Black Beauty

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LONDON, Friday: Almost slipping under the radar at D&AD last week was a remarkable Black Pencil win by an expat Kiwi who’s set up a typeface design shop in the UK.

Of course, TBWA NZ won NZ’s only Pencil (a Yellow for the celebrated Mr Humfreez) but word of our rare Black has finally reached Aotearoa.

The Humfreez campaign won a Yellow Pencil for Direct, a Wood Pencil for Product Design, and a Wood Pencil for Direct Mail (roughly, Yellow = Gold, Wood = Silver/Bronze, and Black = Platinum).

But a highlight from Downunder was the Black Pencil won by  Kiwi designer Briton Smith’s typeface design company, Family Type, in London.

His Universal Sans creation won one of only four Blacks awarded.

“His Universal Sans creation won one of only four Blacks awarded.”

Universal Sans is an innovative variable typeface that allows for an extensive range of customisation and unique variations.

The typeface seeks to connect the related yet diverse styles of sans serif, building on pioneering typefaces with similar intent throughout the 20th century, while innovating for the 21st century with a unique form and function enabled by the use of new technology and automation.

The judges said: “The result is a highly variable typeface that provides far greater flexibility and control to the end user and makes customised type available to a wider audience.”

NZ came 12th in the country rankings, with 22 Pencils (Australia #9).

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