Carlsberg Font Extensions

Published Nov 22, 2019. Last updated Jun 06, 2024.

Some of our most fruitful partnerships are with design agencies. In 2014, for instance, we assisted Kontrapunkt in Copenhagen in their making of a branding typeface for the Danish brewing company Carlsberg. You can read all about that in our Carlsberg Slab case study. A few years later, we got to develop fonts for Carlsberg again – this time, Taxi Studio in Bristol was redesigning the brand.

Taxi Studio worked with Tom Lane in Liverpool to redesign Carlsberg’s logo. Lane also drew a Bold sans serif that harmonized with it. This font included English and Danish characters. Taxi Studio brought LucasFonts on board to expand that into a family of fonts with two more weights (Light and Regular). We also extended the fonts’ character sets to support all European languages (not just those used in Western Europe, but also Central and Eastern European ones, plus Greek and languages written with Cyrillic characters), even developing Arabic extensions for this sans serif. On top of that, we mastered the font files as well, adding the necessary kerning, hinting, and OpenType technology.

The assignment specified that the fonts should also work well when electronically condensed to just 80% of its normal width. Packaging designers do this to fit all the small print on cans, for instance. Some languages like Finnish or Polish have longer word lengths on average, and the ingredients list has to fit on a can, even if that means not being typographically ideal.

Text at 100% and 80% width (Light, Regular and Bold).

We delivered the fonts to Taxi Studio in 2018, and Carlsberg began rolling out work designed with them in 2019. This is how Taxi Studio summarized our contributions to the project:

The final part of the versatile brand toolkit is a bespoke brand typeface. Developed in partnership with type foundry LucasFonts, using a character set designed by Tom Lane, it perfectly complements the re-crafted logotype. Combined with the full complement of new Carlsberg assets and a strong, coherent brand language, this new typeface will help ensure consistency of application across the global portfolio for decades to come.

The default versions of the Cyrillic letters shown above, as they appear in the Ny Carlsberg Display Light font.

As is customary for almost all typefaces LucasFonts develops that support Cyrillic, the Carlsberg Display fonts include language-specific versions for specific letters. For instance, 15 lowercase letters can appear differently in Bulgaria. The two lines above show the default Cyrillic variants for those letters. Below, you can see our Bulgarian variants of them. For more information about the Cyrillic alphabet used in Bulgaria, have a look at this article on European Cyrillics from Luc(as) de Groot and Sonja Knecht.

Alternate Cyrillic letterforms for the Bulgarian language.