Ads via The Deck
Nameplate set in Beausite. Your typeface could be next. Learn more.

Font Sells Ice Cream, Ice Cream Sells Font

Typographica  on June 17, 2005

Oxtail font in ice cream adFor a type designer, the release of a font is a very heady moment. After hundreds of hours of work, carefully fine-tuning each curve and kern, he releases his baby into the wild, to be grabbed and used by graphic designers at any skill level. At that moment, he relinquishes all control of his creation. It will be stretched, squashed, beveled, mechanically obliqued, and adorned with ill-advised strokes, filters, and drop shadows. It will likely be used to advertise products or ideas the type designer deplores.

That’s why nothing can bring a type designer more joy, once his font is released, than to see it used well. Even more exciting is to see it used in ways he never expected.

I can imagine Stefan Hattenbach beaming with such joy last month when he saw his typeface on TV. With their delicious ads for Carte D’Or, McCann Erickson has made Stefan’s Oxtail the spokesfont for specialty ice cream. Concurrently, nothing could be a better promotion for the font itself. See one of the spots below — and more at Stefan’s foundry site, MAC Rhino.

Quicktime video — 3.3MB, 30 sec. — click on chocolatey image to play

See also: Hattenbach’s Rhino is Loose


  1. Stephen,

    Thanks a bunch for mention this story. And yes I’m very happy with the execution of course. Btw for those who wonder… the other film on my site, is to be found in the news section.


  2. Chris Rugen says:

    Wow, what a great spot. Type-centric and very, very well matched.

    I’m going to go eat chocolate ice cream and flip through specimen books now. Nice type, Stefan.

  3. kc! says:

    What Macintosh applications would be best used to create stunning motion-graphics Type-treatments like that? I am working on a a project that requires some elegant, subtle movement and precise placement of text in conjuction with music and video and I can’t seem to find a sophisticated solution.

    ANy ideas?

  4. Chris Rugen says:

    I used to use Adobe After Effects for that kind of thing. Not sure if it’s still the standard (it’s been about 4 years since I did any kinetic type).

  5. gassit says:


    I think that Motion might be what you are looking for.

  6. kc! says:

    I have a feeling that both of those programs are probably similarly great! Thank you. I have tried After Effects (both v3 and a demo 6.5) and although I am an Adobe-junkie, cannot seem to figure out how to use it. Therefore, I am going to try and find a demo copy of Motion and try my luck at that.

    Thanks. Any other suggestions would be great… oh, and I forgot to comment: Oxtail is a WONDERFULLY delicious typeface, BTW.

  7. Zach Fine says:

    There’s a trial version of Motion available for download here:

    The app works best with a very high-end graphics card, as it really works that GPU. It doesn’t hurt to have a fast CPU and lots of RAM either.


Post a Comment

Comments at Typographica are moderated and copyedited, just like a “Letter to the Editor” in a newspaper. Abusive or off-topic comments will not be published. Compliments are appreciated, but will not be published unless they add to the conversation. Thank you!

Recently Commented

Typographica is a review of typefaces and type books, with occasional commentary on fonts and typographic design. Edited by Stephen Coles with Caren Litherland and designed by Chris Hamamoto. Founded in 2002 by Joshua Lurie-Terrell. Relaunched in 2009 by Coles and Hamamoto.

Set in Bureau Grot by Font Bureau, Nocturno Display by Nikola Djurek, Fern (unreleased) by David Jonathan Ross, and JAF Bernini Sans by Tim Ahrens.

Brought to you by this month’s nameplate sponsor, Fontspring, MyFonts, FontFont, Wordpress, Fused, and the letter B. Read our editorial policy.