Dalton Maag scoops Designs Of The Year graphics prize

Dalton Maag won the Designs Of The Year 2012 Graphic Award for its work on creating a new typeface for Nokia - a 26-character face dubbed Nokia Pure - which replaced Erik Spiekermann's characterful Nokia Sans, a font that had been in place for a decade.

Dalton Maag began work on the Nokia Pure typography project in October 2010 with a core team of 14-people and and a 3-month deadline to create the initial set of Latin characters. Its works on character for other languages in ongoing.

Bruno Maag on Nokia Pure

Bruno Maag, founder and director of Dalton Maag, told Computer Arts Collection that creating the typeface was quite a challenge:

Nokie Pure

"We started from zero. We did a quick overview of what was there from the beginning, just to see what it was that we didn't want to do again, but then we were looking forward rather than backwards and so everything went out of the window and we started from scratch. In order to retain originality, you shouldn't burden yourself with too much baggage. Refer back to it, have a quick glance, but then look forward - you know what you want to achieve and what you want the end result to be, and you explore that as you go...

"Nokia knew that what they wanted was, in a sense, going to be quite a bland typeface. They had been working with Erik Spiekermann's Nokia Sans and it just didn't feel as if that would be appropriate any more. It was a perfectly good typeface, but it just had so much personality that they felt it was actually impeding the branding and the graphic design. When Nokia Sans was designed, no mobile phones were smartphones. They didn't have high res screens. It was designed for specific technology, and they [Nokia] started to feel that, because of its strong personality, it was starting to feel a bit dated as well...

Nokia Pure

"Nokia wanted to re-establish itself, and us doing this font is just part and parcel of the whole process of restructuring and rethinking. It's not only the font - it's also branding, new products and new interface design. When we developed [Nokia] Pure, we managed to bring all the various different departments together and, through discussions with all those departments, we started to discuss the brand language as well. It's part of supporting larger change within the company. Nokia is going back to its Finnish design roots, and it's really put them back on the map."

You can find out more about Dalton Maag's work on Nokia Pure in Computer Arts Collection: Typography, available now.

Designs Of The Year 2012: other winners

Also receiving prizes at the Designs Of The Year 2012 awards at the Design Museum in London last night were:

  • Design Of The Year 2012: Barber Osgerby for the London 2012 Olympic Torch
  • Architecture Award: Hopkins Architects for the London 2012 Velodrome
  • Digital Award: Microsoft Games for the Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360 and the Kinect SDK
  • Fashion Award: Issey Miyake 132.5 collection
  • Furniture Award: Kihyun Kim for the 1.3 Chair
  • Product Award: Barber Osgerby for the London 2012 Olympic Torch
  • Transport Award: Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and Vehicle Design Department, Royal College of Art for the Emergency Ambulance

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