As part of an intrepid rebrand of the Rugby Football Union, founded 1871, we were asked by the design agency Heavenly and the RFU to draw a bold (in both weight and disposition) display typeface that would evoke the energy and intensity of the archetypal sport.
Named after the League’s 1895 accord, Unify is an all-capitals hand-brushed typeface that was constructed as an easy-to-use tool for both Heavenly and the RFU. By taking advantage of OpenType font formatting via scripting and stylistic alternates, it became feasible for each letter of the typeface to have multiple forms or constructions. To that end, every character within the Unify font file contains four variations of itself, allowing each type-setting to convey a natural rhythm and variation.
This randomised appearance lends the type a sense of motion or dynamism. In an ideal context, the abstractly physical is communicated by the concretely visual.
The bespoke typeface, paired with Colophon’s workhorse retail type family Aperçu, was applied across the Union’s visual touchpoints, including the historic Twickenham Stadium’s display systems. Unify became a core tool of the RFU’s identity guidelines and has since helped sculpt the visual output of the League.