Change of Face

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a chance to do some housekeeping on Hicksdesign. Implementing Matthew Tretter’s genius new approach to Vertical Centering, updating the portfolio and improving images like tree footer on this page (that were a bit too slapped together initially). I’ve also been considering a redesign, which I’ve since abandoned, but elements from that are sneaking in. There’s still a lot I want to do, but I’ve had a couple of emails asking about the change in corporate typeface, so I thought I explain that.

For a while now, I’ve been unsatisfied with my use of Chalet Paris 1970, the curvular font used previously on Hicksdesign. Instead, I’d been looking for something that would be unashamedly ‘British’ in feel, without relying on Gill Sans. I purchased the DF Ministry family to use as a body face in all my documents, but still felt I needed a stronger identity for headings and the logo.

P22 London Underground Sample

In the end, I went with ‘London Underground’ by P22. It’s a faithful reproduction of Edward Johnston’s original typeface, developed in 1916, rather than the ‘New Johnston’ redesign conducted in the late 70s. It retains the character of the original, which I felt was lost a little in the later redesign. While there were a few sans-serif faces back in 1916, they were rare, and the I still find it hard to imagine that such a radical typeface was created during WWI.

I’d always lumped this typeface along with Gill Sans, for being ‘too obvious’ a choice, but I’ve changed my mind, and I’m really happy with it!