Bond’s identity for Type Directors Club celebrates “the extensive, rich and complex world of type design”

Entrusted with creating the identity for the Type Directors Club's annual competition, the agency decided to represent the vast styles of typography creating a unique but balanced specimen.

22 May 2020


Designing the identity for the annual Type Directors Club competition is a daunting task for any studio, we imagine. A real honour to represent the best of the best in design, with your own design, it’s probably a once-in-a-career kind of brief to receive. So, when creative agency Bond – a globally collaborative team of designers, strategists, coders and technologists, with studios from Helsinki to London, Dubai, Tallinn and San Fransisco – were recently entrusted with the job, they decided to represent many typographic styles and typographers too.

In turn creating a brand identity visualising the ever growing scene of contemporary typography, it was Bond’s London studio in particular who worked on this project. Also coinciding with the 65th anniversary of the Type Directors Club annual competition, “It was tremendous creative opportunity and a personal passion project for all of us,” says Margaretha Andreassen, a creative at Bond’s London studio. Inspired “by visual language in typeface specimens to bring the chosen typefaces to life,” to accurately represent this community, and those maybe applying to the competition, “it only felt right to bring together selected typefaces from many different type foundries from all over the world,” Margaretha explains.

Creating a type specimen was the initial starting point for this unique identity. Beginning by engaging with both “new, established and experimental” foundries Bond’s aim was to create a specimen, which could “challenge our idea of letterforms, language and legibility,” Margaretha continues. “From the paramedic designs of MuirMcNeil (UK) which break the past to the ever-inventive collective of ABC Dinamo (Switzerland), and the way Daria Petrova’s (Russia) Zangezi font pushed traditions to their idiosyncratic limits.”

To balance and decide upon this amalgamation of typefaces took plenty of “research, dialogue and explorations,” followed by further conversations with Nina Stössinger, the Type Directors Club chair this year, as well as Bobby C. Martin JR, its chair of communication fo design. Creating such a visually distinctive campaign motivated the team too, pushing their limits to “create a progressive campaign that continuously explored the design language, whilst retaining enough visual codes to identify the campaign and Type Directors Club.”

Once completed, the identity was then rolled out among many applications, from variable animations to printed annuals. Utilising the Type Directors Club core colours for the identity’s visual direction too, “we wanted to celebrate Type Directors Club history,” adds Margaretha, “and to celebrate the extensive, rich and complex world of type design.” The result of an approach that is “abstract and expressive,” aided grabbing potential audience’s attention too, resulting in the most successful competition campaign for the Type Directors Club to date.

With this brilliant project wrapped up, it’s the current difficult times we’re in which Bond as a studio is pointing its efforts towards. As a studio, it’s “always focussed on progress, adaptation, and creating relevant and lasting results,” explains Margaretha. Now more than ever, clients will require strategies for how to recover, adjust and be distinctive.” An example of this is how proactive its creatives and technologists have already been, creating a simple video chat tool for household members “who need to self isolate to keep in contact with different rooms and family members,” points out the creative. In essence this displays the approach to design solutions the studio has always adopted: “We will continue to do what we have been doing – supporting our clients around the world with simple and powerful ideas that help them stand out in a complex world.”

GalleryBond: Type Directors Club

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Bond: Type Directors Club

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About the Author

Lucy Bourton

Lucy (she/her) is the senior editor at Insights, a research-driven department with It's Nice That. Get in contact with her for potential Insights collaborations or to discuss Insights' fortnightly column, POV. Lucy has been a part of the team at It's Nice That since 2016, first joining as a staff writer after graduating from Chelsea College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design Communication.

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