Developed at the École Supérieure d'Art de Lorraine in Metz, France, Messine is a typeface created for the school's own visual communication, and an academic project within the school.

This project took the form of visiting workshops at the ESAL during 9 years, involving several generations of students as well as diverse achievements in type design. Under our guidance, these students co-created the Messine typeface, the family used at school for all its communication needs.

A first workshop organized by Jérôme Knebusch (artist, typographer, and teacher at the ESAL), took place in 2010. We gave birth to a titling font: Messine Titrage. Throughout an exploration of styles both in calligraphic & type design practice, the students decided that Messine should wear neoclassical clothes, not far from a Baskervillian style, though with a contemporary feel. The resulting type has being used for the headlines of Le Salon, a yearly, refined school publication.

Messine Titrage actually won two honors: It was prized at a student type design competition hold by the Fine Press Book Association (USA), and it was selected for Ampersand, the first student type design exhibit made in Brighton, UK in 2013.

A second workshop in 2012 with a new group of students allowed for an extension of Messine into text, Messine Quotidienne was born. Also we set up the ideas for a wayfinding sanserif, Messine Sens!, aimed at the signage in school.

We visited ESAL again in February 2014 for a third workshop. Again new students could refine the earlier designs and create new additions to the family: Messine Quotidienne Gras, a bold for text, much needed at the administration offices; and 2 cursive versions (regular caps & swash caps), and complete though not finish the Messine Sens.

A fourth workshop in 2016 meant also refining what was done before and create a new font: Messine Affiche, an extreme contrast, relaxed poster version that we made cut in wood blocks so students were able to compose highly typo-graphical posters.

The fifth and final workshop took place at the end of February 2019, working around the sanserif versions. We took up the idea of Messine Affiche but rethought its style, now creating a more readable and versatile design. And we also refined the Messine Sens for the school signage.

This project has been very rewarding, both in terms of results and shared learning. Thanks to all the students who participated in all these nine years! And thanks to Jérôme Knebusch for having such generous initiative.


Designed by the students, under the guidance of Jérôme Knebusch and Alejandro Lo Celso.
© 2010–2019

ESAL, École Supérieure d’Art de Lorraine

Type system
Messine Titrage, Messine Quotidienne, Messine Quotidienne Italique, Messine Quotidienne Gras, Messine Sens, Messine Affiche

Fine Press Book Association (USA) 2013
Ampersand, primera expo de tipografías de alumnos, Brighton (GB) 2013