Hello everyone! I’m Mike Abbink and I’m the Executive Creative Director at IBM. I have more than 23 years of experience in creative direction, strategic thinking and graphic design for brand experience, identity, packaging and interactive media. Before coming to IBM I’ve worked at design studios where I was able to work with great brands like Nike to develop their Niketown Honolulu Store; at Apple years ago designing packaging for OS X, G5 and the (now vintage ;-D) iSight Camera; at Wolff Olins leading the design of the Microsoft Office brand and Belkin logo to mostly recently the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), where I led the design for the Matisse Cut-Outs exhibition.
But today, I want to talk about branding through a different lens: The one of typeface design and the important role it plays in brand identity and how a company expresses itself and its ideas.
I've also done extensive work in typeface design (an entirely different design discipline in and of itself) from designing GE’s corporate typeface Inspira; retail typefaces like FF Kievit (used for Medium) and FF Milo Serif, which is used online for The Economist; to now IBM Plex, the new bespoke corporate typeface for IBM.
Over the past two years, we have developed a custom-designed typeface for IBM — IBM Plex. It has been carefully designed to meet our needs as a global technology company and reflect our brand spirit, beliefs and design principles. The new typeface will make our communications more distinctive, reduce the cost of expensive font licensing fees, and give IBM the freedom to apply it across all experiences.
You can learn more about the story behind IBM Plex: bitly.com/2ythg9U
If you have questions about IBM Plex, what it took to create it, what it's like to work at and design for IBM, building successful design teams, collaboration, or anything about what it takes to pursue a career in design, please share your questions and I will do my best to answer them.
I’ll be here live on Oct. 25th from 11:30 am - 12:30 PM ET. Hope to chat with you then!