Sandoll Slab Serif

December 2018

Sandoll, the oldest and most renowned Korean type foundry, asked us to help improve their market position and relationships with global customers by creating a small font family for a range of media.

Sandoll slab serif custom font korean type foundry

Sandoll Slab Light used for body text.

Sandoll korean foundry type

Some promotional stickers and cards.

concept & brief

The internal Sandoll team explored several design directions in tune with their defined keywords: living stone, building, friendly, approachable, and connected. Inspiration was derived from stone carving, flowing curves, architecture, and, in particular, the Sandoll headquarters building with the aesthetic of open-faced bricks and steps of wood cladding. Sandoll then turned to TypeTogether and commissioned the development of two text styles and one headline font, using Sandoll’s sketches as a base.

One of the first steps was to define the function of the three fonts. The Semibold would be used as the principal corporate typeface for Sandoll and its logotype: for highlights, subtitles and decks, body copy in small quantities, and short sentences at intermediate sizes.

The Light would be used mainly for body copy and for short sentences at intermediate sizes to be applied in all printed material and digital devices. Both weights needed to share the same visual language and features.

The Headline would be an additional font style with eye-catching appeal. It would be used for headlines in advertising, promotional material, websites, and any other situations where highlighted texts are needed. It was also decided that it should harmonise with the rest of the family.

Sandoll slab serif font headline

The three styles: Sandoll Slab Light & Semibold, and Sandoll Headline.


The new corporate typeface was also intended to form the new Sandoll logo. Therefore it was decided to start with the Semibold and analyse Sandoll’s basic sketches first. The general design direction was pretty much set: the type family needed to be a low-contrast slab serif.

Two initial proposals were developed working with just a small set of letters, “videospan”. These letters are key characters that define the DNA of the typeface, the proportions, design details, serifs, terminals, contrast, etc. Once these essential decisions have been finalised, the character set can be more easily expanded.

Apart from general changes such as improving the drawing quality, curve tension, letter proportions, contrast, and spacing, some recognisable design details were developed. The first version refined the serif structure to be more appropriate for a text typeface, more pleasing and fluid. The terminals on ‘a’ and ‘s’ were changed to provide a more open feel, add more interesting features and better counter space for reading, and to add an outstroke on the baseline to give the typeface increased recognisability.


The other suggestion kept the serifs closer to the original design, but modified them to feel appropriate for Latin reading and kept the serif-like terminals. The overall impression is stiffer than the other design and therefore possibly a good starting point for the headline font. This ended up being a more difficult process than expected. For the sake of exploration, and because Sandoll’s supplied aesthetic had to be outlined more clearly, many different ideas and proposals were offered, discussed, and winnowed.

With time and more focused exploration regarding how Sandoll expected to use the headline font, a design path was shaped that resulted in a striking design with very recognisable cuts. The stem width, low contrast, modulation, and overall letter construction is now equal to the Text Semibold, but the serifs and terminals gained a geometric, constructed shape that aligns with the architectural nature of the initial brief.


Comparison between Sandoll Slab Semibold and Sandoll Headline.

in use

For the international typography conference ATypI, the Sandoll design team prepared an array of beautiful promotional materials, including tote bags with different designs using single letters, stickers with their tagline “We build fonts”, little handbooks and specimens, wishing cards, and much more.

With their new branding, Sandoll continues its postion as the leader in Korean type design. We are honoured to have partnered with them to create the three-weight custom type family that brings their values and strengths into the very words their customers read.

Sandoll Atypi stand korean font slab

sandoll website cloud

About Us

TypeTogether is an indie type foundry committed to excellence in type design with a focus on editorial use. Additionally, TypeTogether creates custom type design for corporate use. We invite you to browse our library of retail fonts or contact us to discuss custom type design projects.