PR Through A Font? Believe It.

PR From a Font - not even close to technically accurate - for conceptual purposes onlyHere’s some good public relations for Chattanooga, Tennessee design firm Insigne Design, and for the importance of typography in branding.

Chatype for Chattanooga

A recent story from Marketplace sets the scene with a picture of the city’s renaissance, then gets right to the fontspeak, showing how some cities and their local businesses/governments are adopting unified custom fonts, seeing typography as a “sexy idea” with real potential.

Chattanooga Font

Click to read transcript &/or listen (10-second ad, then 4-minute audio):

Sexy Nerdspeak

Chattanooga Font

Image credit: Good.is

I like this story for so many reasons. It’s about typography and design; it’s about a clever concept for effective public relations from a branding perspective; and in the space of four minutes, reporter Blake Farmer brings all these concepts together in practical application. As I said earlier on Twitter, “From “nerdspeak” to “sexy idea” in four minutes? You guessed it; we’re talking about a font.” Gotta’ love that.

Jeremy Dooley, Jonathan Mansfield and D.J. Trishler, all featured in the story, saw through this brand of design work via Chatype and successfully raised funding to get the idea out there. Check out the full presentation on Kickstarter and enjoy D+J‘s video overview here of what goes into crafting an effective font.

Now What?

I have to wonder though, what comes next? Do the designers offer free installation on computers of local businesses? As a design studio promoting this font, living in the city it was designed for, do they now throw all other fonts out the window and use this one exclusively? Do they use this as a tool for new business by offering, say… 250 free business cards or free signs that use the font for local establishments, with an offer for reprints at a discount for incorporating the font into the branding? Imagine the PR a local business could stir up by saying, “Ladies & Gents, check out our new bathroom signs – more than meets the eye!”  How about some QR code magic? Here’s a sample I whipped up just now:

What the heck is a QR Code?

Maybe a bar or restaurant runs a contest for customers to “spot the font” somewhere on site. There are so many opportunities, and I hope exploring them brings good press, profits, and most of all — fun, for everyone involved.

What do you think? Do you get a sense of tone, feel or personality from a typeface? Or is this just about making something pretty for pretty’s sake? Do you see the return on investment in this from a public relations angle? Or does this type of coverage even amount to anything in the long run? Let us hear from you in the comments.

3 thoughts on “PR Through A Font? Believe It.

  1. ClearpointAgency

    I think font and type space go a long way, and do give you an immediate sense of professionalism and design sense. By the way, your blog is very well done. Is it one of the premium ones or did you design your own? I dig it.

    Reply
    1. rsmithing

      I agree – that immediate sense of put-togetherness is almost subliminal. And you know it when you see it – the work practically “hums.”

      This is a stock theme, “Bueno,” customized by me with a background color and the widgets at right. I did consider those carefully, so I’m flattered to know someone appreciates it. And at a big fancy agency in beautiful Encinitas, no less. Thanks!

      Reply

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