Established in 2014 by Alberto Romanos, Branding With Type is a digital foundry that recognizes the importance of type design as one of the cornerstones of effective marketing, identity, and branding. The ability to express the “voice” of a particular company or individual through visual media rests firmly in quality designs that capture the essence of same, a concept in which Alberto’s foundry excels.
Branding With Type collaborates with a number of graphic designers and typographers to create and release type designs with unique personalities and fluid versatility for a wide range of design projects. One of their most recent releases is Bw James, a playful sans serif designed by Moritz Kleinsorge, and completed under the mentorship of Pilar Cano through the Alphabettes mentorship program.
While working on a student project, Moritz used Archer by Hoefler & Frere-Jones, but he found that he liked the concept of a monolinear body with ball terminals and went in search of one to suit his needs. When he couldn’t find one he liked, he chose to design his own, making his first sketches for Bw James during Easter of 2015.
“In the beginning, there was a lot of trial and error with my professor, Jörg Petri, and his colleague, Stefan Claudius (Cape Arcona Foundry). I didn’t have any practical experience, so it took me some time to get into the workflow of designing a typeface and learning how to create smooth shapes,” Moritz told us. After he wrapped his head around this brand new design idea that would become part of his Bachelor’s Thesis in Information and Communication Design, Moritz worked incredibly hard to meet his tight deadlines.
“In the very beginning, the plan was to make a friendly-technical sans serif, which also had ball terminals. So, the name is derived from James Watt, an important person of the Industrialization,” he explained. As time passed and work progressed, Bw James and its concept were adapted to accommodate the inclusion of ball terminals on a sans serif body.
“As James was my first typeface, it was very challenging to create smooth shapes and consistency throughout the typeface,” Moritz explained. “To get some additional help, I applied to the mentorship program at the Alphabettes and Pilar Cano (letterjuice.cat) became my mentor. With her, I modified the concept and started the italics. It was rewarding to have her onboard.” Pilar was very patient throughout the entire process, teaching Moritz a great deal along the way.
Moritz’s favorite part of the process was finding the right form for each glyph, sketching and designing different variations of each letter. “The focus wasn’t set on perfectly balanced shapes, but it was about exploration of possibilities, which I enjoyed greatly,” he added. Moritz is especially partial to the thinner weights because of the way the ball terminals stand out.
Bw James is modern and friendly with a casual elegance thanks to those unique ball terminals. The lighter weights of Bw James carry an air of contemporary sophistication, a delicate gracefulness that suits upscale advertising, branding, logo design, product packaging, labels, and invitations. Its middle-weights are ideal for extraordinarily attractive web content, publishing, and editorials. Bw James’ heaviest weights offer strength without force or heavy-handedness in large displays, signage, and bold headlines. The entire range of weights allows for harmonious design cohesion through multiple media applications, making it a beautiful choice for identity and branding projects.
Bw James is available in eight weights that include Thin, ExtraLight, Light, Regular, Medium, SemiBold, Bold, and Black with corresponding italics for each. With a staggering 950 glyphs per weight, it’s packed with additional features that include capitals to small caps, case sensitive forms, beautiful discretionary ligatures, standard ligatures, numerators, denominators, fractions, lining figures, oldstyle figures, tabular figures, slashed zero, ordinals, small caps, and stylistic alternates. Its multilingual support is extensive, too, supporting Basic Latin, Western European, Euro, Catalan, Baltic, Turkish, Central European, Romanian, Pan African Latin, and Dutch for worldwide accessibility.
Branding With Type currently offers 13 products through YouWorkForThem, a collection that continues to get better with each new release. Visit their portfolio to view the rest of the foundry’s work and bookmark it so you won’t miss their future releases!
Moritz told us that he’s working on an “elegant sans with the contrasts you would expect on a didone.” If Bw James is any indication, Moritz Kleinsorge is a type designer who’s going places and we can’t wait to see his future work. He offered a thoughtful word of advice to his fellow designers and typographers when he said, “Keep working hard, at some point it pays off!”
As he’s already proven with Bw James, he’s absolutely right about that.