Toulouse's new typeface

Lô A's picture

Hi there!
My name is Laure Afchain, I'm currently studying in the Type]Media master in the Hague.
I just wanted to share with you some good news from a french type design project I was involved in:

Since the beginning of 2009, the city of Toulouse, in France, has a brand new typeface, named Garonne. Toulouse is actually the first french city to get its own exclusive typeface. Garonne is a type system which contains four fonts: a regular and its italic for the running text, an ultra-bold, and a condensed version dedicated to display. It will be soon used by the municipality on its logo, publications, posters, invitations, newspapers.

We've been designing it during my fourth and fifth year in the visual communication department of the Fine Arts School in Toulouse. To be more precise, it has been designed by Alejandro Lo Celso, François Chastanet, Géraud Soulhiol and me

Hope it will have a nice "avenir" :)

metalfoot's picture

Very nice, in my opinion. Hints of a ton of other faces with its own unique flair.

speter's picture

While I don't normally ascribe national feelings to typefaces, I *do* think this one has a definite French feel to it. Well done.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

What's the deal with the top connection on the bowl of your regular "a"? This look amazing. Love the "y". Have you considered adding an alternate "G" and perhaps "k"?

kentlew's picture

> While I don’t normally ascribe national feelings to typefaces, I *do* think this one has a definite French feel to it.

Perhaps, Steve; but I also see quite a bit of Alejandro (and thus perhaps a hint of Argentina) in it. See also -- Arlt. Which in turn was probably influenced a bit by Jannon and French Baroque (perhaps via Frantisek Storm).

Not meant as any criticism or disparagement. Garonne looks very nice. I hope it is well received by the local community.

merkri's picture

While I don’t normally ascribe national feelings to typefaces, I *do* think this one has a definite French feel to it.

Why do you think that is?

I was going to say that it vaguely reminds me of letterforms in art nouveau, which I associate with France. Originally I thought it was the roundness, together with greater weight on the top of the glyph, but I think there's more to it than that.


But maybe you were thinking something totally different when you said it has a "French feel."

Hubert's picture

coco-rico !

speter's picture

I was going to say that it vaguely reminds me of letterforms in art nouveau

That's probably part of it. I think the narrow version is the one that really does it for me, especially the g.

martab's picture


Quincunx's picture

Very nice. :)

abi's picture

Ah I quite enjoy the Ultra Bold and Condensed, it manifests the subdued flavour of the regular quite well. Good job, eh.

Chriak's picture

I really like it and it motivated me so much on my graduation project which is also a very similar approach. Hope I will manage to do such a beauty and 'avenir' too.

Sharon Van Lieu's picture



Jean-Baptiste Levee's picture

Congrats for this beautiful project!
Just to be a bit more precise, Toulouse is not the first French city to get a custom design. Franck Jalleau did a type family for the city of Brive-la-Gaillarde back in 2002.

Now that this truly great part of work is done, what really counts is how the typeface will be used by the mayor's offices. And this has obviously been a big issue for Brive. I have documents coming from them that still burn my eyes.

By the way, I'm always curious as to which extend a typeface design can claim itself being "collaborative". Could you tell a bit more about the design process?

Typedog's picture

Very nice, I like the lowercase g.
Keep up the good work and good luck


Randy's picture

I'm with Kent on this one. And possibly Hubert, if by coco-rico he means rococo - in the roman at least. The italic looks straight out of the dutch school - see quadraat italic. I admire Lo Celso's work, and his influence here is no exception. Heaps of character, yet functional. Congratulations... I'm envious of your learning experience and of the people of Tolouse!

BruceS63's picture

Very nice, though I do think the uc G is distracting. Very ambitious (in a good way) for a city to have it’s own face. The French provincial flags are beautiful—perhaps the provinces will be inspired by Toulouse’s example.

Inventor of the DVD rewinder

Jongseong's picture

This is a charmer. I hope to see it used well. This could be a really fun type system to work with, especially with the ultra-bold and condensed weights.

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

I love it... awesome!!!

paragraph's picture

it's beautiful. I’m with Jean-Baptiste, I want to know how a group of four ended up designing something this good. Unless you'd prefer not to divulge this ...

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