Around the world, only a few hundred people make a living as fulltime typeface designers. Two of them happen to live in Chattanooga, Tennessee, population 167,000, where they’ve embarked on an ambitious project to distill the city’s artistic and entrepreneurial spirit into a font called Chatype. The goal is to help the city and its businesses forge a distinct and cohesive identity through custom typeface, sending a visual message to the world that Chattanooga — a rapidly growing city in the midst of a creative renaissance — is “more than just your average Southern town.”
And it would help if it didn’t look too much like VAG Rounded, since (1) it would seem like a gesture toward Volkswagen, whose typeface this used to be and who’s rapidly becoming a major employer in Chattanooga, and (2) everybody and his brother-in-law is using it for stuff these days. (It doesn’t.)
In general, I am weary of obvious attempts at branding, but this is about as subtle as branding gets; I think something like this would actually work here, were it possible to persuade City Council to think about something other than blowing a third of a billion dollars on a convention center at a time when no one can afford to go anywhere. Still, it could backfire:
I mean, I like this, but I think I’d get tired of seeing it everywhere, and it would never play in, say, Stockyards City.
Well, we have had some earthquakes lately.
I wouldn’t wish this on Tulsa.
Not bland enough.
I have to believe, though, that somewhere in town someone has an idea better than these.