A diverse family of fonts that embodies the new, digital-first experience of broadcasting giant ITV.
ITV wanted to remain proactive in updating its branding to reflect the public’s changing viewing habits, enabling it to stay modern, relevant and maintain its mass appeal. After a thorough investigation into what made Britain what it is today, a comprehensive new branding system was launched to showcase and differentiate ITV’s various services, including the new ITVX.
As part of the process, F37 Foundry were commissioned by branding agency DixonBaxi in partnership with ITV Creative to create three distinct yet complementary font styles — a serif, a sans and a sans text. They needed to be familiar, memorable and above all, accessible and legible. F37 Zagma was identified as a perfect starting point as it, being a hybrid sans, delivered modernity with enough personality to make it unique to the brand.
The new ITV type family by F37® now gives us the versatility needed to be used across our brand and extensive range of content — from serious factual to big Saturday night entertainment. We have a voice for it all now — an ITV for everyone.
Our starting point for development was the ‘X’ from the new ITVX logo which DixonBaxi had created for ITV. This ‘X’ had distinct visual DNA we could take inspiration from, notably the tapering and radius. We incorporated radiuses into the channel numbers and used tapering in the sans display font — subtly in the standard character set, and more overtly in the alternate character set.
Crafting a cohesive sans and serif family is a big challenge, as it’s a case of marrying two inherently different styles. Our goal was to create a clear relationship between sans and serif, while retaining a distinct tonal contrast when the styles are used in tandem. Accessibility and legibility needed to be baked in too, which was something we, ITV Creative and DixonBaxi together worked very hard to get right. The various treatments we made to the distinct lower case ‘g’ skeleton are a prime example of our process when designing the whole family.
Whilst developed from F37 Zagma, the serif draws on some classic British typefaces, such as those produced by William Caslon, and the display sans is a crisp and modern Neo-Grotesque. The latter comes with a few quirks and various flamboyant alternates, designed to be used when the moment is right. Finally, the sans text style is the workhorse of the pack, designed with unapologetic utilitarianism, mixing both Neo-Grotesque and Humanist elements to bolster its legibility at small sizes. Together, they reflect and connect with the diversity of Modern Britain.
F37® were amazing collaborators to work with, creating a typeface celebrating all the voices on ITV, flexing from outrageous entertainment to bougie glamour and dark drama. Working with F37®, I think that we’ve proven that legibility — and inclusivity — doesn’t have to come at the expense of beauty or fun.