Calvert Brody typeface by Margaret Calvert,
Neville Brody and Henrik Kubel

| 14 comments
 

Graphic designer Neville Brody has reworked the Royal College of Art's house font by Margaret Calvert as part of the London institution's rebrand.

Calvert Brody typeface by Margaret Calvert and Neville Brody

The RCA asked Neville Brody, who made his name as art director of fashion magazines The Face and Arena and is now dean of communication at the college, to come up with a new identity for its buildings and press material.

Calvert Brody typeface by Margaret Calvert and Neville Brody

Brody and his design office Research Studios worked with Henrik Kubel, a graphic designer who graduated from the RCA in 2000, to produce the Calvert Brody typeface as a "remixed" version of the college's house font Calvert.

Calvert Brody typeface by Margaret Calvert and Neville Brody

The Calvert font is by Margaret Calvert, the graphic designer best known for creating the UK's road signage system in the 1960s and a former graphic design course director at the college.

Calvert Brody typeface by Margaret Calvert and Neville Brody

"The idea is like bringing in a producer and doing a remix of music, so I remixed Margaret's font," Brody told Dezeen. "I've tried to make it both more classical by making it more exaggerated and thick and thin, and at the same time make it more industrial and contemporary, by bringing in the - hopefully interestingly - redrawn pieces plus the stencil."

Calvert Brody typeface by Margaret Calvert and Neville Brody

Calvert Brody will be used throughout the college's buildings, either sprayed directly onto walls or laser-cut into metal, and will also appear in print and on screen.

Calvert Brody typeface by Margaret Calvert and Neville Brody

"Hopefully we've come up with an interesting typeface that encapsulates a lot of different ideas about the Royal College, which is sort of robust but innovative; it's slightly non-traditional but at the same time giving a nod to a very traditional source," Brody added.

Calvert Brody typeface by Margaret Calvert and Neville Brody

The designers were asked to reflect the college's history as well its current reputation for innovative design and fine art practice, said Octavia Reeve, the RCA's senior publishing manager, who led the rebrand with the designers.

Calvert Brody typeface by Margaret Calvert and Neville Brody

Above: image shows how the font might be used on exterior metal signage

"The typography is key to this," she told Dezeen. "It’s a great message that three generations of RCA graphic designers have collaborated on this essential new element of the RCA’s identity," she added.

Calvert Brody typeface by Margaret Calvert and Neville Brody

The font is currently on show as part of an exhibition at the college celebrating its 175th anniversary. The Perfect Place To Grow: 175 Years of the Royal College of Art runs until 3rd January at the RCA, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU.

The rest of the RCA's rebrand, also designed by Research Studios, launches on 1st January 2013.

Calvert Brody typeface by Margaret Calvert and Neville Brody

Dezeen previously published a movie with Neville Brody for the Design Museum’s Super Contemporary exhibition, in which he talks about the people, places and cultures that have defined his life in London.

Writer and broadcaster Andrew Marr recently warned that the Royal College of Art will end up as a "Chinese finishing school" unless the UK government does more to encourage young people to study art and design.

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  • ringermcpinger

    Very uncomfortable to look at. It’s annoying.

  • citizen

    Love it!

  • Rob

    Sorry, don't like it. What do others think?

  • Nico

    It’s really interesting to look at. I like it very much indeed.

  • Deus

    Looks alright at first, not too comfy when looking at it after a while.

  • Emily

    The thin, tapering version looks pretty shocking on screen. But the thicker version (alphabet at the top and laser cuts) is really quite interesting.

  • Alex

    I really respect a lot of Henrik Kubel and Brody’s work and I have always liked the font Calvert, especially the light weight. But for me this remix falls a little flat. Perhaps the contrast to thick and thin could have been more exaggerated. It’s a bizarre cross between a modern serif and Calvert’s original slab serif, which I do like the idea of, but don’t like the look of. Perhaps it will grow on me!

  • http://twitter.com/logodesigner_co @logodesigner_co

    Makes a change to see a typeface getting featured on Dezeen!

  • dru mckeown

    I quite like it. Has a cast shadow quality that feels soft enough to work for proper signage.

  • Sam

    I’d love to see more graphic design related posts on here.

  • http://www.out-of-phrase.com Paul

    Think of it as uncomfortable to look at – yeah it is! But at least it’s pushing the “old” girl forward. This acid version borders on being difficult to look at – yeah it is! But it’s still giving a nod to the original whilst not forgetting to be daring.

  • http://www.signs.com/blog/ Kyle Anderson

    I kind of like it. It reminds of letters I used to stencil to keep me entertained at church.

  • http://www.tinybig.com/ David

    It may be an “intresting” font – is it stencil? Is it 3D? But it’s always a shame when those with visual impairments are seemingly forgotten about. Especially considering it is used for location and directional signage. A little more thought in future please.

  • DS

    So why isn’t it called “Calvert Brody Kubel”?