Mining and natural resources company Xstrata had a disperate and mis-aligned set of companies all around the globe, each working in their own market. They had several names and had decided to rebrand under one umbrella called Xstrata with each division/affiliation listed beneath. An approach from looking at all the research and company history lead us to working with and creating a ‘tapestry’ that could represent all of the areas that Xstrata were in.

I was required to create a bespoke typefaces that could represent the diverse nature of their offering, working with two designers we came up with the Xstrata Vital series of typefaces, loosely based on several standard typefaces, but having enough difference to be unique to Xstrata. First all of the letters forms were drawn in illustrator with several flourishes and terminals in differing directions – these were then standardised and utilsed to create the light and bold versions with an outline version taken from the light ‘punched out’ of a heavy extra bold version. The fourth typeface ‘Vital Expressive’ was a mix of all three typefaces to create a diversive and varied typeface, used only for a very selective ‘creative’ use. The fonts took about 8 weeks in total as the kerning pairs for each typeface ended up about 900-1000 each, with the ‘Vital Expressive’ using more than 1400.

Then it was a case of implementing the guidelines with all the 9 divisions with the 9 colourways and showing how the diversity of the company could be shown. Of particular interest was the 5 core values that the company had introduced and also case studies that were based around people and the diversity of the workforce throughout the group of companies, which helped them understand where people were working, what they were working on and introducing each other from all the corners of the globe.

© FutureBrand 2012