Custom Type: Utrecht City Theatre
In their custom design Edenspiekermann strove to embody tingling and reflection. The result was a typographic language of reflected and overlapping characters where color is used to create interest but still preserves legibility.
Agenda was chosen by lead designer of Edenspiekermann’s Amsterdam office Earik Wiersma because of its association with the 1930s, the era in which the theater itself was built by the Dutch architect Dudok. Agenda was inspired by Edward Johnston’s London Transport face, which was adopted by the complete London underground network in 1933, and stands as a symbol of the time marking a break from grotesque sans typefaces as one of the early humanist sans.
“The Agenda caps were modified in various details by Earik to accommodate the horizontal mirroring we used in the logo. We also use this custom typeface in running titles, i.e. in the programme booklet and for monthly agendas… In the logo and various titles, we use color for the upright caps, grey for the mirrored caps that were superimposed and black for the overlapping areas”
In addition a custom font was developed to easily set the headlines with their overlapping color schemes. After the type is set, the characters are broken into three parts to allow for re-coloring.
Furthermore the identity is featured on various forms of signage, posters, and environmental graphics, including a completely branded bus that will be roaming the streets of Utrecht soon. The Utrecht City Theatre’s design is an excellent example of how well designed and cohesive typography can communicate far more than literal meanings. It also shows the potential of a custom typeface in creating a unique and lasting design.
Learn more about the redesign at Edenspiekermann.
See Agenda in this month’s FontShop Staff Picks.
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