A Font Inspired By Stone Etching: Louize Display Condensed

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If you've ever taken the time to stop and stare at the inscriptions carved on the side of buildings, what you'll find is a craft that's underrecognized.

Inspired by letters carved into stone, Louize is a modern typeface that offers a unique twist to the typically Roman styles. The result is a delicate, soothing, and thoughtful font in ways only a stone etching could emulate. While incredibly luxe at first glance, there's an organic nature to each letter in the typeface. Perfect for headlines, logos, and editorial designs, this font has endless potential.

In 1846, Lyonnese printer, Louis Perrin commissioned founder Francisque Rey to cut a series of capitals inspired by monumental roman inscriptions. They have been used to compose “Les Inscriptions antiques de Lyon”, a book by Alphonse de Boissieu. In 1855, the typeface was completed by series of lowercase, some coming from the printshop of Rey, others designed by Perrin himself. His “Augustaux”, one of the first “revivals” in the history of typography, became rapidly successful, launching the “Renouveau Elzévirien” movement.

With Louize Family, Matthieu Cortat provides a contemporary reinterpretation of the Augustaux. It retains a wise and serene tone, a clear grey of text, the soft roundness of the curves. Louize is discreet, calm, harmonious.

For use in titles, Louize is available in a Display version. This sharp and clear variant is inspired by letters carved in stone. It brings a new contemporary freshness to this timeless typeface. The Display variants also offer, in the roman styles, a series of ligatures inspired by stone cutters traditions. Those features also appear in the condensed cuts.

For the visual identity of London Fashion Week SS19, Pentagram (Luke Powell and Jody Hudson-Powell) used Louize Display at different scales and on a wide range of applications: from signage to invitation cards.

For the redesign of Esquire UK, creative director Nick Millington selected Louize and Louize Display to create a distinctive, elegant and functional layout.

For Nike’s 2018 NYC Marathon Collection, Natalie Shields (designer at Doubleday & Cartwright) used the typeface Louize Display.

Matthieu Cortat, born in 1982 in Delémont (Switzerland), is type designer. He lives and works in Lyon. He has designed several custom typefaces for clients like the TV channel Eurosport for the Tokyo Olympics, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Caran d’Ache, the City of Lausanne, Caudalie or the Terminal Four at JFK Airport in New York. He is Head of Master Type Design at the École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL). Matthieu Cortat’s typefaces are available exclusively at 205TF, including the most recent, Muoto, Zénith, Molitor or Yorick.

Project Credits

Matthieu Cortat