Typographic Commercial For El Tesoro Público By User T38

Spanish agency User T38 produced a beautiful commercial for El Tesoro Público – a follow-up to the equally delightful Letras del Tesoro commercial discussed last year on The FontFeed. User T38 is a heterogeneous audio-visual group, whose activities range from the world of advertising to the world of cinema, via video art, photography, editing, graphic design, music videos, illustration, post-production, CGI, painting, animation, and music. This time the commercial – a mix of live action, model work, and CGI – promotes Government Bonds (Bonos del Estado in Spanish): state-guaranteed bonds with variable interest rates, issued with 3 to 5 year terms.

The original posters with the typographic representations of the three core concepts.

Executive producer Miguel Ángel Fernández explains that User T38 tried to visualise the three core concepts the client wanted to communicate.

M I G U E L  Á N G E L  F E R N Á N D E Z | “The briefing of both the client El Tesoro Público and the agency Contrapunto – part of the BBDO network – asked to showcase the three main qualities differentiating these public stock bonds from similar competing products from the private banking sector: “Profitability (Rentabilidad)” within 2 to 5 years, “Convenience (Comodidad)” as they can be easily purchased from the Public Treasury website, and “Serenity (Tranquilidad)” because it is a product with minimum risk, being a direct state investment. Those three core concepts were the subject of the poster campaign that was part of the initial briefing.”

Still from the commercial, with the visualisation of the concept “Profitability (Rentabilidad)”.

Still from the commercial, with the visualisation of the concept “Convenience (Comodidad)”.

Still from the commercial, with the visualisation of the concept “Serenity (Tranquilidad)”.

The campaign is centred around three 10-second films, in which User T38 created three installations to represent those core qualities.

M I G U E L  Á N G E L  F E R N Á N D E Z | “We intended the commercial to be a piece of subtle beauty, with ties to the world of art installations. Our initial idea was to build three real installations at 1:1 scale. Yet we had to work on a very tight deadline, and after having the final designs approved we decided to switch from real objects to 3D CGI-models for two of the three situations: “Profitability” and “Convenience”, and only build a real installation for the third one “Serenity”.”

Animatic for “Tranquilidad”, developed by Joaquín Gutiérrez, from user t38 on Vimeo.

“For this third concept the agency wanted to present the word using an optical effect known as anamorphosis. The world is gradually revealed as the camera pans through the room, but can only seen correctly if the viewer stands in one specific spot and looks at it from a specific viewpoint. So we decided to “build” the word with real objects in the house where the commercial takes place. We positioned numerous objects at different depths in shelves, to play with the perspective and create the word in Bodoni, the corporate face of El Tesoro Público. By using the corporate colour blue to enhance the legibility of the word we managed to obtain a beautiful shot without having to resort to any kind of post-production work.”

Sources of inspiration for the typographic jigsaw puzzle in the backrest of the rocking chair.

Sketch detailing the steps the typographic jigsaw puzzle needs to follow to compose the word “Comodidad”.

“In the case of the rocking chair we wanted a typographic jigsaw puzzle to assemble in a matter seconds in the backrest. We used classic small wooden Japanese boxes for reference, Chinese tangram puzzles, and a mix of materials that can be found in modern furniture construction. The steps the puzzle had to follow to compose the word were conceptualised in a sketch, starting from a fragmentation of the word set in Bodoni.”

“For the final image of the pay-off we decided to play with some elements from the environment itself. The text is suspended from a reading lamp, set on the spines of books lying in a corner of the living room, engraved in a piece of wood from the porch, or integrated in a lamp in the garden.”

Below is the director’s cut of the commercials, integrating all three installations in one continuous sequence.

Tesoro Público – Director’s Cut (English subtitles) from user t38 on Vimeo.

You can’t accuse El Tesoro Público of being inconsistent. Both typography – exclusively Bodoni – and background music – Carlos Berlanga’s “Lady Dilema” from his 2001 album Impermeable – are reprised for this new series of commercials. The quality is consistent as well – although the approach is quite different, the commercials share the elegance and wonder of last year’s series.

Client  Spanish Public Treasury
Agency  Contrapunto BBDO (Madrid, Spain)
Creative Director  Ignacio Padilla
Art Director  Pedro Vázquez
Agency Producer  Paco Bueno
Production Company  User T38
Director  Ignacio Martín
Executive Producer  Miguel Ángel Fernández
Design  Alex Serna & Carlos Salgado
VFX  La huella FX
Flame Artist  Ana Cortés (Campa)


Tesoro Público – Rentabilidad (English subtitles) from user t38 on Vimeo.

Tesoro Público – Comodidad (English subtitles) from user t38 on Vimeo.

Tesoro Público – Tranquilidad (English subtitles) from user t38 on Vimeo.

A little background on User T38:

The sign on the building of the User T38 offices that provided the inspiration for the company name.

The original User T38 logo designed with OCR-A.

The new User T38 logo in colour.

M I G U E L  Á N G E L  F E R N Á N D E Z | “Even though the characters for the name of User were taken from an already-in-place sign of a transport company that occupied the building before us, the final User logo uses a very different typeface. The identity of the company was created by Lucia Valdivieso in 2001. The concept revolves around a company formed by freelance creators working as a team, adopting different positions in the audiovisual field.”

“This original identity was re-designed 2 years ago, adding colour, representing the artistic and lively spirit of all User members. The new logo adopts a more solid and geometric shape, but keeps the original concept of the small squares, representing the kind of team-based company User T38 is.”

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  1. Ok, it’s pretty. But excellent typography? I don’t think so. It’s more like intellectual typographic masturbation. I’m sure the designer got off. Titillating for graphic designers. I wonder how much business it produced?

    Posted by David Bergsland on Jul. 22, 2010
  2. Beautiful article.
    Muchas gracias, Yves!

    Posted by Miguel Ángel Fernández on Jul. 23, 2010
  3. Mr Fernández is to be commended if he is the art director or designer. Design at this high level requires talent and skills with many years of study and practice.

    Typography, a highly specialized art, is extremely under appreciated and under valued in our digital times as apparent by the comment by Mr. Bergsland. In response, I am glad we have organizations such as the Type Directors Club (TDC) to help educate the general public and here’s my say.

    Bravo! Conceptually strong and visually powerful. Integrating beautiful typography into and as everyday three dimensional forms is an achievement in itself. Then taking it to the next level into branding and message is WOW. Photography is amazing, as is the art direction, design and production.

    Posted by Bill Owen on Jul. 23, 2010
  4. Sorry, I’m only the producer.
    The credit goes to the Creative Director, Mr Padilla, the agency art director, Mr Vázquez and the director, Mr Martín & User T38’s designers

    Posted by Miguel Ángel Fernández on Jul. 23, 2010
  5. Wonderful article.

    Posted by Adam Cooper on Jul. 24, 2010

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