Our weekly look at a favorite new typeface. Share yours with us on Twitter and Instagram @AIGAdesign with #TypeTuesday.
Designers: Violaine Orsoni and Jérémy Schneider
Foundry: Violaine & Jérémy
Date Created: March 2016
Back story: French designers Orsoni and Schneider created Tribute specially for the “L’Empreinte du Geste” (The Imprint of the Gesture) at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris this spring, and used it on the exhibition’s signage, programs, and other printed collateral. Designed in collaboration with architecture studio DAS, the show gathered 18 contemporary artists together in a celebration of handicraft in modern culture. The exhibit uses a custom color—a rich, saturated blue in the cobalt range—throughout the physical space and on the printed matter as well. How come? “We decided to create this custom blue ink because we wanted to confront modernity and classicism, nature, and artifice,” Orsoni says. “Everything in this exhibition was about starting with a natural material and transforming it. Our design for the exhibition identity had to go the same way. Jérémy hand-drew the stump, the typeface had some ancient inspiration. We represented natural materials as wood, we used some paint. It was important to add one element which was clearly not found in nature. The blue is very unnatural, artificial.”
Why’s it called Tribute? “The name was chosen in celebration of the show’s artists and their work in wood, wax, limestone, silk, paper, glass, etc.,” says Orsoni.
What are its distinguishing characteristics? Tribute’s strong letterforms recall the typefaces popularized by the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 20th century, aptly capturing the exhibition’s homage to the handmade without feeling retro or derivative. “The design goal was to create a typeface that recalls the look of ancient techniques but that has a modern look,” Orsoni says. “We also tried to give the impression that the type could be engraved in something.” Hat tip!
What should I use it for? This typeface’s understated charm not only works perfectly with all aspects of the exhibit it was created for, but we think it’d also be ideal for packaging for high-end cosmetics or for an artisanal bakery selling exquisite little fruit tarts and the like—anywhere some playful sophistication is welcome. Tribute headlines would be lovely supporting editorial content on fashion or beauty, too. Unfortunately Tribute is not available for licensing—Orsoni and Schneider consider themselves graphic designers and illustrators, not proper typographers.
Who’s it friends with? Tribute’s ornate silhouettes call for some quiet backup from supporting typefaces—anything thin, delicate, sans serif provides contrast that allows it to really shine. The lightest weights of Metro Nova, based on the early 1920’s Metro typeface by William Addison Dwiggins, are just one possibility.