21. September 2020

We have to experiment, push each other, and take some risks.

Through letters, Monotype's Senior of Brand James Fooks-Bale finds creative ways to carve out the core values of global brands. At the ADC Creativity Summit he will explain "how type is adapting to the new normal". In our Interview he reflects on our motto "Attitude matters" – and tells us what he learned from his time with legendary fashion designer Alexander McQueen.

„Attitude matters“ – that is our our motto at the ADC Creativity Summit. What attitude would you like to see more in the world?

The world is a noisy place right now and people are more aware than ever. Consciousness has moved up the agenda, and our purpose has accelerated – as people and as brands. Right now we have a moment to contribute to positive change and how we’d like the world to be: to express ourselves, to be ourselves, to create, to listen, to collaborate for the greater good, and to action.

How is attitude transported through typography?

Our aim at Monotype is to define brand expression. When we read information, letter forms subliminally convey a message, a personality, an aroma, a brand. Our subconscious relates certain letter forms to themes or ideas. Done right, type design coupled with great typography can reflect brand values, push them further, cut through the noise, and stick in the minds of readers subconscious. The attitude, character and at times sheer bravery of type keeps the brand world turning.


 Letter forms subliminally convey a message, a personality, an aroma, a brand.


Throughout your career you have worked for fashion brands known for their eagerness to experiment. Is courage an attitude worth taking risks for?

Definitely! At one point I was lucky enough to work for the late Lee Alexander McQueen. McQueen was in the business of selling dreams, taking you to a place, not products. We live in a noisy world, bombarded with options and opinions. To cut through that we have to experiment, push each other, and take some risks. The seasonality, curiosity for what’s coming next, the delight and surprise, the provocation, the craft in the details, the energy and tension, and the courage are embedded into the people who helps to make great projects a reality.


James Fooks-Bale wird am 24. September beim ADC Creativity Summit im Rahmen der DMEXCO @home auftreten. Das vollständige Line-Up und alle Infos zu den ermäßigten ADC Tickets findet ihr hier. Gemeinsam mit Monotype bieten wir außerdem das kostenlose ADC Insight „Talking type (in the new normal)“ an. 

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