Enjoying Figma's config conference (ongoing now
) and was slightly astonished by the talk just passed "How we internationalized our typography stack
". Expecting this to be a fun voyage of internationalisation (i18n) at scale and all the political difficulties of buy-in that can entail. How wrong I was…
Klarna's approach to i18n:
(1) Trade off typography's role in brand equity by concentrating on branding elsewhere (e.g. motion, "like tiktok")
(2) Use system fonts, not even Google Noto.
I appreciate that internationalisation is not the easiest problem to solve, but nor is it overly difficult to overcome with a few clever typography hacks. Am I alone in this?
salesforce is one of the bigger companies that used to have a system-only font stack; when I visit their site now I see something custom.
actually when I visit klarna's site I see something custom as well, were they talking about a future change? or do their different touchpoints have different type stacks (their marketing site does one thing, their embedded products do another, etc)?
the last time I collaborated with a brand team to source a font, language coverage of all markets in which the company operates was a requirement (their requirement, not mine!) — so I do think designers have a general sensitivity to this. but then again, that is an easy requirement when a company only operates in markets covered by latin-1