Typefaces collection

Les Catacombes de Paris

Date: 2021
Type design: Thomas Bouville
Graphic design: Thomas Oudin
Typeface: Dédale

Housing over six million skeletons, the Paris Catacombs are a unique place deep in the heart of underground Paris. To design the visual identity for this museum, graphic designer Thomas Oudin called on type designer Thomas Bouville to design a made-to-measure typeface: Dédale.

Dédale is a typeface inspired by the lapidary engravings that can be seen in the underground passages of the Catacombs. Variations in the structure of the letters make skillful reference to the notion of ossuary. This highlights the analogy between the letter and the human body, both composed of a skeleton and a fleshy envelope. The evolution between the three styles—from slab serif to lineal—represents the effects of time, and the passage from life to death.

Used exclusively at first for the Paris Catacombs, Dédale has been added to the 205TF catalogue. The Light version—an elegant slab serif with a pronounced contrast between its elegance and its distinct serifs—has been designed for the subtle composition of large titles. The Regular—a wedge serif with pronounced serifs—has been designed for reading long texts. The Bold version—a lineal neo-sans serif that retains something of the wedge serif—is useful because of its forceful line. The variable version allows one to freely develop the design between the three styles.