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Fontsmith launches FS Silas, ‘The enigmatic type’.

FS Silas is the newest typeface family to be launched by leading boutique type foundry Fontsmith.

It has been created in both Sans Serif and Slab Serif forms, and each version is available in 5 weights with accompanying italics.

The central aim behind FS Silas was to create a versatile typographic toolkit. One that would enable brands to communicate with different voices, but as part of a unified design language.

The various weights and styles are capable of displaying a wide range of personality traits, from elegant Thins to powerful ExtraBolds and enthusiastic Italics. The Sans and the Slab are true siblings, in the sense that they are drawn from the same origins, but display very different characters.

FS Silas initially appears quite unassuming, as it goes about its work with a quiet industry. But on closer inspection, you begin to understand that there is more going on. Both versions make subtle use of varying angles across their respective character sets, giving copy a distinctive energy that compels the reader on.

It was these hidden depths and subtle nuances that caused FS Silas to become known as ‘The enigmatic type’.

Fontsmith’s design director Phil Garnham said:
“We stuck with the angular theme of the sans by drawing angled slab serifs, as opposed to the square serifs that slab fonts usually have. That created an inner dynamism in words and sentences on the page, and a very distinctive, crafted character, like a Victorian soul in a contemporary body.”

To launch FS Silas, Fontsmith once again turned to Believe in®, who had previously created the launch campaign for FS Emeric.

As Believe in® started working with the typeface, its character slowly revealed itself. There is a real craft in its construction, without ever feeling like its trying too hard or showing off. It feels contemporary and classic at the same time, and to the team it brought to mind a host of cultural references including film noir, Scandinavian TV dramas and classic cold war espionage.

The first task was to give the new typeface a name, one that would reflect its utilitarian sensibilities, crafted nature and hidden depths. From an initial shortlist Silas was chosen, a popular Scandinavian name with a folksy feel (it derives from Sylvanus, the Roman god of trees), and a mysterious quality (Silas was the main antagonist, an albino monk, in The Da Vinci Code).

At the heart of the launch campaign is the printed type specimen. Believe in’s creative director Blair Thomson was drawn to classic type specimens from the 50s and 60s, but wanted to inject depth and intrigue, to match the typeface’s personality.

The type specimen weaves themes of espionage into the form of a secret dossier, combining different paper stocks and page sizes into the finished piece. It is kept intentionally pure, the artwork consists only of type, printed in black ink throughout, save for a white foil on the Manila cover and enclosing folder.

Blair Thomson said:
“To succeed, the type specimen needed to strike a delicate balance, as we wanted it to feel honest without revealing its secrets. The document is utilitarian, with content that demonstrates the typeface’s capabilities. But we also wanted to entertain and reward readers for their time. And we didn’t want it to feel like a parody.”

Content is drawn from a wide range of sources, and provides a glimpse into a clandestine world, using codes, ciphers, intercepted radio transmissions, stories and secret service terminology.

The type specimen is focused on the physical act of holding and reading ink on paper. Since so much of Fontsmith’s work lives in digital and broadcast media, Believe in® wanted to create a digital element that would transpose the campaign idea online.

One of the key sources that featured in the campaign was shortwave “Number Stations”, used by intelligence agencies to transmit secret messages in various languages, with male and female voices repeating strings of numbers or phonetic letters. These appear in the type specimen, and were also used in four short teaser videos that emerged during the build up to the launch.

The videos were developed by The Space Between, a new creative collective with Matt Rudd (of Rudd Studio) and Steve Jones at the helm. Each video was designed to feel like an intercepted message, revealing an element of the overall story.

Matt Rudd said:
“Believe in supplied a great starting point using the visual and verbal language of espionage as a metaphor for the hidden qualities in FS Silas.

“Working in Adobe Flash Builder and After Effects, we created energetic sequences that showcased the different weights and styles of FS Silas. These were edited to a click track, using a chevron motif and a recurring yellow block to draw things together.”

Steve Jones added:

“The evocative soundtrack combines recordings of shortwave Number Stations with noise grooves from a vintage Roland SH-101 and other synth sources and effects. The project was quite a challenge, but a lot of fun. Working with source material as inspiring as a new Fontsmith font was a joy.”

As a special introductory offer, customers who buy either of the FS Silas families (Sans or Slab) will be offered the chance to purchase its sibling for half price.


Images are available to download in high and
web resolution via the following links:

High resolution

Web resolution

Larger files are available on request.

