Fontsmith 10 Years
An open brief
Fontsmith is a London-based type design studio, set up by Jason Smith in 1999. It is dedicated to designing and developing high quality typefaces for independent release, as well as bespoke fonts for UK and international clients. After 3 years of flat trading, an increasingly congested market and shrinking marketing budgets, the business owner knew he had to do something significant to kick-start their next phase of growth. He gave Thompson a wide open brief as to how to achieve this.
Even though we are members of the target audience ourselves, we started the project by carrying out extensive research among the design community in the UK and internationally, digging for insights into where and how designers look for type. The solution was to get into a designers ‘special things box’ and to create a buzz to raise Fontsmith’s profile. The 10 Years mailing was a very high quality piece of print, comprising a slip-case containing a set of 10 booklets telling the stories of Fontsmith’s key products and services.
The response was huge. The booklets quickly became sought after, with requests from designers as far away as Japan, Argentina and South Africa. The buzz led to a 50% increase in web visits during the 12 months after launch, year-on-year sales were up 53% and sales of corporate licences up a highly profitable 255%. Jason Smith, not surprisingly, was delighted:
“The whole 10 years in type campaign has pushed awareness of Fontsmith hugely and helped change the type of project our fonts are being considered for.”