This is the logotype/logo on Perth’s new District Court building.

It struck me as an odd and somewhat jarring choice. Was it made on the basis of fashion, in a not-quite-thought-through attempt to create a more contemporary feel?

It is certainly a very ‘modern’ display face – a typeface that is more stylised and graphical so as to be clearly not a serif or san-serif face. The dangers with such a choice are twofold: display faces are very fashion-dependant and usually dates incredibly quickly; and its very newness (unfamiliarity) may project a sense of unproven-ness and instability. The broken letterforms further project a sense of fractiousness and lack of cohesion. None of these qualities are particularly sensitive to a government institution – especially an important cornerstone institution like a court of law.

Suggestion: stick with a more classic serif or san-serif face; a contemporary variation even. But not a try-hard display face. This is not a nightclub!