Designer Reinaldo Camejo talks us through transforming a church into a typeface

Barcelona-based Reinaldo has turned the striking geometries of Copenhagen's Grundtvig Church into a unique, contemporary and eye-catching typeface

9 May 2023

Some of the best fonts we find are often those which transmute something we never thought could work as a digital typeface. Take, for instance, graphic designer Reinaldo Camejo’s new Grundtvig typeface. The type is a beautiful appropriation of Grundtvig’s Church in Copenhagen, Denmark. “It may seem strange but I really had no specific interest in the Grundtvig Church at first, it was chance that led me to it,” Reinaldo tells It’s Nice That. Reinaldo is currently studying a masters in Visual Design at the ELISAVA (Barcelona School of Design and Engineering), and it was his final project in his typography course that presented him with the makings of Grundtvig. “We had to create a typography based on some buildings with interesting structures, and there was a raffle and I got the Grundtvig Church,” he explains. Taking pencil to paper, Reinaldo jotted down sketch after sketch until he finally found the design he wanted to transfer digitally – that of the church itself.

While a type taking inspiration from a church may sound inherently gothic, the lettering is far more contemporary and graphic than you might think. “Grundtvig’s Church is an incredible building, it combines classical features with marked geometric shapes that make it unique which fascinates me,” Reinaldo says. “I relied mainly on two characteristic elements of this facade: the verticality and the staggered contours.” As such, Reinaldo incorporated curves into his typographic design to soften the straight lines and right angles, utilising the arches of doors as inspiration for the curves in the counterform of the letters. “I usually work first in Adobe Illustrator and when I have all the characters, I pass them to Glyphs to create the type and make decisions about spacing relations between the letters,” Reinaldo says on his process. “Although, Grundtvig Typeface is monospaced and this process is a lot simpler.”


Reinaldo Camejo: Grundtvig Typeface (Copyright © Reinaldo Camejo, 2023)

Reinaldo's design wasn't limited to just a two-dimensional plane either; they also created a three-dimensional typographic specimen based on the shape of the letter A. “I wanted it to simulate the shape of the facade, which looks as if it had been extruded,” the designer tells us. It’s certainly done just that. Grundtvig is a bold and eye-catching typeface, one that would stand out in any headline, title, or prominent text in print and digital media. It packs a hefty punch while evoking the pixelated imagery of Nokia 3310 days of yore. “I would especially look forward to seeing the typeface being used on the Grundtvig Church,” Reinaldo comments. “That’s the biggest wish I have for my typeface right now.”

GalleryReinaldo Camejo: Grundtvig Typeface (Copyright © Reinaldo Camejo, 2023)

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Reinaldo Camejo: Grundtvig Typeface (Copyright © Reinaldo Camejo, 2023)

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About the Author

Joey Levenson

Joey is a freelance design, arts and culture writer based in London. They were part of the It’s Nice That team as editorial assistant in 2021, after graduating from King’s College, London. Previously, Joey worked as a writer for numerous fashion and art publications, such as HERO Magazine, Dazed, and Candy Transversal.

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