Digital brands love to design their own fonts

Last week Twitter amended his typeface from Segoe UI to his own Chirp, which he said mixes the American Gothic, the European grotesque and the “oddities of the first specimens of woodcut”.

It’s designed to be both ‘messy and crisp’, suitable for silly and serious Tweets.

Many digital businesses create their own fonts

Sans-serif fonts like Ariel or Verdana are often considered more readable online than serif fonts like Times New Roman or Garamond, including for people with dyslexia.

Fonts are also designed to be memorable and evoke the right emotions:

  • Netflix switched to its own typeface, Netflix Sans, in 2018. It has “cinematic” upper case and “compact and efficient” lower case letters.
  • AppleThe Chicago typeface, designed by Susan Kare in 1984 for the first Macs, had to be readable on low-resolution screens.
  • AirbnbCereal’s blocky typeface needed to be readable both online and on billboards, and to be “friendly and accessible”.
  • Facebook created an all caps wordmark to differentiate the app company, and its lowercase blue wordmark.
  • Ebay debuted on Market Sans in 2017, along with a flowchart on how it would ensure the new font didn’t slow down browsing.

Fun fact: Fonts are the umbrella under which fonts live. For example:

  • Helvetica is a typeface
  • Helvetica italics is a font

However, most people use the words interchangeably. #the more you know

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