September Nuggets - font biscuits
It’s September and for this month’s nuggets, we’ve got some tactile typography treats for you to enjoy.
Adventures in type
First up, we recently dove into the world of letterpress printing. We got up to speed with letterpress as a print technique and even got to use the almost antique letterpress machine at Peacock Visual Arts (who are currently running an exhibition on Aberdeen’s print history, which you should definitely check out). Peacock has an amazing selection of fonts in their library that we thought were amazingly cool to explore.
Letterpress is an old print technique, which was used before commercial printers were a thing. Fonts consist of literal blocks for each letter or character (commonly made from wood).
A page is laid out manually, by placing letters, spacing them out and fixing them in place. Letters are inked up manually using a roller and ink, and then paper is pressed onto the layout using the lever mechanism, to print your page.
The whole inking up and pressing process is then repeated for each copy. It really made us appreciate Adobe Illustrator and the ability to resize, reposition and tweak letters with the click of a button. At the same time, the manual process was so much fun and learning the history behind printing techniques is always enlightening.
Keeping on the subject of type, a biscuit brand we love got a rebrand (complete with a custom font) and we can’t stop looking at the perfect new packaging.
As a designer (and a brand geek), I always find it really cool when a brand I love gets the rebrand treatment. It’s especially exciting when it is one of those companies that has an amazing product, but a brand that doesn’t quite live up to it. Bahlsen’s Chocolate Leibniz biscuits are (in my opinion) the best biscuits to go with a coffee, but their branding never lived up to the biscuits.
So, when I saw that they had gotten a rebrand, and their new look perfectly captures both their heritage and expertise and their exquisitely good products, I was happy. Auge, the agency behind the rebrand won awards for their work, and René Bieder the agency behind the custom typeface has also won multiple awards.
It’s not a surprise that the project was award winning when you see the detail everyone involved went into when troving the archives to capture Bahlsen’s rich history, and the care that went into crafting the new balanced brand (see my links below for a deep dive). The result is the brand that Bahlsen deserves, and I smile whenever I see the packaging sitting proudly on the shelf (and also try to resist buying another packet).
Notably, René Bieder (the creators of the custom font) and Bahlsen, even created a box of biscuits in the font complete with a presentation tin. Probably the world’s first baked corporate typeface, and the perfect way to celebrate the super cool project (although Leibniz are definitely better for dunking). A dream project for sure!
Peacock - People's Press Exhibition
Letterpress printing - Wikipedia
More on Bahlsen
Bahlsen's new packaging - Dieline blog
Bahlsen custom font design - René Bieder
Bahlsen family - Red Dot Design Awards
The Bahlsen Family - D&AD Awards