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Biden campaign rolls out new fonts ‘Decimal’ and ‘Mercury’

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  • Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is introducing a new set of fonts, Decimal and Mercury, to be used “across campaign content like graphics, video, and more.”
  • The presumptive Democratic nominee has tapped Hoefler & Co., a legendary typeface company featured in a Netflix documentary and behind many of the country’s most storied brands.
  • Hoefler & Co. have done typefaces for the Obamas, Rolling Stone, Twitter, Tiffany & Co., the Guggenheim, Condé Nast and Nike.
  • “Decimal’s main inspiration comes from the typefaces used in wristwatches,” Robyn Kanner, the Biden campaign’s senior creative adviser, told Insider. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Biden campaign is rolling out two new fonts heading into the November election.

“Decimal” and “Mercury” will be tasked with evoking the 2020 presumptive Democratic nominee’s campaign ethos of “the battle for the soul of the nation,” Biden for America Senior Creative Adviser Robyn Kanner told Insider.

The pair of fonts come from Hoefler & Co., a legendary typeface company behind the lettering seen in iconic American brands, such as Rolling Stone, Twitter, Tiffany & Co., the Guggenheim Museum, Condé Nast, and Nike.

Hoefler & Co. also came up with the “Gotham” typeface used by both Obama campaigns, as well as “Ringside” for The Office of Barack and Michelle Obama. 

The Biden typefaces are not fully replacing anything, but rather coming into the fray as the general election nears.

“This campaign is about the battle for the soul of the nation,” Kanner wrote in an email to Insider. “That battle needs to be fought and won with the truth — the American people deserve that much. To that end, Decimal and Mercury were chosen based on their roots in the truth.”

NewBidenFonts

A markup of the Biden campaign’s new fonts, Decimal (red) and Mercury (blue).

c/o the Biden campaign


The two typefaces offer their own uses based on the choices made by designers in the glyphs, or the shape of each letter.

“Decimal’s main inspiration comes from the typefaces used in wristwatches,” Kanner wrote. “It’s true as time.”

Featured in the smaller red print within the markup provided by the campaign, “Decimal” features small serifs, known in typography as decorative shapes on the end strokes of a letter.

“Mercury,” on the other hand, is sans serif, a style meant to be more easily readable and more commonly seen in digital fonts or big advertisements like posters and billboards.

“Mercury’s primary use has been used in print, for various magazines and newspapers,” Kanner wrote. “It holds the truth of a written word.”

 

Similar to the earlier version of the Obama campaign’s “Gotham” typeface, “Mercury” has a smoother look without the serifs but carries a weighty proportion to it.

The Obama campaign initially used “Perpetua,” a plain serif typeface, with the switch to “Gotham” coming later on.

“Gotham” was originally commissioned for GQ Magazine, but its versatility across digital and print proved fruitful for the Obama campaign in carving out a new look for itself. 

The typeface is also used by One World Trade Center.

Biden’s new font made its debut in a Fourth of July ad, playing off of the juxtapositions of American traditions and aspirations.

 

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