The Crime of Typographic Homogeny in Action at Heathrow

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    Heathrow is another victim of the homogenization of the world’s airports, its regional identity robbed by replacing a perfectly functional, custom British serif with ubiquitous Frutiger.

    I’ve watched the change take place over the last 3 years and the cleansing is now nearly complete. Shed another tear for typographic diversity.

    If anyone knows who made the dearly departed typeface, please let me know. I’d like to do a piece on Typographica.

    Ralf_H., litherland, camaleon citrico, and 6 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Dezcom 72 months ago | reply

      Shed another tear. Soon generic airport feelings will have you wondering "Where the f*** am I!"

    2. Indra Kupferschmid 72 months ago | reply

      I researched that in connection with Matthew Carter’s 1960 design for Heathrow (Helvetica-like face derived from Standard) in cooperation with Colin Forbes. Later Kinneir & Calvert designed a new signage system, yellow back-lit signs with black type. But I guess the seriffed typeface is not that old. It's called BAA sign or BAA Bembo. I'll mail you the current styleguide.

      "The signage typeface used at the moment is called BAA Bembo, and was drawn by Shelley Winter. I believe Freda Sack worked on it too. I Recently went to a Sign Design Society talk by Rob Waller, who has done some legibilty testing on it. His testing showed it to be surprisingly legible compared to Frutiger and Vialog."

    3. Dezcom 72 months ago | reply

      Thanks, Indra!

    4. jteore 72 months ago | reply

      The Symbolism of the plane has such a huge impact_
      I really am stumped as to why that had to visually go.

    5. Stewf 72 months ago | reply

      Thanks, Indra!

      jt - The iconography is the same, it's just the type that changed. Sorry about the bad crop. Only comparing type here.

    6. James John Malcolm 72 months ago | reply

      At least the sign looks clearer now!

    7. duncehat 72 months ago | reply

      Didn't Jeremy Tankard, designer of 'Bliss' do some work on this a while back? Perhaps his work was for a different project.

    8. Stewf 56 months ago | reply

      Really? I doubt that could be proved.

    9. Stewf 56 months ago | reply

      I think Tankard’s project may have been just the logo work.

    10. halmotley 20 months ago | reply

      I am more than a day late and definitely several pounds short. But it's Frutiger Serif:

      The serif counterpart to Frutiger. Quite attractive, I might add.

    11. Stewf 20 months ago | reply

      Sort of similar, but no. The serif is indeed BAA Bembo as Indra commented.

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