4 x 15 second teaser videos edited together as one video, available for download or online via the following links:




Typeface ‘FS Silas’ designed by Fontsmith

Launch campaign developed by Believe in®

Teaser videos by The Space Between

Booklet printed by CPI Colour

Background information

About Fontsmith

Fontsmith is a leading boutique type foundry, famous for creating fonts that are distinctively human and full of character. Founded in 1997 by Jason Smith, today Fontsmith represents a truly international team of designers working from a London studio.

The Fontsmith library includes an extensive collection of typefaces – elegant and traditional, contemporary and quirky – suitable for a range of applications. In addition, the team designs and creates bespoke typefaces for global brands, design and advertising agencies through their new Brandfont® service.

About Believe in®

Believe in® is a brand design studio united by a passion for the designer’s craft and the power of a simple story well told. They develop intelligent and meaningful work to help organisations make effective use of creativity. The company was founded in 1996 by creative director Blair Thomson, and is based in Exeter, South West England.

For more information, please contact:

Jason Smith

Creative Director



Tel: +44 (0) 20 7490 9380

Helen Buckhurst
Campaign Manager



Tel: +44 (0) 20 7490 9380

Tim Burley
Strategic Director

Believe in®


Tel: +44 (0) 1392 453000


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Swyx offers free guide to help SMEs understand the benefits of cloud-based unified communications

London – 10th June 2015 – Swyx Solutions, a manufacturer of UC (Unified Communications) software specifically designed for small to medium sized businesses, has produced a new jargon-free and non-technical whitepaper. It aims to help senior managers such as owner operators or FDs to quickly grasp exactly what cloud-based UC is and the commercial benefits it will deliver for their particular type of organisation.

Harald Bender, Vice President Marketing at Swyx, commented, “Although there is plenty of discussions around Cloud there is still some confusion over the advantages it can offer the average SME and whether it is right for everyone. This informative guide explains how Cloud works but also more closely explores how organisations can benefit from cloud-based unified communications and draws comparisons with an on-premise solution.”

Entitled, “How SMEs can benefit from cloud-based unified communications”, the booklet is invaluable reading for start-ups and growing companies that:

• are investing in communications infrastructure for the first time

• are already considering upgrading their on-premise phone system and who are assessing whether cloud is the best way forward

• are already with a UC system but looking to switch to a hosted model
• Simply want to discover how the introduction of new technology can help them to communicate more effectively and also reduce costs.

In particular, the guide covers sections on:

– Understanding the Cloud

– Cloud-based Unified Communications explained

– Key business applications & benefits

– Which organisations will benefit?

– Measuring the return on your investment

– Cloud versus Premise-based UC

To download your free copy please visit

About Swyx

Swyx your business.

Swyx operates as a pan-European market leader via two-tier distribution and over 1,000 authorised partners: the Dortmund based company with dedicated offices in the UK and France sells not only software solutions in six languages, but also has a range of suitable phones and other hardware devices in its product portfolio. Swyx’s award-winning unified communications provides not only in-house (CPE) solutions, but also cloud-based variants with well-known partners: Europe already has 500,000 users that rely on Swyx, of which around 10 percent have chosen to use a cloud-based solution. The company currently employs more than 120 staff who are responsible for continually improving the SwyxWare solution for the communication requirements of today and in the future. For further information, see

Press contact: Jane Moores/Sally Minchin,
TTA Communications Ltd,
Tel: + 44 (0) 1225 580214
email: /


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China’s economy to pick up in second half: central bank economists

An employee watches as steel bars are lifted by a crane at a steel factory of Dongbei Special Steel Group in Dalian, Liaoning provinceEconomists at China's central bank have sharply lowered their 2015 inflation forecast even as they predicted that stabilizing Chinese home prices and firmer foreign demand will drive a pick-up in the world's second-biggest economy in the next six months. In a report posted on the central bank's website on Tuesday, economists at the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said they had cut their 2015 inflation forecast for China to 1.4 percent, from an initial 2.2 percent. The report, which said the estimates represented the view of the analysts and not that of the PBOC, contained other downward revisions to forecasts that underscored headwinds being faced by the slowing Chinese economy.

Alibaba’s Ma, visiting New York, says not in America to compete

Jack Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group addresses the Economic Club of New YorkChinese e-commerce titan Alibaba Group Holding Ltd does not want to fight for U.S. market share but instead hopes to help small U.S. businesses sell more goods in China, Executive Chairman Jack Ma said. Ma is visiting the United States this week to explain Alibaba's global strategy and to "help dispel misconceptions" about the company, spokesman Greg Jenkins said in an email. "We're not coming here to compete," Ma told the Economic Club of New York on Tuesday.