Wayne Thompson publishes outstanding retail fonts under the ATF banner but also takes on typographic, lettering and type design commissions for clients here in Australia and abroad.

One such recent commission was to design a typeface for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Mechanically the brief called for a highly legible text face for digital applications but also a typeface that was diverse enough it could be suitable for serious applications like news reporting but also human and friendly to reflect the Australian entertainment scene, landscape, culture and people.

"We started by reviewing how typography was used across the ABC, then investigated the paths we could take to present a more cohesive expression. A bespoke typeface family was the most unifying solution... one that would allow us to embed the ABC’s distinct character into this element of the Design Language System that carries so much of our great content. And so we set out to create a single font family that was best in class for readability and accessibility. It would be designed to replace the thousands of font configurations in use across the ABC, allow for a proud, uniquely Australian typographical expression, and align with our charter to deliver content that contributes to our national identity. A single ABC font family would also reduce annual licensing costs associated with the numerous fonts currently used across the organisation."

the design began with rigorous research into Australian visual language which revealed that nature plays a significant role in creating iconic Australian design. "First was the connection to the land with a coastal and outback feel. The open spaces of a wide brown land played a significant role. A sense of contrast that is simultaneously austere and rich. A true sense of inclusiveness that celebrates diversity and multiculturalism. And finally that special larrikin mentality that does not take itself too seriously."

We began our design journey with the Australian Type Foundry, starting with a series of sketches that set the overall design direction. Once the Key characters were defined, digitised and refined, Wayne went about crafting this beautiful and functional typeface.

Read more about the design and craftsmanship that lead to OneABC here

Or check out the short video below to see the process in action and learn more about how the typeface took shape.