A typeface is not just the namesake of a brand. It instead reveals the brand’s story, indicating its nature and rendering it tangible for its users. Tumblr is one such illustration, illustrated by Dinamo.
Doug Richard, Tumblr’s Creative Director, was on the look-out for a change in their typeface that could work for their app as well as account for all of their brand and product design needs to universalize the brand collateral. The need was for a typeface that would be purely functional for UI, with a flexible personality across brand materials.
The requirement was for the kind of a typeface that was neutral enough to represent a diverse mix of communities, individuals and interests, would compliment the logo and also differentiate them from competitor products and brands.
Looking at the typefaces matching the requirement list, Tumblr decided on using the typeface Favorit offered by Dinamo and customising it to their specific needs.
Favorit has a friendly yet commanding presence that successfully balances foundational sans serif attributes with assertive, contemporary geometry.
Dinamo, a swiss type design agency, in collaboration with Tumblr, worked on Favorit, cut new characters, interpolated new weights, introduced new punctuation and scaled its overall appearance to successfully create Favorit-Tumblr, a 4-weight, 16-style typeface that was functional yet expressive and matching the requirement criteria.
The Favorit Tumblr family offers screen optimized weights in both the Standard and Lining versions with corresponding italics ensuring flawless legibility.
The lining weight interacts with the font’s descenders in a playful but methodical fashion, which has been particularly useful across product explorations; allowing to differentiate usernames, hashtags and links from other words.
Favorit-Tumblr’s Lining style contextually merges characters with an integrated underline to create new shapes. By default, it’s ideal for simple text highlighting, while with the “Rock’n’Roll” feature enabled it merges all initial and final word characters with the underline in a more exaggerated way.
The Favorit-Tumblr styles feature distinct glyph amendments like: custom cut characters, two sets of circled numbers optimized for in-app use, in-line logos, expressive alternative quotation marks and redesigned ligatures.
For the logo, the “t” and “r” characters were re-cut to stylistically align with defining attributes of the custom typeface. Other letters received more subtle updates; cleaning up overly nuanced attributes and bringing a more architectural feel to the mark.
Optimizations such as the elimination of curved intersections, helped to optimize the logo for small screens without losing its essence. A strategical step to remove the logo’s period allowed the logo and typeface to seamlessly integrate across all naming conventions.
Tumblr began quietly implementing first cuts of the font in June of 2017, while its evolution was still in process over the following year, allowing it to mature alongside their visual language.
In June of 2018, Tumblr rolled out the new logo, soon to be followed by the full-scale implementation of Favorit-Tumblr across all their web and app products.