Saab Oz ignore the font

You may well think I’m being overly picky here, but there’s a lot of stuff that goes into building a brand.

I’ve got a beautiful metal-covered book downstairs at home called “The Saab Brand” that details just how much effort goes into the way customers experience their encounters with Saab. The look and feel surrounding the Saab brand doesn’t happen by accident. Heck, there’s even directions from Saab of Sweden as to how cars are supposed to be parked in showrooms (90 degree angles only please).

One of the things that’s been Saab through and through for a long time now is the use of the Gill Sans font. That’s the font you see at the title graphic at the top of this website. It’s been used in Saab advertising for ages.

Saab Australia had an event last night in Sydney in order to launch the 20th Anniversary Convertible. I got a couple of photos through from the event at around midnight and sure enough, this was the first thing that caught my eye.


So how powerful is market branding etc?

As an Australian motoring enthusiast I recognised that font in about 0.01 of a second. Many of you other Aussies will know it as well.

It’s the font used in all of Holden’s advertising here in Australia (Holden are GM’s big brand here). There’s not so much of it on the frontpage of Holden’s website, but check this motorsports page and you’ll see it in effect. All their print ads use this as the headline font as well.


Saab Australia do a pretty decent job on minimal resources and I’m not trying to embarrass anyone here. Saab sales this year have taken a sharp upward trend and that’s primarily due to some hard work refining the model line and pricing. There’s been some great press coverage with the SportCombi and especially the V6 too. I don’t want to sound like I’m trying to detract from what has been a good year for Saab downunder, but a bit more attention to detail wouldn’t go astray.

There was a Saab microsite around last year called Maintain Your Identity. I’m just writing this in the hope that they do exactly that.


Oh, and apparently the event was a success, though I haven’t received much in detail on that.

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  1. Steven,

    Where did you get the metal-bound book “The Saab Brand”? I want a copy of it. Was it recently introduced?



  2. Thats the font!!! I’ve been searching for that font for many years. If it’s possible to send someone a font, will someone send it to me? Please?

  3. I made the “switch” last year from Windows to Mac and the Gill Sans font comes with it.

    I bought a Mac Mini (bottom of the line) and Gill Sans is included in the “Font Book”. If you have a Mac look to see if you have it already.

  4. And you’re quite right Steve. 1. it looks like crap, the front of an Astra and 2. It demontrates a complete lack of respect to SAAB owners and the brand as a whole.


  5. This is one of my pet peeves — it takes very little time and effort these days to select the proper graphic design — especially with respect to fonts.

    And, for all of you people out there still using Comic Sans for anything, STOP IT.

    This is as good a place to mention this as any — I don’t know if you’ve got this microsite listed in your list, but I saw that the South African Saab website popped up on a Yahoo! search earlier this week and I thought that this little 9-3 convertible piece was pretty good.

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