An early companion piece to the Bold-weight G . F Smith type, which was commissioned as a follow-up nearly a year later, we began our typographic work for the well-regarded paper merchants by creating a tongue-in-cheek ‘paper’-weight type for their most popular and wide-ranging offering: Colorplan.
In tandem with an identity overhaul by collaborators Made Thought, Colophon focused first on the letters that would comprise the new Colorplan wordmark, arriving early at a distinct set of forms that would inject the proper amount of simultaneous gravitas and lightness for the 50-color range: playful flicks on the dual ‘l’ characters, a mirroring of that behavior on the lowercase ‘a’, and generous apertures in the case of ‘o’ and ‘p’ letterforms.
In addition, the Colorplan product line dictated certain typographic behaviors: when numbers act as a stand-in for tactility in promotional material, the type must embrace those settings in kind. For instance, the innate delicacy of a well-milled text stock may be conveyed to the customer simply as ‘100gsm’ (Grams per Square Meter). This numeric necessity prompted the creation of special old-style (or non-lining) numerals, which not only increase legibility of this technical data, but also introduce classical elements to an otherwise contemporary setting.
Nodding to the canon of 20th-Century British realist types — in particular the sans serif works of Edward Johnston and Eric Gill — we ultimately crafted an understated, refined, light-weight face that would function elegantly across promotional materials and printed collateral, which the typography-centric brand creates regularly to showcase its offerings.
This one-weight approach encourages consistency across the Colorplan micro-brand while also acknowledging the inherently visual nature of the offering: in providing a focused palate with just one initial typographic variable, the type defers to the abundance of colours, textures, and weights that otherwise define the company’s product range.