When the creative team at Sephora decided to revamp their branding system, they realized that a proprietary typeface was essential to communicating with a distinctive voice. Without an institutional typographic system, the global beauty brand’s myriad channels—including signage, packaging, advertising and digital—had an inconsistent, even chaotic, look. And that look wasn’t unique or ownable, since their primary typefaces were two well-worn favorites, Gotham and Didot.
Mucca partnered with Sephora to facilitate their rebrand, creating a highly functional typographic system that represents their brand aesthetic and values. All projects have creative constraints, and ours was to ensure continuity with their current visual narrative, as well as a seamless integration with the current Sephora logotype.
Analysis of the beauty and fashion industry’s typographic landscape revealed that, unsurprisingly, the main genres in use are variations of Didot (for the serifs) and a modern geometric style (for the sans serifs).
In the spirit of the rebranding we wanted to provide our client with something new and fresh, but our solution also had to stand the test of time. So we looked back at the origins of the Roman alphabet and devised a system inspired by the classic proportions and timeless appeal of the Roman capital letter.
Sephora Sans and Sephora Serif: unified by a shared structure.
The elegance of Didones typefaces give them an inherent connection to the fashion/beauty worlds. But their extreme vertical emphasis and high contrast can make them difficult to read, and their ubiquity in fashion makes them a predictable choice.
By tilting the axis of the letterforms and reducing the areas with high contrast, we made the font work even in hostile environments (e.g., over a photo or on low resolution screens). These meticulous strategic choices allowed us to retain the elegance associated with the beauty world, while making the typeface more distinctive and ownable.
We developed a complementary sans serif typeface that has a Roman capital’s proportions to add a sense of warmth to its clean minimalism. The simple geometric shapes makes it an extremely versatile tool for any of the brands’ applications.
The font was designed and produced with the precious expertise of the type nerds of Schriftlabor from the beautiful city of Vienna.
A happy client is a repeat client and we are thrilled to be working with Sephora again on a special project—to be revealed soon!