CHAR­AC­TER BY CHAR­AC­TER

Bruno Maag pro­vides an over­view of Dalton Maag’s cre­ative process, from brief through to ex­e­cu­tion

Computer Arts - - Dalton Maag For Bbc -

For cus­tom font de­vel­op­ment we fol­low a five-stage tem­plate, which con­sists of: re­search, ideation, con­cep­tion, re­fine­ment, and ex­e­cu­tion.

Be­fore do­ing any draw­ing work it is im­por­tant to un­der­stand in depth the client’s think­ing, as­pi­ra­tions and hopes and fears. We en­gaged with stake­hold­ers from across the or­gan­i­sa­tion to dis­cuss their needs and re­quire­ments. With all the in­for­ma­tion gath­ered we were able to clar­ify the brief and be­gin the de­sign process with ideation and de­sign con­cepts.

We pre­sented seven ideation routes from which they se­lected three to pro­ceed to the con­cep­tion stage, which were then re­duced to two to be taken to a ba­sic char­ac­ter set. Th­ese de­signs were rig­or­ously tested on pre­dom­i­nantly dig­i­tal plat­forms, at that point, across the BBC’s es­tate.

A par­tic­u­larly in­ter­est­ing out­come of this stage of the process was the ac­tive de­ci­sion to de­velop an up­per­case ‘Q’ with a non-de­scend­ing tail. This is a dis­tinc­tive de­sign fea­ture of BBC Reith Sans, but it’s also func­tional as it helps to avoid cap­i­tals clash­ing ver­ti­cally in news tick­ers where line heights are com­pro­mised.

We were asked by the BBC to ex­plore the pos­si­bil­i­ties of in­tro­duc­ing friend­lier, more ac­ces­si­ble fea­tures to the hu­man­ist de­sign – and also to tone down the play­ful­ness of the grotesque de­sign.

Work­ing with ac­ces­si­bil­ity at the BBC, we in­tro­duced a sin­gle storey ‘g’ and the spur­less fea­ture found on the ‘b’ and ‘q’. We also made the de­ci­sion to reg­u­larise some of the cap­i­tal pro­por­tions and re­duce the clos­ing-up ef­fect and flar­ing of the ter­mi­nals.

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