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b•v-h type, the typographic office of the graphic design studio baldinger•vu-huu, created a custom typeface for this project. The aim was to thematise a constituent element of graphic design to make it accessible and visible to all audiences, not just designers and graphic artists.
Graphic design can be defined as the formal processing of information and knowledge displayed in an invested format. This idea of “format” is the starting point of the project. The graphic concept is based on the DIN A ratio, a standardised, almost universal format.
Intending to make every letter a poster, b•v-h type has designed a monospace display typeface, which fits into this DIN A format. This format can be used in portrait or landscape, so two different sign widths coexist.
To fill this surface as much as possible and thus materialise it, the letters are stretched and compressed, as nothing must protrude. The choice of a lowercase-only typeface forces formal compromises, such as the absence of descenders or ascenders, which gives it a distinct look and conveys the city’s dynamism. Several weights are designed, ranging from ExtraLight, Light, Regular, Bold, ExtraBold and Black, the latter version completely eliminating the countershapes of the letters and transforming them into full graphic, almost abstract, forms. There is a break in the design between Regular and Bold. Still, the family link is maintained, first, formally across the family’s similar shapes and curves’ tension. Then in the relationship between the shapes and the countershapes: the thickness of the Light’s stems corresponds to the thickness of the countershapes of the Bold, and the same is true of ExtraLight in combination with ExtraBold.
An extensive set of pictograms, also in DIN A ratio, accompanies the Display and makes it even more lively and playful.
For the purposes of legibility in signage and more conventional administrative documents, a non-monospace Text version was designed to accompany the Display version. It adopts some of the design aspects of the Display version but is much more suitable for reading and typesetting small compositions. Its generous x-height allows it to remain legible and visible from a distance and thus recalls a primary characteristic of the Display design. Dina Chaumont Text, although legible, does not go unnoticed. Indeed, its particular design plays with the weight balance of the letters, placing it in sometimes unexpected places, thus creating a regular but not homogeneous grey text. The text sparkles and catches the eye.
Dina Chaumont Display: 6 styles (ExtraLight, Light, Regular, Bold, ExtraBold, Black)
Dina Chaumont Text: 6 styles (Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic, ExtraBold, ExtraBold Italic)