Dickies Typography

A graphic identity and typeface developed for branding agency ThisHere and the legendary American workwear company, Dickies. The campaign explores what it takes to be a ‘maker’ in the present day through exploring craft, the act of making, and the history of the brand.

The bold and playful display typeface gives a recognisable face to the multiple outcomes of the campaign – from printed media such as posters and billboards through to digital banners and social media.

Shifts in type size and a mix of all upper or all lowercase text will draw attention to important words. Compositions range across the page or screen to give a sense of urgency and action, further emphasised by the bold red text colour.

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The typography looks back into the history of Dickies and early American industrialism to draw inspiration from hand-drawn signage, labor posters* and rough-cut type specimens. It references traditional technological details such as exaggerated ink trapping† and early American sans serif lettering styles, leaving exaggerated remnants of process that would ordinarily have become hidden, giving a view into the craft of print.



* Smaller American printers specialised in ‘poor man’ advertising, especially during the great depression. These printers used what they had to hand to create analogue compositions, which often resulted in a wide mix of type styles, simple colour highlights, and a variety of lowercase / uppercase lettering to denote hierarchy. 

† Ink traps are a type feature for printing at small sizes. Details are removed from letters which allow the ink to naturally spread into the gaps to leave a crisp edge.