Ilya Ruderman: Mobile telecommunications provider Tele2 Russia came to us with a request to develop a bespoke typeface with decent Cyrillic and graphics that would correspond to the typeface which was earlier used by the company but wasn’t exclusive. Initially, they asked for only two slab styles, Regular and Bold, but we soon realised that there actually was a need for a more complicated structure. Suggesting a few stylistically different sketches, we managed to convince the company that it is not necessary to limit themselves to slab serifs and that some texts are better to be set in sans serif.
As a result, the new Tele2 type family includes both a text sans serif and a slab serif for main displaying purposes, as well as a stencil sans serif for super display texts. Tele2 picked the most minimalist solution out of what we had suggested: simple, open typefaces with clear design and minimum contrast.
The slab serif is responsible for continuing the previous graphic style, therefore Tele2 uses it for key advertising messages. Large texts, support information, anything that requires small size is set in the text sans. While for the loudest, shortest and largest statements we designed the stencil sans.
These typefaces, different in terms of their structure, are brought into one graphic system and therefore work well together, with each of them easily taking its place and performing its task. At the same time, it is a very flexible tool, and the designer has a room for manoeuvre: the sans can be readily used in a large headline, while the serif can pull off a small text.
All the five typefaces support key European and Cyrillic languages plus a small part of extended Cyrillic — Kazakh, Tajik, Uzbek, Kyrgyz languages. We also added a special set of icons.
Tele2 typeface won the second prize among Cyrillic typefaces at Granshan’15.