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Noto Ikea Pegboard

From digital type to a physical object

Challenge

While working with IKEA on their typographic rebranding using the world font Noto Sans, we were asked to help on an interesting challenge. The brand wanted to make a plastic letter-board with the new chosen brand font that could be bought by anyone as well as small businesses. Such boards are sued to display all sorts of custom messages; hung on a wall or placed on a desk. At BlackFoundry we like challenges so we were pleased to help IKEA making the physical object feasible. Various constraints had to be taken into account such as the letters and pegs sizes, and the original spacing and weight of the typeface; the objects needing to be as sturdy as possible while being easy to use.

Solution

We tacked the problems by simulating the physical letters using a custom made python tool. The process, similar to hinting, enabled us to visualise the possible pegs positions, and selecting the options that were altering as little as possible the natural design and spacing of the typeface. We also designed 24 pictograms to complement the glyph-set. The tool informed human-made decisions regarding what pegs to keep. We could also define precisely the interpolated weight of the design so that the final object is both in harmony with the branding and solid usable pegboard available today and named SVENSÅS.

SERVICES: Consulting / Engineering

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