Kicking Around Type: Naipe’s Football-Infused Pacaembú Font

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Home to the 1950 World Cup and the 1963 Pan-American Games, the Estádio Pacaembú in São Paulo, Brazil, is an Art Deco masterpiece—and now, it’s being honored with a typeface.

As Naipe Foundry writes, fonts and football are natural bedfellows, with many teams featuring their own custom faces.

“Football—or soccer—is born in Europe, but becomes magical in Brazil, through the feet of legends like Pelé, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo Nazário or Neymar. The Art Deco influence in lettering follows the same trajectory: It’s brought to Brazil by European designers who teach it to the architects and engineers of São Paulo, who in turn give it a new and unique personality that reflects its tropical surroundings.”

To ring in the 80th anniversary of the stadium, Naipe has created the Pacaembú typeface. A family in seven weights supporting 200 languages, the typeface began as a study of the inscribed lettering found throughout the stadium as part of a wayfinding project by Álvaro Franca that was ultimately benched. In 2019, Felipe Casaprima joined Naipe, and the team brought the effort back to life, imbuing caps with heavier proportions and reworking the lowercase while adding bonus characters and icons.

“The result is a font that sits between the 1940s and the 2020s, built to withstand the harsh reading conditions of wayfinding and stand out when set in all caps,” the foundry writes. “Pacaembú carries the flare and style of Art Deco in just the right amount. It won’t overpower any design or shout at the reader, but it always brings a taste of history to the pitch.”

Check it out in action below—and to pick up a copy, go here.

Linus Lohoff