When Travelocity approached us to create a custom font, we took on the objective of crafting a script that could, believably, have been taken from a traveller's journal. For use in their “Wander Wisely” campaign and brand-wide incorporation, they sought a look that simulated a classic, quill-pen-dipped-in-ink style of handwriting. This custom font would grant Travelocity a unique and original visual throughout their brand as a recognizable communicative vision.
Through our custom-work process, we achieved a mutual understanding of the overall concept, and early stages of production began with an experimental process. This involved five test scripts with varying styles for the client to choose from. From this point, we continued correspondence to refine a clear vision of the end result and attain the desired look.
The main challenge with this particular project was to create a font that looks like the natural handwriting of an individual. When distinguishing a font from handwriting, repetitive use of a given letter within the same word or phrase is usually a dead giveaway—it’s rare that anyone’s handwriting can consistently reproduce the identical letter-form, while that’s exactly what fonts typically do. As a solution, we created ligatures for double-letter sequences. We also included an alternate set of uppercase and lowercase letters that vary slightly in size and proportioning to replicate the natural inconsistencies of the human hand.
We repetitively painted all characters by hand, multiple times over to develop the style. The letters were then scanned and carefully selected for connectability. Finally, we pieced them together, considering angles, proportion, and flow. Our intention while converting hand lettering into a digital format is to maintain its original hand-crafted form. When creating lettering, one of the most important elements is realizing a personality that expresses the appropriate aesthetic for a brand and/or campaign. In working directly with the creative agency, Campbell Ewald, Travelocity’s custom font embodies an expressive, masculine feel, full of wisdom, knowledge, and experience. In writing, it represents someone who is stylish and creative, but it does so without an overly decorative and flourished execution of letterforms.
Imagine a traveller jotting down notes on the go. We wanted to capture that loose and free feel, which we’ve accomplished through a fluidity of cursive letters with a bouncy baseline. Dimension and depth is achieved through a contrast of thick and thin brush strokes, while character is achieved through the imperfections of dry brush strokes.
Font Design: BLKBK (Studio: Campbell Ewald/Year: 2016)