A Custom Type System for Design Leadership’s Diverse and Evolving Body

Posted inType Tuesday

Future London Academy is a place for design professionals to level up, with in-person and online workshops on everything from UX to strategy to operations and the future of design. Its newest offering is the Design Leaders Programme (DLX), a 9-week course in Los Angeles and London taught by design leaders from studios such as Pentagram, Wolff Olins, and Dropbox. The program, built on the five Bauhaus pillars: Being a better human, Building better products, Leading better teams, Creating a better company, and Working for a better world, is designed to help emerging design leaders get onto the C-suite track.

But this is a story about type!

Future London Academy is based in its namesake city, one of the world’s most diverse and vibrant. Therefore, when creating a visual identity for its new program, any old typeface wouldn’t do. So, in-house designer Polina Kirei devised a custom type system: DLX Future.

Each character of DLX Future conveys the diversity of design leadership with a unique style and personality. Yet, every letter is built on the same foundation of five shapes: circle, square, triangle, rectangle, and a wriggle wire.

Each letter, just like each person, is unique and has been designed together with the Design Leaders Alumni. Fuzzy, sharp, or whimsical… you can feel the personality within each letter.

Future London Academy

DLX needed its identity to celebrate the diversity of design experience. It also desired a flexible and collaborative type system that could scale over time. One of the coolest aspects of the new system is that it changes year to year, with DLX alumni contributing a custom glyph upon graduation.

We love DLX Future because it could be the poster child for the type exuberance we showcased in our 2024 Typography Report: A Circus of Type.