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Together with Nouvelle étiquette, a French graphic design studio, we designed a series of custom typefaces for the visual identity and signage system of the Saint-Étienne of Metz cathedral, a magical Gothic cathedral in France that turned 800 years old in 2020.
The celebration of the 800th anniversary of this unique Gothic cathedral, which has the largest stained glass window area among European cathedrals (and which includes the famous vitraux by Marc Chagall), led to a public competition in France that was finally awarded to Nouvelle étiquette. In turn Nouvelle étiquette had invited PampaType to join the project to design the custom fonts to be used in the information and signage systems, as well as for the visual identity of the cathedral.
Thus, the first font we designed is Cathédrale Lumière, a titling, all-caps font conceived to be used in phrases of the spiritual path within the building, phrases that are light-projected on the walls of the cathedral using a series of gobo projectors specially installed on site. In terms of style, the Lumière font is an attempt to integrate the incredible richness of medieval scriptural traditions.
Secondly, we designed Cathédrale Métal conceived for the informative texts engraved on several steel panels installed throughout the building. This subfamily includes three weights (Régulier, Gras, Noire) in both Roman and cursive styles, and its anatomy discreetly evokes the density and texture of text in Gothic script: somewhat compact, slightly angular and with short ascenders and descenders that allow for reduced interlinear spacing.
Finally, the theatrical medieval characters, monsters and chimeras that appear in the sculpted decoration throughout the building, inspired a third style: Cathédrale Enluminée, a set of carefully hand-drawn illuminated letters to be used as initials on publications and special occasions.
Read all about this project in the blog article written by Francis Ramel.
Type design by Francis Ramel, Julie Luzoir and Alejandro Lo Celso. Overall project managed by Nouvelle Etiquette, Metz.
French Ministry of Culture
Cathédrale Métal Régulier (romain & cursive)
Cathédrale Métal Gras (romain & cursive)
Cathédrale Métal Noir (romain & cursive)
Cathédrale Enluminée (monochrome & bicolore)
Photos by Romain Gamba, Nouvelle Étiquette, Francis Ramel and Alejandro Lo Celso.
The Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, an institution with a history of four centuries, commissioned us the design of a new typeface to address their multiple visual communication needs.
In order to celebrate the centenary of the University Reform, occurred in this house in 1918, the UNC hired us to create a bespoke type design. The new family had to convey, on one hand, the intellectual heritage of an institution of four hundred years, multifaceted protagonist in the history of the continent, and on the other the spirit of public education in nowadays’ Argentina, identified with values such as democracy, colective knowledge, horizontal exchange, equal opportunities.
The resulting design named ‘Reforma’ is a multistyle typeface composed of three subfamilies: Reforma 1918, Reforma 1969, and Reforma 2018. In respect to stroke modulation and overall anatomy, Reforma 1918 is the classic version, Reforma 2018 is the modern sanserif, and Reforma 1969 is an intermediate hybrid combining the virtues of the former two. All three styles behave finely in a wide range of bodies from display to immersive text.
Following the policy of national education in Argentina, open, inclusive, and free, the typeface Reforma commissioned by the UNC is freely available as libre fonts.
Designed by: Alejandro Lo Celso
Post-produced by Guido Ferreyra
Universidad Nacional de Córdoba
Reforma 1918 Blanca & Blanca Itálica
Reforma 1918 Gris & Gris Itálica
Reforma 1918 Negra & Negra Itálica
Reforma 1969 Blanca & Blanca Itálica
Reforma 1969 Gris & Gris Itálica
Reforma 1969 Negra & Negra Itálica
Reforma 2018 Blanca & Blanca Itálica
Reforma 2018 Gris & Gris Itálica
Reforma 2018 Negra & Negra Itálica
Reforma 2018 UltraNegra & UN Itálica
Tipos Latinos International biennial, 2018
A Typographica favourite of 2018
A well reputed art school in México commissioned us the creation of a new typeface to launch their new visual program.
UNARTE is a renown art & design school in Puebla that takes seriously its visual identity. They commissioned us the design of a new type that could match their thoughtful ideas and daily engagement in education and creativity.
We forced ourselves to find a geometric design, we thought it could better match the dna of a contemporary art school. However we didn't want a cold, spiritless geometry, but strong shapes defined by delicate curves.
The type system includes a series of icons specially designed to replace the letter A in unArte at diverse occasions. So these icons can be used to reflect in a relaxed manner specific messages needed at school. The design process benefitted from a rich communication with the school board, a rewarding experience.
Designed by Alejandro Lo Celso
Programmed by Iván Moreno
Unarte, universidad del arte (Puebla, México)
unArte Logo Blanca, unArte Logo Gris, unArte Logo Negra, unArte Texto Blanca, unArte Texto Blanca Itálica, unArte Texto Gris, unArte Texto Gris Itálica, unArte Texto Negra, unArte Texto Negra Itálica
Invited by the design studio Enigma, we created a new typeface for IMPI, the Mexican institute for the industrial property.
In 2014 the Mexican studio Enigma invited us to collaborate in the creation of a new typeface for IMPI, Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial, the national office for industrial patents regulation.
We designed a system of five interrelated fonts, in response to the diverse needs of the institution, such as display ephemera, extensive documents, instructional material, and the like. We also created a micro version to be used at legal copy and security applications. All fonts include all kinds of figures, editorial & diacritical marks, currencies, math glyphs, and all.
This typeface was awarded the ‘a! diseño’ prize 2014, a significant award in México.
Designed by Isaías Loaiza and Alejandro Lo Celso (a project of the design studio Enigma)
Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial (IMPI)
IMPI Display, IMPI Texto Regular, IMPI Texto Itálica, IMPI Texto Negra, IMPI Micro
Prize “a! diseño”, Mexico 2014
Developed at the École Supérieure d'Art de Lorraine in Metz, France, Messine is a typeface created for the school's own visual communication, and an academic project within the school.
