Leeds 2023 bespoke, open source typeface, communicates openness
Leeds has commissioned a new Leeds 2023 Typeface and Brand Identity to support its bid for the 2023 European Capital of Culture title. Renowned independent brand specialist Lee Goater created the new visual identity and typeface.
“What appealed to me in the brief was that it was all about creating an identity that belongs to everyone and can work at a community level as well as at an international scale” commented Goater. “The values at the heart of this project made it necessary to at the city with a new outlook. We wanted to create a solution that reflected how we felt about Culture. It needed to be playful, intriguing and somehow even challenging. We wanted to make something that makes you turn your head, pause to figure it out and understand it.”
With primary shapes and simple geometry, the bespoke logotype and typeface was initially developed to suggest connections between the diverse cultural organizations, communities and audiences involved. The design solution set out to promote intrigue and curiosity leading to understanding and reward.
Goater collaborated with London-based typography studio Dalton Maag for the bespoke open source fonts. “The basis of the identity is built around a new Typeface for the city and we needed to make sure that it was legible whilst retaining the playful nature of the characters,” said Dalton Maag’s Tom Foley. “We were tasked with taking the conceptual letter forms created for the pitch and developing them into a European language typeface, including language variations and character sets. We’re really happy with the final Typeface which we’ve pushed to retain the intrigue and curiosity whilst making it legible for all groups.”
The Leeds 2023 Typeface will become an open source font, presenting new opportunities for the bid to connect with a range of different audiences, whilst challenging the city’s design community to craft a new story around Leeds’ cultural offerings. Furthermore it will be used across marketing campaigns from January 2017 onwards to promote the exceptional and diverse cultural city that is, after all, Leeds!
Countdown to launch here.