The Dubai Font is history in typography. It is a Microsoft font created by and for a city, filling a design gap between Arabic and Latin texts, created in a collaborative effort between the Executive Council of Dubai, Microsoft and Lebanese designer and legibility expert Dr. Nadine Chahine.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, marked the official launch of Dubai Font at a media event at the new cultural hub of the city, the Dubai Opera, instantly reaching his 12 million plus followers on social media. The Dubai font story had to be told around the world and shared with more than 100 million users who can freely access and use the font.
A font is a form of expression and a work of art. So we turned the concept of the font on its head, urging the world to #ExpressYou. The strategy was simple yet compelling; a campaign crisp and impactful. It was everything the Dubai Font is.
#ExpressYou was designed to encourage self-expression and promote reading and creativity – values that the city, a melting pot of cultures, heritage and modernity, promotes.
We worked with global marketing communications agency Y&R Dubai and global digital agency Mirum. A Snapchat filter and official social pages lent social media traction. An official film was released, and giant alphabet installations were installed around the city’s thoroughfares and iconic attractions, all to drive attention and encourage a historic welcome for the historic font.
#ExpressYou trended internationally on Twitter and Instagram, and several dailies and magazines immediately adopted Dubai Font for entire commemorative spreads. The campaign recorded a total reach of over 194 million with perceived ad value of over US$6.75 million.
#ExpressYou recorded 44.42 million impressions in English and 94.48 million in Arabic; #DubaiFont gained 97.09 million impressions in English and 119.54 million in Arabic.
Nadine Chahine, who designed the font, said she sought to capture the essence of Dubai and its vision to become the quintessential modern Arab city”. #ExpressYou helped Dubai celebrate it.