This project took the form of visiting workshops at the ESAL during 9 years, involving several generations of students as well as diverse achievements in type design. Under our guidance, these students co-created the Messine typeface, the family used at school for all its communication needs.
A first workshop organized by Jérôme Knebusch (artist, typographer, and teacher at the ESAL), took place in 2010. We gave birth to a titling font: Messine Titrage. Throughout an exploration of styles both in calligraphic & type design practice, the students decided that Messine should wear neoclassical clothes, not far from a Baskervillian style, though with a contemporary feel. The resulting type has being used for the headlines of Le Salon, a yearly, refined school publication.
Messine Titrage actually won two honors: It was prized at a student type design competition hold by the Fine Press Book Association (USA), and it was selected for Ampersand, the first student type design exhibit made in Brighton, UK in 2013.
A second workshop in 2012 with a new group of students allowed for an extension of Messine into text, Messine Quotidienne was born. Also we set up the ideas for a wayfinding sanserif, Messine Sens!, aimed at the signage in school.
We visited ESAL again in February 2014 for a third workshop. Again new students could refine the earlier designs and create new additions to the family: Messine Quotidienne Gras, a bold for text, much needed at the administration offices; and 2 cursive versions (regular caps & swash caps), and complete though not finish the Messine Sens.
A fourth workshop in 2016 meant also refining what was done before and create a new font: Messine Affiche, an extreme contrast, relaxed poster version that we made cut in wood blocks so students were able to compose highly typo-graphical posters.
The fifth and final workshop took place at the end of February 2019, working around the sanserif versions. We took up the idea of Messine Affiche but rethought its style, now creating a more readable and versatile design. And we also refined the Messine Sens for the school signage.
This project has been very rewarding, both in terms of results and shared learning. Thanks to all the students who participated in all these nine years! And thanks to Jérôme Knebusch for having such generous initiative.
Designed by the students, under the guidance of Jérôme Knebusch and Alejandro Lo Celso.
ESAL, École Supérieure d’Art de Lorraine
Messine Titrage, Messine Quotidienne, Messine Quotidienne Italique, Messine Quotidienne Gras, Messine Sens, Messine Affiche
Fine Press Book Association (USA) 2013
Ampersand, primera expo de tipografías de alumnos, Brighton (GB) 2013
We created a new font based upon the logo of a Mexican department store, to be used in its branding communication.
Based upon the brand of a top class Mexican department store, we designed a new script font to be used in a wide range of identity applications, including a series of logos that could be written with the new font.
As in any English commercial script we had to create dozens of ligatures, alternative glyphs, initial and ending forms, and several swashes to render harmonious combinations. A great deal of programming for contextual behavior was included in the font Palacio, as well as several special logos which co-exist under the main umbrella brand.
Designed by Alejandro Lo Celso
Programmed by Iván Moreno
El Palacio de Hierro company
A renowned Mexican editorial house commissioned us a new type system for their national business magazine.
A Mexican business magazine named Expansión commissioned us the design of a typeface to be used in the magazine. On one hand the type had to be very comfortable to read and be perceived as solid and consistent with tradition. On the other it should wear a slight Latin American feel.
Periodista is a new scotch roman type, the archetypical font style used in newspapers and magazines. We introduced in it a little bit of spiciness so it gives the text a more vivid rhythm on the page. The type system includes different fonts for text, titling, and summaries, all with roman, cursives, and small caps, plus a sanserif version in a few weights to combine with the romans.
Designed by Alejandro Lo Celso
Programmed by José Luis Acosta
Periodista Texto, Periodista Texto Itálica, Periodista Texto Versalita, Periodista Sumario, Periodista Título, Periodista Sans Regular, Periodista Sans Bold, Periodista Sans Black, Periodista Sans Regular Condensed, Periodista Sans Bold Condensed, Periodista Sans Black Condensed
We created a special typeface for the visual identity of the city of Toulouse, France.
Commissioned by the town hall of Toulouse, Garonne is a typeface designed for the visual identity of the city. It was created between 2005 and 2007 by a team leaded by Alejandro Lo Celso. The project was named after the main river in the region. The municipal communication department in Toulouse asked us to create a type that could reflect some of the politeness of its people in a contemporary manner. The new type had to be highly versatile to be used in the most diverse media employed by the city: stationary, logos, posters, magazines, websites, campaigns, and all.
The resulting family is a contemporary interpretation of a humanist style, with a few audacious details. It includes 3 fonts for text: Garonne Romain, Italique, and Petites Caps; and 2 titling versions: Garonne Titrage Étroite (for headlines), and Garonne Titrage Gras (designed to compose the names of all city government-dependent institutions). Garonne has a fresh style, it combines the qualities of a readable type with a spirit of openness which makes the text look friendly and easy going. While the Garonne Romain has open, round shapes, the Italique has a more diagonal though graceful rhythm. The contrast between them is discrete and calmed. The titling versions become more expressive and even slightly humorous, appropriate for identity. Garonne speaks with a vigorous personality but it embolds a spirit of kindness and politeness.
The Toulouse government decided to communicate this project widely to all citizens and visitors. An exhibition was put together in the very center of the city: a series of metallic totems was installed all along 400 meters of the most important avenue to show the qualities of Garonne as well as our design process. Isn't that exceptional to see a type design exhibit in the streets?
Designed by: Laure Afchain, François Chastanet, Géraud Soulhiol, and Alejandro Lo Celso
Programmed by José Luis Acosta
Toulouse city town hall
Garonne Romain, Garonne Italique, Garonne Petites Caps, Garonne Titrage Étroite, Garonne Titrage Gras