Since 2013, we have been working closely together with the cinema chain SF Bio in creating a scalable, flexible and cross platform brand identity.
At the beginning of our collaboration, the existing brand identity was not created to cater for the rapidly growing number of digital touchpoints. Furthermore, it lacked clear guidelines for its application. This led to a vague brand signature and in some cases, to an incoherent brand expression.
Therefore, we decided to simplify and reduce the number of SF Bio’s visual building blocks, while at the same time strengthening the overall identity. In order to achieve this, a new bespoke typeface would take a prominent position. The brand experience of SF Bio is intended to deliver on ‘big emotions’, among other attributes, which demands a great deal from a typeface. The objective was also to create a communicative typeface that both touched the audience, and strengthened brand recognition. Having to appeal to a broad target audience, while at the same time providing a clear, unique character and distinctive brand signature presented an exciting challenge.
The design of SF Bio Sans is based on a cinematic legacy, combining the notion of neon lights and glamour, but with a contemporary twist. Previously at SF Bio, there was no consistent thought process connecting different typefaces used in analogue, digital and physical communications. Given that this was our starting point, it was therefore especially important that the design of the new typeface was based on a clear understanding of how and where it would be applied in practice – from moving images to physical signs to digital and print.
The visual identity has been applied digitally by letting light and dark sections handle different types of information. The dark sections set the mood where the film is in focus, while the light brings out the text and the more informative elements. The typeface and the red colour are the main building blocks in the identity and brand expression. For instance, the red colour is applied on primary buttons and in connection to high priority content.
It was important to keep the colour red as a basis for the design, as this is intimately connected to cinematic tradition; a warm feel, with connections to the red carpet and curtain. We fine tuned the red colour and created a spectrum based on a red that changes hue with exposure, much like the light in the cinema. It also resembles the different shades of the cinema curtain. This solution can handle the demands of today’s digital context, and it also strikes an elegant balance between tradition and modernity.
SF Bio Sans is a typeface that has in inbuilt ‘smartness’, allowing it to be applied in a vast number of ways. It is solidly based on the DNA of the brand SF Bio and a result of a balance between cinematic traditions, the classic SF Bio logotype and the demands of today’s complex communications landscape.