about Les Halles de Paris

In 2016, the baldinger•vu-huu studio worked on the typeface of the new signage of the Halles district in Paris. The area reopened in 2016, following extensive renovation work and the creation of the Canopée.

Les Halles site is a centre of gravity for the Parisian agglomeration with the Châtelet – Les Halles station, which combines the RER, metro, bus and underground roads, making it one of the main access points to Paris for the 10 million people of Île-de-France. The district consists of the Forum des Halles, the transport hub and the gardens.

At the heart of the district, the public transport hub is closely tied in with the Forum des Halles. It is the most visited shopping centre in France, with 50 million visitors per year (150,000 per day). Built underground, it houses the largest shopping centre in Paris and numerous cultural and leisure facilities open to a wide range of people. On the surface, a four-hectare garden offers a place of relaxation for the inhabitants and users of the district. The intensity of life underground is matched on the surface by a break, a breath of fresh air in the dense network of the Parisian hyper centre.

about the font

For this large-scale project, the b•v-h type studio worked on the typography of the signage. It was decided to develop an adjusted version of the BVH BLine. In the interests of modernity and space-saving, the serifs were removed to create the BLine Sans. Better adapted to signage, as it is more concise, it is deployed in all the district signage. Its high x-height has been retained as it allows the text to be composed in a larger size and thus be readable from a greater distance.

In addition to adapting the lowercases serifs, a new weight was added. After several tests for legibility, distance and size, a bolder Regular was produced to match the backlit signage inside the shopping centre.

In tandem with this, a large set of pictograms has been designed in relation to the typography. The pictograms are based on typographic forms, such as the human pictograms’ bust echoing the M arch’s. They have been designed harmoniously, taking up the roundness and the mechanical side of the BLine Sans.

BVH BLine Sans: 3 styles (Regular, Bold, ExtraBold)



  • Forum des Halles (Ville de Paris)


  • ENT design

support design

  • Kristian Gavoille

type design

  • André Baldinger & Toan Vu-Huu

pictogram design

  • Agathe Demay