“l'École de Paris” Sans serif

Hello, I'm designing a catalog dedicated to artists, the so-called School of Paris
(A group of French and non-French artists working in Paris in the first half of the 20th century). I want to use as a basic sans serif font. But the classic French “national” sans, that I know - Antique Olive, created later and I have doubts about the propriety of its use. On the other hand confuses me too “German” origin of the majority of old sans-serif fonts.

afonseca1974's picture


says here:

"Ardoise, inspired by the best of newspapers needs, renews taste for simple and tense shapes. Ardoise PTF and its 45 series could be considered as an homage to Antique Olive, but unexpectedly, result of longstanding admiration of the author devotes to Roger Excoffon. Ardoise, indeed, share purity and dynamics on its design that give it a unique elegance while showing excellent readability"


Maxim Zhukov's picture

Antique Olive is too young for the School of Paris… Let alone Ardoise. If you want that École de Paris feel Cassandre is your friend. Think Déco… What about Peignot?

Nick Shinn's picture

The Deco style is a little too glamorous (Folies Bergère) for fine art.

I recommend FF Super Grotesk B (the double-storey "a" and "g" version).

Maxim Zhukov's picture

Nick, I agree that Peignot is a bit over the top for body text. As to Super Grotesk, it looks too Germanic to me. It’s a pity neither Touraine nor Chambord have been digitised.

Euro Sans, Oblik, or Accent Graphic might fit the bill, though. Truth be told, Euro Sans Cyrillic is kind of scary… Hope Evgeny only needs Latin.

dezcom's picture

Even though this face is not French, it some how speaks to that era for me--more French art as opposed to fashion. It may just be the light, thin capitals that do it but have a look at Kabel light, condensed anyway.


Frode Bo Helland's picture


Frode Bo Helland's picture

Or Parisine.

Maxim Zhukov's picture

What’s the French for “Ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby”?

dezcom's picture

je ne sais quoi ;-)

schickele's picture


Univers, despite its name, is far too Swiss and (to me) much more second half of the 20th century than first.

Evgeny Grigoriev's picture

Colleagues, thank you for your comments. It was very helpful to me.
Apparently French typography was partly outside the context of European modernism.
Clarify. My book is relevant to the theme of "livre d'artiste" (from Bonnard to Buffet), which focuses on bibliophilic tradition of the 19th century, as well as English and German "private press" of the early 20th century.
In contrast, I would like to give a real historical background of this era (the revolutionary unrest in Europe and two world wars!).
I understand the idea of Nick Shinn.
Many thanks to Maxim Zhukov. Your links and pictures to help me in finding a solution.
Now. I am inspired by the work of 30-50's, which made for museums Max Bill for the Kunsthalle Basel (and other) and Willem Sandberg for Stedelijk Museum. They were contemporaries and friends many French artists. And they've done a lot of printed works for the exhibitions of these artists.

I apologize for my English. I rarely write in this language

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