Cross platform consistency for Grazia

In fashion, change is inevitable and standing apart is mandatory. As the online extension of one of France’s most popular weeklies, Grazia.fr keeps readers up to date on the latest news and trends in French culture and fashion. Taking advantage of Monotype web fonts, Grazia bridged the branding gap between the online edition and print magazine, while keeping faithful readers enchanted.

To better align Grazia.fr with its famous print counterpart, and to improve the site’s functionality in areas such as search engine optimization and accessibility, Grazia.fr looked to Monotype for a design solution. The site’s revamp was spearheaded by Jérémie Clevy, Head of Digital for Grazia.fr, who says, “While crafting a more compelling user experience for visitors, it was critical that we neither over-complicate things nor lost sight of their needs. With readers looking at Grazia.fr as an extension of the magazine, it needed to look beautiful and be entirely functional on a range of mobile devices. We had to ensure they would be able to have a positive experience regardless of the platform they were using, while all the time adhering to our brand guidelines.”

Bolstered by a team of strong writers that delivers up to 10 new articles every day, Grazia.fr provides its audience of 18–45 year olds with a daily fix of fashion, beauty, culture, and politics. The website, founded in 2009, attracts up to 750,000 unique users per month. When committing to a typeface overhaul Grazia.fr had its advertisers to consider too; the magazine is a major channel for luxury advertisers in France.

Monotype determined that the Gill Sans® typeface most closely matched the print magazine’s typeface and, to create a consistent visual language, chose this for Grazia.fr. The Gill Sans design was developed for Monotype between 1927 and 1930 by Eric Gill, also responsible for developing the Perpetua® typeface and the Joanna® typeface, among others. Originally created by Gill for use on a fascia board – a sign to be affixed above a bookshop – this influential design is often described as ‘the Helvetica of England’, and follows principles established by typographic forefather Edward Johnston. The first sans serif of its kind to be broadly distributed, the Gill Sans typeface is being put to use by Grazia.fr in ways that Eric Gill certainly never imagined – to enumerate the 50 most essential beach vacation accessories, for instance, or to explore a Victoria Secret model’s definition of sexy.

The use of web fonts has been critical in helping us develop a seamless brand journey and digital user experience.

Using web fonts proved to be the key to overcoming the consistency issues between Grazia’s online portal and its print magazine. Praise for the site-wide revamp was punctuated by “ooh la las,” both from users and those on staff; but perhaps more importantly, web fonts have saved design time iterating through to different devices versus rendering text in static images. “Creating a more chic, contemporary look and feel to Grazia.fr was essential, and the use of web fonts has been critical in helping us develop a seamless brand journey and digital user experience,” says Clevy. Overall, Grazia.fr’s partnership with Monotype has unified its content, making it more dynamic, searchable, accessible, and attractive.

Says Clevy, “We are delighted with the result and the transformation that web fonts have enabled. It’s also really helped to boost our searchability. We are looking forward to exploring other possibilities with Monotype as we continue to find ways to expand the reach of the websites in our group.”