We created a special typeface for the visual identity of the city of Toulouse, France.

Commissioned by the town hall of Toulouse, Garonne is a typeface designed for the visual identity of the city. It was created between 2005 and 2007 by a team leaded by Alejandro Lo Celso. The project was named after the main river in the region. The municipal communication department in Toulouse asked us to create a type that could reflect some of the politeness of its people in a contemporary manner. The new type had to be highly versatile to be used in the most diverse media employed by the city: stationary, logos, posters, magazines, websites, campaigns, and all.

The resulting family is a contemporary interpretation of a humanist style, with a few audacious details. It includes 3 fonts for text: Garonne Romain, Italique, and Petites Caps; and 2 titling versions: Garonne Titrage Étroite (for headlines), and Garonne Titrage Gras (designed to compose the names of all city government-dependent institutions). Garonne has a fresh style, it combines the qualities of a readable type with a spirit of openness which makes the text look friendly and easy going. While the Garonne Romain has open, round shapes, the Italique has a more diagonal though graceful rhythm. The contrast between them is discrete and calmed. The titling versions become more expressive and even slightly humorous, appropriate for identity. Garonne speaks with a vigorous personality but it embolds a spirit of kindness and politeness.

The Toulouse government decided to communicate this project widely to all citizens and visitors. An exhibition was put together in the very center of the city: a series of metallic totems was installed all along 400 meters of the most important avenue to show the qualities of Garonne as well as our design process. Isn't that exceptional to see a type design exhibit in the streets?


Designed by: Laure Afchain, François Chastanet, Géraud Soulhiol, and Alejandro Lo Celso
Programmed by José Luis Acosta
© 2005–2007

Toulouse city town hall

Type system
Garonne Romain, Garonne Italique, Garonne Petites Caps, Garonne Titrage Étroite, Garonne Titrage Gras