back to article IBM's next turnaround tool is ... a new open-source font?

IBM's decided the time is right for a new corporate font. The survivors of IBM's office consolidations and redundancy rounds have let it be known that come November 13th, Helvetica Neue will be off-brand within its rapidly-shrinking walls. The company's ever-smaller workforce will instead be asked to use a typeface named “ …

  1. Dave Bell

    The zipfile includes both serif and sans serif versions. It's worth grabbing

    I am not sure that I want to be mistaken for IBM, and I am not sure I like it all that much, but it's an alternative to the Microsoft fonts, and that's always something to think about.

    1. poohbear

      "The zipfile includes both serif and sans serif versions. It's worth grabbing"

      More importantly, also a MONO version... and all in a good range of weights. Even has a Bitcoin symbol.

      IBM scores some brownie points here.

  2. trevorde

    The *real* problem is they need to change the corporate colour to a different shade of blue to reflect their innovation and cloud focus.

    1. Korev Silver badge

      But isn't blue a cold colour? They could switch to a brown or orange to show the warmth and caring of the IBM brand

      1. Korev Silver badge

        I feel dirty after writing that last comment...

      2. spold Silver badge

        Big Brown - yes that brings things more up to date. As passed by Watson.

    2. kventin

      _different shade_?

      isn't that a bit harsh?

      (also: Big Aqua? Big Turquoise? Big Ultramarine at least sounds... grand?

      OTOH don't even mention Big Azure...)

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Maybe they can turn things around if they get just the right, hyper-intelligent shade of blue.

        Doffs hat (black fedora, once more) to the late, great Douglas Adams

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Tim99 Silver badge

          @Michael H.F. Wilkinson

          "if you're so clever, you tell us what colour it should be."

          Have an upvote, and a beer >>===============>

    3. TRT Silver badge

      Different shades

      50 shades of blue.

    4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      to a different shade of blue

      I suspect shading it to purple is the first step to changing it to the colour that most accurately reflects their cashflow status..

  3. TRT Silver badge


    It's not half bad. Pretty good I'd say. Who'd have thunk it?!

  4. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Maybe I got this wrong

    Maybe I keep getting it wrong when all these corporates make superficial changes to their businesses when things are tough. Maybe that's why I'm neither rich nor a businessman. But I always imagined that successful business meant finding or creating things that people want to buy, and selling it at a price they were willing and able to pay you.

    But what do I know?

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. El blissett

    Ah, the Nokia approach to disaster management.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Nokia disaster

      I'm not exactly sure... Yes the internal politics started the destruction of phone division from about 2003.

      Nokia managed to get MS to pay billions for something they wanted rid of, without parting with name or IP.

      IBM started as a kind of IT service company / data processing in Victorian era as Hollerith.

      Nokia have done paper, welly boots, set-top boxes, TVs, desktop computers. They even tried to make a portable game console and phone combined. It was a surprise when they got in to phones. Nokia still exists, took over Motorola and Siemens Mobile & Communication infrastructure companies. Still in retail via Withings. Got settlement from Apple for infringement and has licensed badge for phones.

      IBM PC was an unexpected success for IBM. They sold it, thinkpads and then x86 servers to Lenovo. They are back selling IT services (which is really what they did in mainframe era).

      I can't see IBM re-inventing themselves like Nokia (never versus five times?).

      Interesting coincidence that both released fonts.

      1. davidp231

        Re: Nokia disaster

        "Interesting coincidence that both released fonts."

        And both use blue as the corporate colour.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      @El blissett

      Ah, the Nokia approach to disaster management.

      For a moment there I thought Stephen Elop had joined IBM. I see he's at Telstra

  7. adam payne Silver badge

    When in doubt about the future of your business change your corporate font because that always helps.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Somewhere in a cold, dark castle

      Ginni: Watson, Watson on the wall, where can I find a way to increase revenues

      Watson: we've talked about this Ginni, you need to go...

      Ginni: that's it!!! A new font will make everyone realise how important we are

      Watson: what? You want to increase revenue with a new font? It used to be a multi-billion dollar company

      Ginni: and the font will be free to show the world we are still relevant.

      Ginni: why is it getting dark?

      Watson: it appears that you're disappearing into your own body cavity

      Ginni: then you're coming with me!

      Watson: the whole company is going with you. Unfortunately....

      Ginni: is this the cloud?

      Watson: it can't be BlueMix, not enough crap....

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Somewhere in a cold, dark castle


        Ginni: is this the cloud?

        Get me a Helicopter to go and visit the cloud

  8. handleoclast

    They're almost certainly screwed

    That really is the end of IBM. They're banking on marketing to turn around the business. Rather than sell products and services that aren't shit, they;'re using marketing to try to convince people that the shit isn't really shit.

    That approach never ends well (although it may take a long time to play out). And it's almost certainly irreversible, because once you're at the stage where manglement adopts magical thinking it's almost a certainty that they'll be unable to figure out how fucking stupid it is. Ask Marissa (she'll tell you that it works, because she got a golden parachute out of it).

    Time to short IBM, if you have any stock.

  9. Androgynous Cow Herd

    One pet peeve...

    What is being discussed here is a typeface, not a "Font"

    "Font" is a subset of a typeface.

  10. ma1010 Silver badge

    Look for the patent troll phase next

    Declining corporations follow a pattern. IBM is in the massive "restructuring" (downsizing) phase now that all the engineers who made the company great have retired or been fired to make room for (cheaper) "new blood." What's left is mainly the marketing droids that agonize over what font to use, the right color for a wheel and explore the potential market for nasally applied fire. The next phase will likely be patent troll followed by eventual extinction. John Watson is no doubt spinning in his grave.

  11. abubasim
    Thumb Down

    Quick and Dirty

    The monospaced fonts are poorly hinted - look like crap if you use them with your favourite terminal emulator.

  12. Daniel von Asmuth

    The new ugly

    On the upside, Big Blue has released a significant range of varieties (sans, serif, monospace) and weights, but the range of symbols (Roman alphabet only) needs more work.

    At first sight, it resembles other fonts from about 50 years ago, but the 'I' and 'J' glyphs are oddities. You can probably identify this font from the right angles in the bends of 'f', 'f', and 'l'. The line width varies where lines join. The slab serifs are too heavy.

  13. FozzyBear
    IT Angle

    Well what else could they do? They couldn't change their logo an empty green rectangle was already taken

  14. Oengus Silver badge

    Simple reason for this...

    The branding department were next to face the axe in the IBM down-sizing so needed to do something to justify their retention. This ploy means the next department in line will face the axe instead.

  15. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    This is bringing back a memory, pretty sure we were previously directed to use a certain font during my tenure at IBM,... I know I never did, and nobody ever picked me up on it.

    Think it was around the time 'Privileged Users' had to give up their Windows laptops for Linux ones,.... and I just couldn't be *rsed to find out how to install the font on Linux, assuming it was even available.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A rather pathetic announcement at a time where so much that really matters is being changed at IBM, which is going to affect the relationship between IBM and the customer forever. Do they really believe this is truly relevant at a time when they have real problems across so much of the business?

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