The History of Fonts: VAG Rounded
02 Sep 2015

Seeing as how we're releasing some new fonts that can be used for our custom textlaces we thought we could tell you a little bit about where one of these new fonts came from, specifically one of our favorites VAG Rounded!

It began in the early 1970’s when Volkswagen and Audi (both owned by Volkswagen AG) merged the companies, they had to begin to rethink their branding strategy which involved creating a new distinct typeface, at the time Volkswagen was using the futura font for their branding whereas Audi was using Times, it was decided that the newly developed font was not going to be as angular as futura or have the serif of Times.
The original idea was conceived by the creative director Wolf Rogosky and art director Gerd Hiepler who over the next several years refined the concept until the original typeface was rendered by hand and later perfected by a PDP-8 computer. In 1978 the entire Volkswagen and Audi dealership organization worldwide was entirely rebranded as V.A.G and specifically used VAG rounded for all their signage and headings in their advertisements.

The main problem V.A.G then faced was worldwide availability of the font, this was solved by putting the typeface into the public domain and when desktop publishing became more common in the 1980’s VAG rounded was included in most font packages that were made available to the public.

The meaning behind the “VAG”  in VAG rounded has never actually been officially released, the most popular opinions seem to be that it means "Volkswagen AG" (although the official name of the company during this time was "Volkswagenwerk AG")  others think it means "Volkswagen Audi Group."It was however revealed that the name is intentionally ambiguous in order to avoid rewriting dealer contracts as a legal consequence of the holding company's name change.
Although even with that revelation it's been found that in cars that from the era of V.A.G is that many parts on Volkswagen Group vehicles - regardless of brand - are still stamped with the logos from Volkswagen and Audi which suggests that the former argument of V.A.G standing for "Volkswagen Audi Group" is in fact true.

Since its creation VAG rounded has become increasingly popular with small and large companies alike as it is thought to lend a modern friendliness to what might otherwise be a cold trademark. Companies that have been frequently using the font include T-mobile and Apple, who have been using the typeface on the keyboards for their notebook computers since 1999, and on their desktop keyboards since August 2007. Using a mac? Look down to see VAG Rounded in use!

VAG rounded-Apple

So there you have it! A font that was originally used for for car advertisements has become one of the most popular fonts across many industries.
Did we miss something? Got a favorite font of your own? Let us know all about it in the comments section and don't forget to check out the new usable fonts that you can use for our custom textlaces!

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