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Work / Graphic Design

Milieu Grotesque revises typeface inspired by IBM typewriter

Zurich-based studio Mileu Grotesque cross the boundaries of graphic, typography and product design. Founded by Timo Gaessner and Alexander Colby the pair transfer their typographic design into publications, hats, T-shirts and even jewellery. Since the studio’s inception, its fonts have been used across various publications including Dazed,several websites and brand redesigns.

This month Mileu Grotesque revised one of its favourite fonts, Chapeau. Originally designed by Timo around the start of the studio in 2010 the typeface is, “loosely inspired by one of Johnny Cash’s iconic letters written on an old IBM typewriter.” The original typeface, named Doric “was one of the rare proportionally aligned typewriter faces supplied by IBM in the later 1960s.”

It was the simple geometric shapes of the original typeface that caught Mileu Grotesque’s eye, creating “a low contrast sans-serif with rounded endings.” To appropriate the typeface into a contemporary style, “the letterforms have been carefully aligned to avoid exceeding width and to achieve an efficient, up-to-date appearance.” The result is a font archetypal of its previous use, but one that still appears modern, and available in numerous weights and styles.

To celebrate its release the studio has released a crisply designed specimen promoting its use, alongside a photographic excerpt from Tobias Faisst’s Bau2, which “deals with sculptural situations in urban construction environments”.

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Milieu Grotesque: Chapeau Specimen

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Milieu Grotesque: Chapeau Specimen

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Milieu Grotesque: Chapeau Specimen

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Milieu Grotesque: Chapeau Specimen

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Milieu Grotesque: Chapeau Specimen

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Milieu Grotesque: Chapeau Specimen

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Milieu Grotesque: Chapeau Specimen