From the polished, archetypal Tesco Serif to the historic, editorial Tesco Slab, each unique style that constitutes a part of the extended typographic family harmonizes with the other based on the underlying construction of the company’s core typeface: the staid and contemporary Tesco Modern.

To ensure the dependable foundation of these sequential drawings and gestures, a holistic re-drawing of the already-in-use Aperçu focused on its specificity to Tesco and its would-be implementation across countless digital platforms. The new drawings offered up an increased x-height and, along with it, heightened legibility; overall character trajectories were altered in favor of open terminals, whose widened apertures increase readbility and allow the eye to more readily identify negative space...

... formerly near-symmetrical counters in letterforms like b, d, and o were shifted to increase character-to-character distinctiveness; a number of glyphs were widened to accommodate expanded openings while enhancing the overall stature of certain letter-pairings and -series; spacing was optimized in line with broad changes elsewhere, and was adjusted overall to allow for default breathability. This exhaustive redesign became the framework upon which complementary styles were arranged.

Among those styles, Tesco Modern Thai was constructed for side-by-side English / Thai settings, which allows the grocer’s new typographic palette to flourish beyond Latinate confines and across the many Tesco Lotus markets throughout Thailand. Careful consultation with Bangkok-based type designers continues Colophon’s tradition of close collaboration with regional experts, facilitating cross-alphabet, multi-lingual brand cohesion for international and global entities.

The end-result of this nearly year-long endeavor is a variegated but closely-related cadre of sub-families that are being continually rolled out in the lead-up to Tesco’s 2019 Platinum Jubilee. Groceries will never be the same.

With thanks to Blink for the photography.

Typefaces: Tesco Modern, Modern Condensed, Slab, Serif, and Lotus
Commissioner: Wolff Olins for Tesco
Year: 2015–2016
Styles: 4 Families, 15 Weights, 34 Styles
Coverage: Adobe Latin-1
Classification: Multi-style super-family
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