Why Type Matters in Branding
Monotype and Typo's Marketing Director Jürgen Siebert gave a talk about type in Branding at Typo Brand Day 2018 London:
In a brand identity system, frequently seen elements are colour, form/shape, key visuals and typography. If you take out the type, the other elements can become ambiguous and unrecognisable. Jürgen stresses that typography, is the only element which has unlimited range. It can be customised, carries information, it's recurring in customer touch points and it's the only true visual constant of the brand.
Jürgen gave a great example using the bike manufacturer Canyon. Canyon's italic headline typeface is unique, it's designed to fit into the narrow space of a bike's down tube. It's so iconic that it can be instantly recognised even if you replace the logo type with a blackout bar of the same italic angle.
Another note from Jürgen's talk - Lufthansa just refreshed its branding. The iconic yellow crane logo becomes white on blue.
So that's... different. No more yellow, but Helvetica remains.
The Lufthansa yellow crane logo was designed by Otto Aicher. He redrew the crane logo originally created by German architect and designer Otto Firle, and introduced the use of lowercase Helvetica Bold as the airline's brand typeface. It's widely regarded as one of the greatest and most iconic brand identities.
There are many reasons for a rebrand. In Lufthansa and the recent F1's cases, it could be due to a change of top level management and the the need to reflect the change of operational direction and brand strategy. I personally like the 'fried-egg' Lufthansa yellow, I think it was a unique choice for airline branding, it was also memorable. We shall wait and see how the refreshed Lufthansa identity evolves in the future.