Update on our typeface choice: IBM Plex

Earlier last year I documented how we approached selecting a new typeface for EMBL. We’ve come pretty far with testing and would like to thank our digital team as well as the web development team at EMBL-EBI for their feedback.

During the intense testing phase, we realised that Fira had some limits in terms of its sustainable digital applications and font expansions. At the same time IBM Plex had its ‘big bang’, holding all the promise the company had communicated.

IBM Plex was designed by Mike Abbink at IBM in collaboration with Bold Monday. It conveys the story well from a tech-driven, machine look-and-feel to a humanistic touch and user-friendly application.

Following our design principles (user-centric, simple, sustainable) we started testing IBM Plex Sans and IBM Plex Mono. In sum, this typeface meets all our needs:

  • Open source, no licence complications
  • Good legibility
  • Screen optimised
  • Available on Google Docs
  • Large range of handsets
  • Many widths, all have italic styles
  • Monospaced variant
  • Wide variety of glyphs

With the strong belief that the main goal of our corporate design is to make our templates functional, easy to use, quick to understand and at the same time serving the EMBL brand, the decision was quickly made. All our current prototypes have IBM Plex implemented, alongside the new colour scheme and graphical elements.

As IBM Plex is not yet incorporated in Microsoft Office Suite, we’re now testing a fall-back font for PowerPoint presentations, Excel sheets and Word documents. You can be sure we’ll keep you posted!

Design Burst // September 2018

“Show, don’t tell” has been one of our principles since the first sprint. So we’re going to share some of the 80 or so production requests that we handle every month. All of the visuals below were created in September 2018 based on design requests from various stakeholders from across EMBL. Continue reading “Design Burst // September 2018”

Adhering to our principles in latest corporate design sprint

Joint blog post by Ed Dadswell and Tabea Rauscher

Our latest Corporate Design sprint was intended to bring us closer to our goal: develop prototypes and examples of how the EMBL master brand could be implemented across products.

The kick-off meeting made it clear that we should keep our design principles in mind, especially the keep it simple idea. Simple in terms of structure, simple in terms of process, and simple in terms of making the content accessible and targeted to our audiences. Continue reading “Adhering to our principles in latest corporate design sprint”

Corporate design sprint 4

In previous Corporate Design sprints we defined fontcolours and logo positioning. In the fourth corporate design sprint (CDSprint 4), which kicked off last week, we want to explore the very first applications of these elements together to shape a consistent new look and feel across different products. We’ll be releasing prototypes for you to view in June.

Before launching ourselves into this work, we looked back at all the knowledge we had gained through the last sprints. Here is a list of some insights and thoughts from this process. Continue reading “Corporate design sprint 4”