New research shows huge difficulties in taking a brand digital

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Imagine you’ve been tasked with delivering a design brief across multiple digital platforms. You’ve constructed a pristine template with evenly set grids and equally balanced guidelines. It looks perfect, but it only applies to print. How would it look on a mobile phone screen? You certainly can’t replicate it there. And what about the explosion in tablets? You quickly find it’s not as simple as you first thought. But you’re not alone – it turns out the ‘digital niggles’ associated with fonts are the most challenging aspect of digital design briefs today.

Monotype Imaging commissioned research with Opinion Research Bureau, which polled 600 designers, developers and creative directors located in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany to gauge their experiences of designing for combined print and digital briefs. Alarmingly, only one in five confirmed they have never experienced last minute bugs with typography and a staggering 70 percent said such complications impacted on the workflow of projects. The end results are higher costs, lower profitability and delays in getting the project out to consumers –issues no one wants to face.

So what’s the cure? Just use a different font? Compromise the brand’s integrity? Alienate existing audiences? Not a strategy many brands are keen to pursue and we’ve done the research to prove this approach doesn’t work. In 2009, a study carried out by Opinion Matters on behalf of Monotype Imaging found that from 2,000 UK consumers, nearly 92 percent would not give details to a site that had all the regular text in place but had a logo that contained a different font than what they were used to. This is a huge warning to brands – think carefully about typography or kiss goodbye to the consumers whose trust you’ve worked so hard to win.

So what’s the solution? It’s actually pretty straightforward: typography needs to be addressed from the very start of a project. Our research shows that although four out of five respondents received briefs that required them to implement typography for different media channels, almost one third still struggle to acquire the right brand assets and interpret the guidelines for digital media. This demonstrates two key things. Brands are embracing the opportunities offered by digital platforms which is great, but they’re struggling to present themselves reliably and consistently which is where all their hard work goes to waste.

To help combat this and create a forum to share knowledge about the wider challenges in design for digital media, Monotype Imaging has created the Brand Perfect Tour. This global roadshow combines a think tank with design master classes from leading experts to offer practical guidance on how to address design and typography on different media. The Brand Perfect Tour will be a driving force in spreading awareness in branding and marketing circles of best practices to ensure success when implementing brands across media.

Download the ORB survey conducted in April 2011 as commissioned by Monotype Imaging.

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