Airbnb introduced a new typeface this month called “Airbnb Cereal,” a new font family in six weights. But what’s the big deal? Here’s why Airbnb’s new font matters, and what your business can learn from this redesign.
The company follows Google, Netflix, Coca-Cola, Intel, Apple, and more, in a trend that is becoming the new standard – to use bespoke fonts to improve accessibility from print to website and app. Bespoke fonts are custom fonts commissioned by a company – and they’re replacing the likes of Helvetica:
Although until recently standard fonts like Helvetica held up as “good enough” options, the limits of using fonts that haven’t been meaningfully updated in half a century have become apparent…
Think about how many brands are trying to engage with us online. Think of how many brands make video content, or run blogs designed to bring us into their ecosystem. Think of how marketing and advertising has changed.
No longer should brands need to show you their logos to have you know it’s them. It should be in their colors, in their copy and in their typography. Bespoke fonts offer brands more control over their identity, and in some cases can even save them money in the long run.
Airbnb aimed to create “something clean, but with enough quirk to exude friendliness” with their new font, and even the name of the font has deep ties to the company’s identity:
So you’re probably wondering what cereal has to do with short-term rentals. The name of the new font is a throwback to a campaign created by the Airbnb founders in 2008. They designed and sold collectible, branded cereal based on Barack Obama and John McCain before the presidential election.
“Cereal saved the company and inspired a core value to think about solving problems in unexpected ways—it was a natural choice when naming our own [typeface],” said Airbnb in a Design Week article.
If you’re a small business or nonprofit with limited resources, a bespoke font might not be the thing for you. But reconsidering the font you use and choosing a distinctive font that best reflects your company may be the next best thing to enhance your brand identity. The fonts listed at the end of this article are a great place to start.