Bastarda’s type practice feels akin to the collaborative nature of jazz

Made up of a team of designers in Bogotá, Colombia, Bastarda finds inspiration in music and its city.

21 March 2023


With typefaces named after genres like Jazz and Salsa, you might already get the impression that Bastarda draws heavily from music. But the melodic comparisons don’t stop there for the design studio. Focused on fonts and type branding, Bastarda hails from Bogotá, a city “known for its chilly and rainy weather, but that is also packed with character”, says the design team, who affectionately refer it to “Gotham City, but in Latin America”. From its base in Bogotá, Bastarda works in a highly collaborative way, using the variety of experiences across its team – from self-taught to MA designers – to create letterforms by blending approaches, much like a music ensemble. “If one starts a project, the other finalises it,” the studio explains. As a result, “each project is a constant search of expressiveness and formality.”

The design studio looked all over for inspiration. From the artists and designers of the pre-digital era, where Bastarda says you can find personality and funkiness in both the structure and style of letterforms, to their vinyl collections, home to “beautiful and sometimes strange lettering”. Bastarda also looks to its own city as an ever-running tap of inspiration, particularly through the “vernacular and informal graphic designs of shops”. The studio has recently “opened digital doors in New York with the intention of permeating our typographic vision from the Global South”.


Bastarda: Penitente BT (Copyright © Bastarda)


Bastarda: Afrika BT (Copyright © Bastarda)


Bastarda: Oregano BT (Copyright © Bastarda)


Bastarda: Specimen 1 (Copyright © Bastarda)


Bastarda: Specimen 2 (Copyright © Bastarda)


Bastarda: Crewneck (Copyright © Bastarda)


Bastarda: Queso Pera Slanted (Copyright © Bastarda)


Bastarda: Netflix (Copyright © Bastarda)


Bastarda: Capitane Jo BT (Copyright © Bastarda)

Hero Header

Bastarda: Penitente BT Slanted (Copyright © Bastarda)

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Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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