Nike Air | Hot Type — Home of Contemporary Typefaces

Nike Air

Concept

As part of rebranding one of Nike’s biggest footwear innovation platforms, we were comissioned to design a custom typeface to accompany the new AIR logo. Exaggerated straight lines contrast the curves of a circular logo, giving the type a machined precision, while the tight but rounded corners draw the two together. The result is a futuristic typeface that represents innovation and technology. Many ligatures and alternate characters allow for specific logo-like combinations.

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Nike Air

Design Concept

As part of rebranding one of Nike’s biggest footwear innovation platforms, we were comissioned to design a custom typeface to accompany the new AIR logo. Exaggerated straight lines contrast the curves of a circular logo, giving the type a machined precision, while the tight but rounded corners draw the two together. The result is a futuristic typeface that represents innovation and technology. Many ligatures and alternate characters allow for specific logo-like combinations.

Different yet relatable styles explored in early stages of the project.

Design notes

Goal of the project was to design a typeface that matches in character with the new AIR logo, loudly speaks technology and clearly looks forward in time. From the get go it was about wide proportions, tight spacing, rounded corners and machined precision. Early stages allowed for more experimental explorations with given parameters, where few interesting directions emerged.

Each ligature also has it's own stylistic alternate with bigger corner radius.

To boost the flexibility of the typeface, together with Nemanja we decided to incorporate ligatures with diagonal letter combinations. Each ligature also got it's alternative stylistic treatment with rounded inner corners, the same way as many other single letters did.

Most letters have at least one, while many come with two or more alternate shapes.

During development phase, typeface was thoroughly tested in various sizes and application methods on a range of material to ensure shapes and corners perform as desired. Those tests informed inside and outside corner radius, as well as how tight spacing can go before strokes blend into each other.

Credits & details

Art direction: Nemanja Jehlicka
Type design: Marko Hrastovec
Images: Nike, Hot Type