Tuesday, April 24, 2007

When Supermodels Have Serifs

I'm not sure whether this is simply an example of careful attention to branding or a harbinger of cultural apocalypse, but supermodel Kate Moss is now a typeface.

Probably the former, and the latter is just my inner cranky old man coming out; I image this would't even be interesting to me if the product was a soft drink rather than a supermodel. Still, I'm not sure whether to be appalled or impressed that anybody can say things like this without dissolving into giggles:

“Kate is in an exceptional territory of her own,” explains (designer Peter) Saville. “She is an icon to everyone, in that young women can relate to her and aspire to be her. She’s an accessible icon, and similarly she’s not intimidating. She’s synonymous with possibility for young women – she’s not mpossibly beautiful, or alluring, or mannered. It’s that that’s made her such an astonishing role model for her times. Plus Kate has never denied or denounced her roots; she hasn’t moved on to another world. All this has endeared Kate to a generation. She’s a brand. And this next stage for her is the inevitable product realisation of that brand.”

So what does Kate Moss look like as a typeface?

I think it's a cute retro nod to old-time fashion magazines; I can see it appearing in an ad in Vogue in 1955. Whether this captures the essence of the Kate Moss brand characteristics - or hey, maybe some aspect of her personality - remains to be seen.

My guess is that by 2011, though, you'll never see this font within a mile of Kate Moss.

(Random digression: I hadn't realized, until I read this Wikipedia article, that Saville designed the album covers for Joy Division's Closer and New Order's Power, Corruption & Lies. The latter is one of those albums that I played till the vinyl was wearing into nothing back in college, and was one of the first CDs I bought. Memories...)


Maureen Rogers said...

You gotta love it, don't you? Actually, I would have thought that a Kate Moss font would have been longer, thinner,flatter - more waifish, as it were.

I can't wait to see more celebrity fonts.

Brandon said...

In fact, Peter Saville designed pretty much all of the sleeves for Joy Division and New Order albums (and indeed their various offspring - The Other Two, Electronic, Monaco, etc), and still continues to do so. Most famously, the 12" single cover for New Order's Blue Monday, in the form of an old floppy disk. The sleeves were very much part of the success of the music, creating a mysterious air around the bands, notwithstanding that the cost sometimes exceeded the selling price of the end product as a result! (Blue Monday was the biggest selling 12" of all time but the band lost money on every copy thanks to Mr Saville)

Mark Cahill said...

They're late to the game. The on the web, we're still pretty much limited to the standard choices. Arial, helvetica, times roman, etc. Anything else and we're taking a chance of it not existing on the client machine.

Now I'm trying to imagine what my font would look like. Obviously something extra bold, and extremely hard to read...