl looping back on itself in an impossible way and the leg mirroring the top left gave it both a 3D and flat feel. It also encompassed curves and straight edges. Once I’d applied the same methodology to the ‘B’, ‘I’ and ‘O’ I was confident that the approach could work across the whole word.”

Ben Wright, Managing Director at Bristol24/7 said: “Workbrands have their roots firmly planted in Bristol and share our passion for cultivating community in the city we’re proud to call home. We couldn’t be happier with the font they’ve created.”

Want to find out more about creating your own typeface? Creative Bloq’s 17 tips to create your own typeface is a great place to start. Or James Barnard wrote an excellent resource on Medium including how to create your rules and submit it to Google Fonts in just 24 hours.

Keep your eyes peeled on the streets of Bristol for an exciting new poster campaign celebrating the brilliant work that Better Bristol does throughout the city.