Spotify launches new bespoke typeface with Dinamo: Spotify Mix

A year and a half in the making, the new typeface will be used across both the app and broader marketing and brand communications – not to mention the Spotify wordmark too.

23 May 2024


Spotify has launched a new bespoke brand typeface called Spotify Mix, which the music platform worked with the Berlin type design studio Dinamo to create. The typeface took around 18 months to develop and will, from this week, begin to be seen across all of the brand’s communications and marketing, and within the product itself. It’s even going to replace the font used in the Spotify wordmark.

The typeface will replace Spotify Circular, which the music service has used for years. “Circular had been with us for quite some time and it served us really well, but it also felt quite limiting at times,” says Rasmus Wängelin, global head of brand design at Spotify. Circular didn’t offer enough options or expressiveness. “Being able to go from condensed to extended gives you an ability to communicate so many more emotions,” he says, “versus a typeface that only has a regular setting at different weights.” And this ability to dial the expressiveness both up and down is vital for Spotify, because, as he explains, “we need to show up in different ways in a lot of different places”.

As Rasmus notes, the team at Spotify also wanted to introduce a lot more character and personality that Circular was sometimes felt to lack. “By its nature, Circular is perfect – it’s very geometric and feels very perfect,” he says. “People want to connect to humanity a bit more and are pivoting away from things that feel too perfect, because they tend to feel a bit sterile and kind of impersonal.” This became a really important part of the brief, along with wanting a typeface that “has certain characteristics that are unique to Spotify, that we can build equity in over time”.

The music service decided to create this typeface in collaboration with Dinamo, the Berlin-based type design studio founded by Johannes Breyer and Fabian Harb. The studio was chosen for its understanding of music, art and fashion, and its experience in bringing type to life in digital contexts. The process started with Dinamo flying to New York to meet the Spotify teams there. “We spent about a week just kind of information-dumping,” says Rasmus. They looked at a huge number of references from audio culture and music history, including posters and album covers, and landed on the idea of incorporating a range of different type genres into the eventual typeface. “We also spent a lot of time talking about dance and movement choreography, and audio waves,” says Ras. “All of this inspired us to create something that flows more than a standard typeface.”

GallerySpotify Mix in use within the Spotify app (Copyright © Spotify, 2024)

The final typeface balances expressiveness and character with the necessary requirements surrounding legibility and accessibility. Like any good piece of type design, the closer you look, the more interesting details you notice. The most recognisable detail is arguably the “transmitter” shape within the negative spaces of the letters like “p”, “b” and “d”, which is designed to nod to audio amplification. But there are also more subtle flicks and diagonal cuts that lend the typeface a distinctive look, and add character and personality.

There are also a series of alternatives and variations, which will allow the design team to dial the expressiveness of any communications up or down. “When it comes to things like numbers, we have four different number sets, which you can switch between,” says Rasmus. “Some of the letters have a straight alt, in case we need to communicate something that needs to feel a little bit more strict for whatever reason.”

Spotify Mix is going to be with the company for years to come. The new typeface lends itself to animation and is more suited to a variety of different use cases. As Rasmus puts it, “If we have a tall skinny screen, we can use the condensed font; if we have a wider one, we can use the thicker, more extended font.” The new typeface will be rolled out across the brand’s communications and marketing, as well as in the app, and will even replace Circular in the brand’s wordmark. “So, when you see something in the world and when you open the app,” Rasmus says, “there is that connection and we can build an entire connected ecosystem.”

GallerySpotify Mix various weights and widths (Copyright © Spotify, 2024)

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About the Author

Matt Alagiah

Matt joined It’s Nice That as editor in October 2018 and became editor-in-chief in September 2020. He was previously executive editor at Monocle magazine. Drop him a line with ideas and suggestions, or simply to say hello.

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