For a while now, I’ve been looking for some work that lends to talking about type and the subconscious. Jonathan Faust‘s redesign of the Danish Soda brand, Frem, is attractive, trendy, type-focused and not unlike some design I’ve seen before. But what really makes Faust’s work so intriguing to me is the fact that each flavor has it’s own identity through typography.
Faust, a designer with a background in sign painting, created the typography for each label with associations, cliches and shapes in mind. For Cola, he made a western wood type to tie it its American orgin. His work is understated but he managed to tap into some universal associations while avoiding the literal.
“If it’s made correct the customer should see the references and get that “aha!-experience” and probably a little smile,” Faust said. “You work with their feelings and they will remember the product.”
There’s something about type that allows designers like Faust to, in his words, “play with the viewers subconscious and memories.” It’s difficult to put in how it works because so subjective but I think Frem’s raspberry soda, or Hindbær, is a good example. Faust created a serif reminiscent of fruit stands and farmers markets. You can picture it on a wooden sign above a crate of any berry, really. But what really ties it raspberries for me, is the prongs in the serifs, which trigger my mind to think of the hairlike particles on raspberries that are actually remnants of pistils, the female part of the flower. It seems a bit extreme to deduce it so specifically but I think it’s true and I think Faust was very thoughtful in this way. You can see it in the pear cider too. Something about that oblong bowl in the P just subtly says pear without actually trying to be a pear.
The design, with the individualization aside, is solid. He already has solid packaging going with the Frem logo and the lettering all printed directly on the bottle, ditching a clear label that would have disrupted the type. If we’re being honest, he had me at that simple logo, naturally colored drinks and simplicity. But the individualism saves me time as a consumer. The unique type is trying to sell me on the flavor and one of them is going to trigger something in me before I have to do much reading. And all of the bottle still look good together too. They type doesn’t clash with the logo or with each other.