Sitename

If you find yourself struggling with your business outreach, tirelessly strolling through Canva for the ultimate job-landing resumé template or simply want to keep up with what’s trending in design, this one’s for you. 

After our exploration on the power of colour, typography is equally, if not more important to your brand and business identity; influencing the way we feel, how we perceive the brand and the “personality” we associate it with. This explains why when we view serif typefaces, it tends to feel more traditional; with a formal tone, and is used in a business’ branding to say “I’m trustworthy and reliable.” In contrast, sans-serif typefaces tend to project a more easy-going aura with a friendlier tone, announcing “it’s all fun and games over here!” 

Let’s start with the basics.

Though often used interchangeably, “font” and “typeface” do not mean the same thing and can have a lasting impact based on the one(s) you choose. A typeface refers to a type design; or the manner in which lettering is composed, and includes all variations of that design. For example, the popularly seen Helvetica is a famous typeface and a favourite amongst luxury fashion houses. Fonts, however, refer to the variations possible with a typeface. For example, Helvetica Bold, Helvetica Thin or Helvetica 10 pt, referring to the text size, are three different fonts. 

Generally, typefaces are characterised into two groups – serif or sans-serif. Serif typefaces are demonstrated with the delicate and strict strokes at the end of the letters, i.e.Times New Roman. Whereas sans-serif typefaces, as the name implies: “sans” meaning “a general absence,” are fonts without serifs, such as Arial. 

Why it’s important to get it right. 

In a study conducted on the readability of typefaces published by Dogusoy, Cicek and  Cagiltay, found that overall sans-serif typefaces had improved legibility, aka readability by participants and were therefore easier to understand. However, within the same study, experts discovered that serif typefaces had higher retention rates; participants tended to focus on these for a longer period of time and when questioned, had improved memory about the text they were proof-reading. Conversely, a paper published in The Design Journal took it a step further and studied type outside the traditional use of serif and sans-serif, discovering the positive cognitive effects of using disfluent typography, finding that harder to read typefaces can improve learning conditions. Interesting, no? 

Start by reflecting into your own brand or business’ typeface and see if it’s in-line with your aspiring brand identity and message. Here at ICON, we use a sans-serif typeface of choice that accurately represents our brand’s identity; youthful, friendly and inclusive, with a hint of formality. 

Here’s a compiled list of our favourite most successfully used typefaces:

Futura

If it’s good enough to be on a plaque on the moon, it’s good enough for us. Invented by German author and designer Paul Renner in 1927, the sans-serif Futura typeface quickly grew to be the most influential typeface of the 20th century. The retro-futuristic type has been used across industries, most notably film and media, and is the go-to typeface for advertising. 

Baskerville 

Designed by John Baskerville in the 1750s, the Baskerville serif typeface exudes elegance with a hint of mystery. Rightly so, as according to user interface expert Bishop, this typeface is “excellent for book design — and it is considered to be a true representation of eighteenth-century rationalism and neoclassicism.” 

Helvetica 

Created in 1957 by designers Mac Meidinger and Eduard Hoffman, this sans-serif typeface is the most widely used typeface across industries, and with good reason. Helvetica’s versatility and minimalism make it the ultimate typeface for easy to read documents, customised branding and merchandise, and in the opinion of Yang; CEO of the world’s leading resume company, a typeface that will make your job application stand out. 

If you’re looking to increase your reach through personalised merchandise and don’t know where to begin with design, contact us by clicking the link and our team of experts will help take you from idea to product in less than 14 days!

Creative insecurity is the leading cause for artist burnout. Feeling uninspired, lost for motivation and overwhelmed with stimuli are increasingly common in any artist’s journey, and make the desire to create even more daunting. With the help of new digital tools on the market, we’ve taken the liberty to break down our 5 best-loved apps to guide your creativity when you’ve reached a stagnation in your inspiration. 

