ImageFormat’s sunny new typeface will transport you to the streets of Marseille

Distributed by Lift Type foundry, the Baste typeface takes cues from the vernacular, hand-drawn signs of Marseille.

9 March 2023

March has hit (along with some snow), and we’re already dreaming of our upcoming summer holidays. To give us a taste of those sweet summer months, ImageFormat’s Quentin Berthelot and Johan Mossé have designed and released a sun-drenched typeface Baste, available from the Lift Type foundry. Inspired by the colourful streets of Marseille, its buoyant letters are sure to get you in the mood for a well-earned city break.

Baste arose after Johan moved from Paris to Marseille in the summer of 2022. When living in the city, he found himself encountering “artisanal” typography across the city – “Marseille is a very grassroots city and its downtown area is full of handmade shop fronts and signs made by people who are not professional type designers,” explains Johan. This results in “some very interesting visual accidents”.


Lift Type x ImageFormat: Baste A & B (Copyright © ImageFormat, January 2023)

The typeface exists as a modular sans serif, available in both an A and B version. The two versions came from Quentin and Johan’s realisation that it would provide some interesting visual contrast if they created one “rough” version with both straight edges and rounded counterforms, and one version that was entirely rounded. This aspect also cleverly pays homage to Marseille, as Quentin explains that they correspond with the “duality” of the region, “between a harsh and arid downtown area and the beautiful and peaceful landscapes of the seaside”. There are also different stylistic sets available, and one Quentin and Johan tells us they’re particularly proud of is the typewriter set, which adds larger serifs on certain letters, giving it a much more analogue aesthetic.

When approaching font design, Quentin and Johan always create something they would use in their own projects, which often err towards cultural projects. Therefore, with its bold lettering, they see Baste as a clear display family, ideally used for theatre posters, magazines or even a more experimental and “direct” visual identity. To present Baste, alongside more traditional methods, the designers created some vintage postcard designs which display the type alongside references, a touch we’re particularly fond of here at It’s Nice That. They demonstrate how the font may be used to add a retro, unique edge to any design. So, if you’re looking to add a bit of French sunshine into your next project, look no further than Baste.

GalleryLift Type x ImageFormat: Baste A & B (Copyright © ImageFormat, January 2023)

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Lift Type x ImageFormat: Baste A & B (Copyright © ImageFormat, January 2023)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

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