The Porsche fonts – timeless graphical dynamism
The Porsche graphic identity has from the very beginning been characterised almost continuously by a sans serif font.
When Porsche started to present the company in graphical form in posters and advertising at the start of the 1950s, Erich Strenger became a key figure. The graphic designer from Stuttgart worked for the company as a freelance artist from autumn 1951 until the 1980s and later also as the owner of an advertising agency. His work not only set the style for the external image of the fledgling sports car manufacturer, but also shaped the visual identity of the Porsche brand over several years. Alongside posters, sales catalogues and instruction manuals, he designed the entire spectrum of Porsche’s printed materials and alongside this was also heavily involved in designing the timeless Porsche font.
For decades, the sans serif font (without strokes across the ends of the lines that form a letter) that Strenger introduced characterised the company’s publications. Simple yet concise and expressive, like the lettering of the brand name. A serif font was not used in Porsche advertising until the start of the 1980s. This was intended to visually strengthen the positive Porsche feel in advertisements and sales brochures alike. This change was short-lived, however, and the company returned to the familiar sans serif font from autumn 1980.
In 1990, Porsche commissioned the renowned graphic designer and typographer Kurt Weidemann to rework the Porsche fonts. He carefully made small corrections, for example by reducing the thickness of some of the lines and the heights and widths of individual letters. The font was made easier to read, in particular on moving objects.
In 2016, the Berlin-based agency Meta-Design developed a new corporate design for Porsche that also included a further development of the font: ‘Porsche Next’ replaced the previously used ‘Porsche Franklin Gothic’ font in the autumn of 2017. The new font is tailored to print media, online uses, displays and lettering on cars. Its clarity and dynamism also symbolise Porsche’s entry into the digital age.