Hot Type capture the benefits of a bespoke brand typeface with their numbers-driven Sofascore Sans
As part of its 2022 brand identity revamp by DesignStudio’s London office, Sofascore – the most powerful sports app for live scores, results and stats – was in need of a bespoke sans serif type family that would act as a recognisable, ownable asset, and tie the brand together.
Turning to Hot Type to make it happen, the Croatian foundry’s Founder & Type Designer Marko Hrastovec tells us that the branding agency were already halfway into the design process when they approached him with the brief for the new typeface. “Next,” he continues, “we chatted together with the client for a couple of months to establish the scope of the project as well as the technical requirements that had to be met for their product range,” adding that “it was a real pleasure collaborating with people who have a deep understanding of how a custom typeface can elevate the whole project in both branding and product design.”
Following creative direction from DesignStudio, Hot Type built the family from the ground up – something which proved to be immensely helpful for Sofascore compared to choosing an off-the-shelf typeface. “Over 23 million monthly users and a growing number of employees means unpredictability of license size, so there’s a financial peace of mind that comes with it too,” Hrastovec reveals. “With today’s tools and the right people on the project, custom type is not necessarily something that takes ages anymore, in fact, we move points quite quickly once the design is signed off.”
The Hot Type team crafted a typeface that matches the vertical proportions of Sofascore’s previous typeface, Roboto, in order for their in-house teams to avoid baseline shifts when replacing the fonts in the existing system. The family of fonts – available in three weights: Regular, Medium, and Bold – features Sans, Condensed and Monospaced versions. “As Sofascore often deals with unexpectedly long names or surnames, it became obvious their product designers would benefit from having a compact version too,” Hrastovec notes about the Condensed version. All of the available styles (bar the mono) are delivered within a single variable font format, providing even easier implementation, making it easy to condense long names without stretching them. The monospaced style “is more of a stylistic addition to the bunch, providing a more technical aesthetic,” he adds.
In addition to slotting in seamlessly with the rest of the brand’s visual language, Hot Type ensured that the typefaces perform effectively on all screen sizes. For example, the flat bridges between diagonals aid legibility in small sizes and bring plenty of character when set in large sizes.
Hot Type were careful to pay attention to the numerals, since the foundation of the brand is numbers-heavy due to the sporting content. Another element that defines the type family is their new frame symbols. “I love how effortlessly bracketed symbol elements are embedded within letter construction,” Hrastovec tells us, reflecting on the design. “You get a sense that there's no other way this could have been done, and I think that’s a great characteristic for any branding project. The vertical and horizontal stroke emphasis comes together so nicely, particularly in the design of the numbers that are crucial to the Sofascore brand,” he concludes.