“Your Type is Your Voice”, novum 2019

Here you can see the cover of the novum issue Here you can see the article about Blackspace and Green City

Under the motto “We are the energy of a green city”, the brand is committed to political and economic issues such as electricity from renewable energy sources and sustainable mobility concepts. The mission is to change the urban environment, to make cities greener and more livable.

Within the framework of the corporate design process, much more than a meaningful brand architecture was created. The highlight is the strongly modified font “Green City Replica”. With dynamically integrated structures, it became the variable core of the new corporate design.

Interview by Viola von Zadow with Alexander Gialouris from Brand Experience Studio Blackspace.


Why did you decide on a typeface as the core?

Green City’s message is the brand. That’s why it quickly became clear to us that type, as a visual expression of language, must be the central design element of the new appearance – in contrast to the classic word/image brand. With our distinctive typeface, Green City’s identity becomes both a visual statement and a strong voice.

What were the challenges in development and implementation?

We asked ourselves: How can we integrate the Green City vision into the DNA of the typeface? And how can we tackle the issue of digital change – after all, Green City is just as much a non-profit association as a high-tech brand. The solution: We used a random generator.

In implementation, this has raised the question of how many characters of a text the random is applied to, i.e. how high the possible proportion of letters with patterns in the typeface is. After various tests we finally decided to offer the user different possibilities: The OpenType feature “Contextual Variants” or different format sets can be used to determine whether the random generator is applied to 50, 75 or 100 percent of all characters.

Each new message has its own appearance. We have integrated the living space of the city into the typeface through the use of urban structures. A major challenge was to perfectly design the transitions from the solid letter form to the pattern area, which required a lot of detailed work. Also the balance of the different pattern types and their scaling within the letter form was a big topic – especially since the font should work in as many font sizes as possible.

What was important to you in the design?

Design is attitude. That was especially important to us in this project. Design can draw attention to important topics and convey relevant messages. Making the call to rethink and the structural change visible in the truest sense of the word also in appearances, that’s where we designers see our responsibility also in the future.

Read more from novum magazine here.