Product / ServiceFONT LIBRARY
CategoryA06. Best Use or Integration of Experiential Events
EntrantBBH CHINA Shanghai, CHINA
Entrant Company:BBH CHINA Shanghai, CHINA
Contributing Company:BBH CHINA Shanghai, CHINA

The Campaign

This campaign appeared in China where there are strict government restrictions in relation to social issues and decency however in the case of the marketing Fonts, these restrictions did not apply.


Fontsmith, a bespoke typeface design company wanted to launch their characteristic library of fonts in China. Historically, fonts are sold as shapes devoid of any personality or meaning. So how do you bring out a font's true character and make it feel alive? The solution was to create an online dating profile of a western girl living in Shanghai. A friendly outgoing type looking for love. The profile managed to trigger a lot of genuine responses from male suitors, all trying to sell themselves with their well-chosen words. The flirtatious emails that showed the most personality were then brought to life by a Fontsmith typeface that reflected the writer's character. Be it bold, cheeky or charming. Quirky sentences, spelling and grammatical errors were also included, making the messages all the more charming. In turn, the fonts delivering the heartfelt messages were crafted into individual pieces of art ranging from oil paintings, plastic, stone and stitched leather. Each medium helping to accentuate the suitor's personality. For example: a tough, confident sounding man was married with a bold, strong font and crafted out of angular metal. The finished pieces were then exhibited in a Shanghai art gallery. A private view was held for typographers, designers, art directors, editors and the press, followed by public access. This resulted in press and online coverage for Fontsmith. Following on from the exhibition, a book of the art pieces was published and given away as a direct mail piece to all of Fontsmith's potential clients. The pieces were then shipped to Europe so that they could be exhibited in London and other cities.

The target audience for Fontsmith are mainly a select group of designers and art directors who frequent art and design exhibitions. Rather than going the usual route of producing a print campaign or traditional direct mail piece, an innovative and targeted campaign was created that was more experiential and in keeping with the product. By highlighing how letterforms can be seen as artforms and exhibiting the work in a gallery environment, our target audience could experience Fontsmith's fonts in a totally original way.

Over 200 invitations were sent to influential designers, art directors and the press who either attended the private view or visited during the 5 days the exihibition was opened to the public. PR from the exhibit ranged from online Digital magazine, a leading information, intelligence and conversation content for marketing and media communities, to China Business News Weekly, an established magazine for Chinese and international companies, where it received a 4 page article. Over 200 copies of the book were sent out to the select group designers who expressed an interest. The resulting campaign brought Fontsmith's brand and typefaces to the forefront amongst the creative departments of design and advertising agencies and lead to possible patnerships with local type foundries to create a Chinese typeface. The pieces were also shipped to England so that it could exhibited in London to create the same amount of buzz and PR there.


Name Company Position
Johnny Tan Bbh China Executive Creative Director
Yu Kung Bbh China Creative Director/Artist
Alicia Kennedy Bbh China Account Director/Artist
Ken Wang Bbh China Producer
Mary Feng Bbh China Producer
Arto Hampartsoumian Bbh China Ceo
Christine Ng Bbh China Managing Director
Andy Edwards Bbh China Head Of Planning