Face37 used the B and R from the famous Baskin-Robbins 31 logo as the basis for a new, more ‘grown-up’ custom font for the US ice-cream company.
Massachusetts-based Baskin-Robbins has been around since the 1940s. With more than 7,300 retail shops in nearly 50 countries, it’s reckoned to be the largest ice-cream chain in the world.
Baskin-Robbins International wanted to refresh its main brand font to make it less child-like and give it a wider appeal. At the same time, the ice-cream giant didn’t want to lose the sense of fun so inherent in the previous version.
“We knew the benefits of having a consistent font system – particularly, one that connected to the Baskin-Robbins logo. However, after exploring greater use of the logo font, we didn’t find it to deliver on the modern, pioneering identity that we set out to create for the brand. We approached F37 to explore a custom font that delivered on the brand’s fun, quirky personality, while minding our modern and pioneering objectives. Taking cues from the logo, F37 was able to mirror its tapered edges and dynamic angles in a fresh and modern way that felt authentic to the brand and hit on all of the objectives we set out to accomplish. I can’t express how much this has elevated our communications! We couldn’t be happier with the work; it’s one of our favorite components of the Baskin-Robbins international identity system. ”
Laura Crowder — Manager of Digital Marketing & Brand Stewardship, Dunkin’ Brands Inc.
Commissioned by design and branding agency Jones Knowle Richie, Face37 sketched and tested a range of alternative font versions, ranging from out-there crazy to restrained sans serif. The client chose somewhere in the middle. Face47 felt it was important to retain the spirit of the brand, so they used the tapered edges in the well-known BR31 symbol as a starting point, working to create a typographic aesthetic that was fun, unusual and ownable.
The result was a subtle and playful font with a focus on modernity, legibility and function — like a geometric sans sprinkled with some subtle quirkiness here and there. So, for example, there’s a slight tapering of the character stems, which make them feel friendly and ever-so-slightly cartoonish. Some letterforms also flare out slightly on the left. Face37 crafted a bold headline font and a regular ‘workhorse’ font for body copy.
Due to the global reach of the brand we were also commissioned to draw an Arabic version of the typeface. The Arabic lettering mimics the texture and quirkiness of the Latin version. Since Arabic script is complex, the font files Face37 provided were supported and tested in all the major applications. This includes supporting right-to-left behaviour, positional forms of characters as well as dynamically positioned diacritics, ligatures, or alternate glyphs.