Get organised: Mindly

Life happens, and without an outlet to release overthinking thoughts, anxieties and your daily to-do lists, the space to create can never flourish. Enter Mindly – a new organisation system that helps place all your thoughts and project ideas in one place, differentiated by association to keep “your inner universe” as mindful as possible. By building visual mind-maps and hierarchical structures of your entries, Mindly mimics the outline of your “solar system of thought” and is a great starter tool when identifying where those creativity gaps lie. An outstanding user interface and experience for both Apple and Android users, this app is a must have to help get organised and get your creative juices flowing.

Get focused: Brain.fm

The relationship between music and creative cognition is nothing short of astonishing. A 2020 study published in the Psychology of Music journal found that listening to music not only improves divergent thinking; the way the mind generates ideas beyond proscribed expectations but also increases the release of dopamine, a chemical which drives motivation to explore new territories, in turn boosting creativity. Brain.fm does just this – a research backed platform that customises music and background sound to enhance productivity and creativity with a key focus on guiding your brain to it’s desired mental state. Ideal for users on IOS and Google Play, with a variety of options to explore what works best for you.

Get inspired: Behance

Austin Kleon’s Steal like an Artist dissects the unspoken rules of being a creative, with the first rule encouraging those stuck in an inspiration block to revisit the works of their artistic heroes and engage in good theft –  honouring, studying, crediting and transforming their ideas. Adobe’s very own Behance is a creative networking platform for visual artists; graphic designers, illustrators, fashion creatives, photographers etc., and allows for users to share their collections with like minded audiences. A place to meet artists and get inspired by the boiling pot of creative content, attract new opportunities, and finally, form a creative community of your own, Behance has it all. Available across platforms, impeccable UI and free for use across multiple disciplines. 

Get challenged: Word Palette

Creative writing allows for your imagination to unlock new realms of creativity which may have previously been left unexplored, gate-keeping the potential to grow exciting ideas and hone new ones. Word Palette acts as the experimental creative writer’s guide to unleashing your creativity and eliminating writer’s block. It’s intelligently scrambled text acts as prompts to help guide your path through a written project, and presents you with a challenge that encourages outworldly creation. A fairly new addition to the creative digital app space, it has gained a cult following through it’s options to add your own inspirational articles/stories and integrate those into your writing. Unfortunately this app is only available for IOS users for the time being. 

Get started: Procreate

With masses of technology integrated into our everyday lives, taking the time to disconnect and engage in art therapy has proven to stimulate creativity, improve memory and encourage stress relief. Sketching without distraction can assist entering into a Flow State – a term popularised by positive psychologists Csikszentmihalyi and Nakamura, describing a state that “leads to a sense of ecstasy and clarity: [you] know exactly what you want to do from one moment to the other.” The holy-grail art studio on-the-go, Procreate is a phenomenal platform for this; to get immersed in a world of art and visual expression. A two time award-winning app for artists of all kinds; it’s wide range of tools, education access platform and creatives filled community provides the ultimate stepping stone to get lost in your creative flow. Available exclusively on the Apple App Store.

We know, you meant to start shopping earlier this year but something came up. But have no fear! We’ve prepared a gift guide especially tailored to the creative people in your life.

(more…)

Every year around mid-September our city turns into a hub for all things design and creative. Here are some of the events we’re looking forward to at this year’s London Design Festival.

(more…)

London comes alive in the Summertime, and with hundreds of events going on each month we wanted to zoom in on a few we think you should know about.

(more…)

Every so often we have the delightful opportunity to support local charity events. This year we provided t-shirts for an art show benefiting St. George’s Hospital Charity.

(more…)

Providing a great platform for networking, as well as learning new skills and happenings in the area, we’re always on the hunt for interesting meetups nearby.

(more…)

Working in the design industry, we’re always excited for the Beazley Design Awards. The nominations include designs from around the world in the fields of: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product and Transport Design.

(more…)

This year’s Illustration Fair is kicking off on 1st December.

The fair includes a range of events; workshops, installations and interactive exhibitions all with a focus on illustration.

(more…)

After a 10-year pause, Orchestra Baobab’s album ‘Tribute to Ndiouga Dieng’ was released in March of this year to a very patient and eager fanbase.

Excited by the tribute album, we wanted to learn a bit more about the Senegalese band we printed for and their record label, World Circuit Records.

(more…)