The „A.R.E.A.L.“ was originally developed for the US intelligence agencies as a typeface for classified documents. The prevailing sentiment at the CIA was that the top-secret stamp had become cliché and outlived its usefulness, except perhaps in movies. In real life, it was said, the constant stamping was too time consuming (because most everything is classified at the Agency). What is more, it produced significant noise pollution. The project ran aground, however, due to an employee survey. It showed that the top-secret stamp was thought to be a great addition to desks, one that no one wanted to miss.
Fortunately, however, this typeface featured exactly the characteristics that BIV & HI sought for the signage project at the Toni-Areal building complex in Zurich: Slim uppercase letters with a vertical feel—that do not create the appearance of being condensed—and a strong, distinctive character in the formulation of letters. Starting from this hefty design, Binnenland have developed the "Areal BL" font family.
This typeface is particularly suitable for thank-you letters to distant relatives: conscientious, unequivocal, and down to earth, but with a personal touch.
Design Partnership Bivgrafik, Visuelle Gestaltung, Zurich and Hi – Visuelle Gestaltung, Lucerne, Claudio Barandun in collaboration with Binnenland, Bern, 2013