The words “typeface” and “character” are fitting terms to describe fonts. When listening to good designers talk about them, you would think they were gossiping about people. They talk about their emotional qualities, complain about what they perceive as their flaws, get blushingly specific about their physical beauty. For them, some typefaces are casual flings, good for a quickie when the mood strikes and the lighting is right; with others, they are in love and ready to commit for life. For many designers, a studying letterforms is more engaging than reading what the collected letters have to say.
Fear of failure was the theme of this year’s student work exhibition at Stockholm’s Berghs School of Communication. As part of the program, Berghs asked some of the world’s most renowned and prolific designers, artists and writers to share their thoughts on the subject. Included in these interviews were Milton Glaser, Paulo Coelho, Stefan Sagmeister, Rei Inamoto, Michael Wolff, and Lis Johles. Here designer Milton Glaser explains why it is so importance to “embrace failure.”
From the ever-inventive designer Stefan Sagmeister comes this TV commercial for Standard Chartered Bank. Sagmeister’s approach to typography continues to shock and delight. Who can forget his 1999 poster for an AIGA lecture that displayed the words actually carved into his skin? Sagmeister has also turned typography into an environmental art form by constructing words in — and out of — nature. You can’t help but read and reflect on the message.
The advertising commercial for Standard Chartered Bank aptly represents the multinational scope of the company’s business, which was formed in 1969 through a merger of the Standard Bank of British South Africa, founded in 1863, and the Chartered Bank of Australia, India and China, founded in 1853. International and exotic, steeped in cultural traditions and totally modern, the TV spot makes the bank’s philosophy feel sustainably organic and mindful of the global markets it serves.