Licensing or custom creation: why OKTO used only bespoke typefaces for Overtone Studios’ identity
“We needed a display font with impact and legibility for small formats,” Creative Director Linus Östberg tells us, discussing OKTO’s identity for Overtone Studios and their use of contrasting mixed typographic styles. “The brand required a broad family of fonts to serve its needs of expression, variety and function,” he continues, opting for a bespoke sans serif as the primary typeface, alongside hand-written lettering. “The work was done together with Letters from Sweden as the preferred partner for this type of project,” Östberg adds, noting the studios’ long-standing successful collaborations, using their typographic expertise to give the music-finding platform a voice.
Set up to provide internet creators with quality soundtracks, Overtone Studios offers decisively mood-orientated music – from smooth, relaxed tracks to exercise-inducing, rhythmic beats – helping their users set the tone of their content. Reflecting this eclectic potential, the Stockholm-based design studio, alongside Letters from Sweden, developed a creative bonanza of custom type, colour and iconography. “We always evaluate the number of touch points and amount of users,” Östberg recalls, discussing their use of bespoke typefaces over existing ones, “to see what is most economically justifiable for the client,” determining whether paying up-front for licenses or creating a custom font is more viable. “Surprisingly, it is very often a better option to produce a bespoke one,” he details, “and it’s, of course, more fun to be able to customise all the details as you want them,” resulting in the inviting, optimistic display of letterforms throughout Overtone Studios’ brand.
“The icon library is a collection of imaginative symbols that are open for interpretation rather than informative and functional,” Östberg continues, conveying a whimsical positivity equal to the brand’s typographic output. “In the same way that feelings and moods are abstract, the icons provoke the imagination,” he adds, “the individual icons are abstract, but can be given meaning, and strengthen messages when in context and supported with text,” as per the identity’s chromatic usage. “The market of mood music is filled with brands with a bland and muted expression,” Östberg concludes, “and we wanted Overtone Studios to stand out as a new and bold player on the market, with a noticeable and vibrant expression,” turning to digital hues to achieve as much.
Custom Typefaces by Letters from Sweden