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21 February 2018
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Wednesday, 08th August 2012
The Futura of brand signage
A Skinny Hot American and blow-dry please
Walking from Farringdon Tube the other day, I couldn’t help but notice the similarity between the signage of three Cowcross Street neighbours. Pizza Express, Starbucks and Toni&Guy, who all use the same typeface (Futura Extra Bold), albeit with ever-so-slight variations in weight and kerning. 

I’ve never really noticed this before because I invariably associate these brands with an Art Nouveau Roundel, a Mermaid and I only ever really come into contact with Toni&Guy when I’m looking for a miracle hair product in Boots, that will make my hair as thick and lustrous as it did in my twenties. But when they’re literally next door to each other it’s hard to ignore the sameness. Come to think of it, Costa Coffee also uses the same typeface (wavy ‘S’ excluded) and there are probably many more. Most of us could think of numerous brands who use Helvetica or subtle variants thereof, and I know branding is more than just Look & Feel, but as a proponent of bespoke fonts – they do differentiate and add personality.