Pearson Design & Branding PEARSON TYPOGRAPHY by Interbrand Group

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Industry Business equipment & services
Media Design & Branding
Market United Kingdom
Agency Interbrand Group
Released February 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Design Typography
Advertiser: PEARSON
Date of First Appearance: Feb 15 2011
Managing Consultant/Writer: Chris Davenport (Interbrand)
Creative Director for London: Ian Styles (Interbrand)
Design Director: Ed Bolton (Interbrand)
Senior Designer: James Holland (Interbrand)
Associate Director/Brand Engagement: Stephanie Matthews (Interbrand)
Senior Client Director: Shelley Murdoch (Interbrand)
Client Implementation Manager: Jennifer Lodge (Interbrand)
Client Executive: Emma Carter (Interbrand)
Design Director: Arielle Breit (Interbrand)
Implementation Assistant: Jemma Akister (Interbrand)
Creative Implementation Director: Simon Thompson (Interbrand)
Consultant writer: Michael Quirke (Interbrand)
Junior Designer: David Lismer (Interbrand)
Media placement: Bespoke Brand Book Explaining The Identity - Pearson Headquarters And Employees - February 15, 2011

Describe the brief from the client
The development of this typeface formed part of a much wider brief to improve recognition of Pearson, an ‘educational services company’ whose reputation lagged behind the great work it was doing.

We needed to capture the effervescence of this changing organisation, invigorate the organisation around an inspiring idea, and help Pearson claim its rightful standing as the world’s leading learning company.

This was the perhaps the most distinctive visual element we created.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
Words are particularly important to Pearson because they’ve woven their business from them – their educational content, Penguins peerless works of fiction, the FT’s shrewd journalism – all built on words.

So we knew we had to develop a typeface that showcased their intelligence and playfulness. We needed to create something that could represent this extraordinary company, capture “all kinds of learning for all kinds of people”, and be simple enough to implement professionally on a massive scale.

This is also one of the world’s leading digital information companies, so the work had to be digitally native.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
This was designed to be a ‘living’ font, one that could constantly update and develop. We wanted to show a flourish of personality in each character because learning is personal and helps people to flourish.

The idea was to take consistent outer shapes and fill them with forms that represented all kinds of learning. The original set includes references to science, maths, languages and social studies, technology and engineering, art and culture.

In reality, the possibilities are limitless. This is a highly distinctive, animated, living font that can be updated over time to reflect this constantly developing brand.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
We knew ‘The Font of all Knowledge’ was a hugely distinctive part of the identity, and worth fighting for. It has proved a big hit with people at Pearson. The brand team are inundated with requests to use it and we’ve helped them control usage to keep it fresh and special.

It has also been a very successful engagement tool. In various workshops, we’ve asked people to sketch their own ideas inside the consistent outer shapes. This way the font continues to grow and develop – the perfect embodiment of a company that’s Always Learning.