Design Meets Tech - The Art of Volleyball

They say, “When design meets Tech, magic happens”. But when volleyball brings these two together, be ready for some more magic. Wondering what more magic looks like? Here you have it 👇

This video shows how Landor rebranded the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) and gave it a new identity - made of volleyball. In a bid to create a unique typeface for VNL, they used motion capture to track the ball’s trajectory, with each letter mirroring a real volleyball exchange. Part of the results of this experiment were 26 letters of the alphabet, with only one start and end point. These letters can be replicated manually without removing the pen from the paper when writing each letter.

Image for post
Image for post

The typeface has the look and feel of being cut out from plane shapes. But they were actually derived using motion graphics, an innovative digital technology. Motion graphics is a type of animation that is somehow similar to graphics design. They are animated text that is mainly used to pass information to the viewer. It is commonly used for tutorials, explainer videos, lyric videos etc. Sometimes, motion graphic animators add a voiceover which either reads out the texts word for word, or with more explanation. Like in a point presentation, one could easily present the texts in a static mode for the viewers to read. However, adding some motion makes it more appealing to the eye.

Image for post
Image for post

The typeface is really dynamic and all encompassing. Asides the 26 letters, they were as well able to create a unique typeface for numbers. That way, the VNL was able to join the league of companies like Netflix, Microsoft, Apple, etc. who created their own typefaces.

One of the most important aspects of branding is choosing a typeface. Most times, brands just select one of the existing paid or free typefaces. However, few brands take the time to create their own unique typeface. Although, it takes a lot of time and resources to build a robust typography library at first. But it all becomes worth it in the end. It may not be the best thing for a small brand, but it helps huge brands save a lot of money (possibly millions of dollars) that would have been spent on font licencing.

It is also important to have primary, secondary and tertiary typefaces. Although, quiet time consuming, they will be needed. Especially in cases where you need to write many texts. One can combine different typefaces to achieve a more beautiful design.

Some of the most important things to consider when creating typefaces is the beauty, legibility and reusability. When creating cool and “creative (weird)” typeface to achieve uniqueness, the viewers must be put into consideration. How legible is it? How appealing is it to the eye? Colours? Satisfying this need is what any brand should aim at, and that was what Landor was able to do. So, next time you are trying to create a unique typeface for your brand, these are some of the questions you should ask yourself.

Data Scientist | Quantitative UX Researcher | Content Marketer

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store