Release note

Published byPampaType team  |  September 30, 2001

Rayuela. A typographic hopscotch to play


Since its release Rayuela has been a popular face, maybe because there are not so many informal-spirited typefaces which enjoy good readability within inmerse reading. Read more about the ideas behind this singular, multi-style type design.


Rayuela is the result of a 2-year working process made by Alejandro at two postgraduate courses: at the University of Reading, UK (1999-2000) and at the ANRT Atelier National de Recherche Typographique, Nancy, France (2000-2001). At both schools the type Rayuela worked as the practical side of research. Rayuela (Argentine Spanish for Hopscotch) is inspired by the homonymous novel by celebrated Argentinean writer Julio Cortázar whose oeuvre is considered a key to 20th century avant-garde Hispanic literature.


Informal inspiration

The type aims to reflect the ludic atmosphere of the novel, thorugh a dynamic, half-serifing stroke, which brings the roman closer to an italic spirit. This later lead to the need of creating an italic of strong cursiveness, and so offer a enough rhythm contrast with the roman and therefore both types could interact with clarity and harmony.


Display sorts to play

The family wouldn’t have been completed without display sorts, destined to set texts of lesser formality, with less readability constraints. Experimentation took us to a very black version named Rayuela Chocolate, by reaching the limits of the letters’ structure. We also designed the open face Rayuela Luz, and a playful scrabble-like font Rayuela Miscelanea, which also includes elegant, contemporary fleurons.


Diversity & divertimento

More than a stylistic consistenncy it is a spirit of diversity what governs the design of Rayuela. Thus there are alternatives for some glyphs, something not very common before the appearance of OpenType. Similarly smallcaps haver divergent designs from their parent capitals, and letter 'q' takes always a distinct shape from one font to the other, as well as the ampersands. All this allows for a less monotonous, slightly vibrant kind of text, as irregularities, typical of handwriting, help to compensate the characteristic stiffness of type composition. These divergences, we believe, express better the quality of Cortázar’s aesthetic quests.

Rayuela 13 fonts for text & display use


Borges. A versatile typeface of literary inspiration

A discussion on Type Design Revivalism