Custom Samsung Sharp Sans
We first engaged with Samsung Electronics, the second largest electronics company in the world, in 2014. The project began as a customized version of our typeface Sharp Sans Display No.1 for the Samsung Galaxy brand and subsequently evolved into a multi-script typeface for Samsung’s entire global enterprise.
Originally drawn to Sharp Sans Display No.1 for its clean and contemporary aesthetic, Samsung commissioned us to develop a custom version incorporating the distinctive qualities of the brand, to serve as a unique voice. Expeditiously, we developed Samsung Sharp Sans, and shortly thereafter, Samsung Sharp Sans Cyrillic.
Following the success of Samsung Sharp Sans for the Galaxy line of products, other branches within Samsung wanted to incorporate the typeface into their brand communications. As a result, they transitioned all company communications to Samsung Sharp Sans, spanning industries far beyond electronics, including biotech, textiles, insurance, and more.
The Samsung headquarters, located in Seoul, Korea, is so large that it comprises its own district “Samsung Town”. With such a large global footing, Samsung decided to expand their typographic needs beyond Latin support and develop Samsung Sharp Sans Global including Cyrillic, which we developed in-house, and Hangul, developed by a local Korean foundry, Sandoll Technologies, under our consultation.
Designed for utility
To develop Samsung Sharp Sans we used Sharp Sans Display No.1 as the foundation, and subsequently raised the x-height, and modified a few letter constructions. The result is friendly, sleek, contemporary, and distinctly Samsung.
Sharp Sans Display No.1 Bold & Samsung Sharp Sans Bold (Left to Right)
A versatile and effective communication tool
Almost immediately upon receiving Samsung Sharp Sans, Samsung launched a global brand campaign comprising of print, digital advertising, and broadcast. Samsung’s unique typographic voice took center stage, communicating the arrival of new and groundbreaking products, and ushering in a new era for the company in which Samsung ceased being simply a product line, and became an aspirational lifestyle brand.
A Global Audience
Amongst Samsung’s most important markets is Russia, today the largest & fastest growing smartphone market in Central and Eastern Europe, and where Samsung currently dominates the list of best selling smartphones. In recognition of this very important market, Samsung commissioned us to develop a custom Cyrillic version of Samsung Sharp Sans with an extended character set including language support for Bulgarian and Serbian.
Samsung Sharp Sans Cyrillic Alphabet
Samsung Sharp Sans Cyrillic Extended - Bulgarian & Serbian [Left to Right]
Both Latin and Cyrillic scripts share many structural similarities and in some cases share the exact same characters, however, there are key distinctions in approach and treatment of form for both stylistic and pragmatic reasons. It was important to keep these considerations continually in mind during every stage of development of the Cyrillic version. To further ensure the efficacy of our work, we hired a native-Russian speaker and type designer to provide added scrutiny to our product. It was with these steps and added insight that we were able to create a successful, and authentic adaptation of our Latin version into Russia’s native script.
Cyrillic shares many structural characteristics with the modern Latin script. For this reason, and for the sake of visual consistency and continuity, Samsung Sharp Sans Cyrillic shares the same x-height as its Latin counterpart.
The inherent structural stability and boxlike visual characteristics of the Cyrillic script lends itself quite well to the Geometric Sans Serif taxonomy.
The angular forms in Cyrillic are directly derived from its Latin counterpart.
The Cyrillic diagonals are treated in a similar manner as the Latin version.
The vertical strokes and cuts are the same for both scripts.
Latin lowercase ‘e’ shows very similar bowl form to Latin ‘e’.
We ended the project with an in-depth understanding of the inner workings of a global multi-faceted conglomerate, and the particular typographic needs for a company of this scale. In addition to our creative and typographic expertise, this project required comprehensive project & time management in order to oversee & operate an international group of type designers and script consultants, to maintain open communication with our client, to educate them about the process of font development, and to provide clear and prompt progress reports. We are very proud to show the project in its entirety and grateful for the opportunity to work with such a great company.