BRANDING – Part 5 – Swiss Made

Watches, they amaze me … and so does Switzerland. As a teen, I would visit my auntie with my brother every other year. Being a Londoner, I found the country strange. So many rules, from recycling to not being able to make noise after off-peak evening hours, or else face eviction from fellow Swiss neighbours. But all these rules is what makes the country boast an economy amongst the best in the World.

As a young university graduate, I wanted to know the secret to the “Swiss Made” formula. When you think of products from Switzerland, you think of luxury, advanced, tailored with precision – bold products with a high emphasis on quality, or QUALI+Y as I like to call it.

Let’s take watches as an example – there is three ingredients to a luxury Swiss watch: Design, Quality, and Typography. Design of course is critical, once your design is noticed by the masses and becomes in sync with the latest fashion trends, you’re onto a winner. Quality is obvious, but I bet typography raised your eyebrows. Yes, typography is the icing on the cake. If you look at all the biggest and most expensive brands, they all have unique typography, and they always mix it with another different font underneath. In graphic design this is called font pairing, or, fonts that marry with each other.

There you go people – the secret to a luxury brand is Design + Quality + Typography … thank me later!

TYPOGRAPHY

Art also exists in typography and searching for fonts that pair well together is a quest, but once found it is a magnet to the eye. The infusion of serifs with sans serifs is crucial, however not all are destined to blossom. It takes experimentation along with taste to establish a connection, and the result – a contribution to art.

I was first introduced to the big brands of today whilst working in Harrods. From Prada to Gucci, each one had their own unique typography. It was apparent that fonts are instrumental to their success, sending its own message of elegance. I wanted to know how they created these ripples of creativity?

After a year of studying fonts through books, blogs, & articles I began to experiment. The result being 7ofParis.com – positioned in two words “Renaissance Couture” with the aim of selling affordable luxury. However, the challenge I found was using fonts for clients. A perfect example being a construction company. It would not have made sense if its slogan was in fashion typography, so we chose the rather simplistic Helvetica.

To conclude, each font must be in sync with the direction of the business as it is critical in creating your brand image. It can engineer your brand to victory, but only if you know your stuff! That is why, I respect graphic designers. They are truly modern day artists.