Caran d’Ache


A manufacturer of writing instrument needs its own typeface, softly reflecting the nature of handwriting.
Collaboration with Anthony Franklin and Matteo Venet, for Base Design Geneva.


The Caran d’Ache custom font family covers a wide range of uses, with its Serif and Sans cuts available in many weights. The sensitivity of writing and humanistic feeling has been kept into typographic stabilised forms.

The Serif cuts are highly legible with their traditional forms, low contrast, and a distinctive small x-height which makes it particularly ‘bookish’. The italics are of fifteenth-century Aldine feeling: slight angle, smooth rhythm, soberness. In Sans, the typeface keeps the humanistic style of the Serif cuts throughout four weights, from Light to Black. Discreet swashes can be seen at the end of some letters, as well as many ‘natural’ ligature one would do if writing by hand.

The whole family includes accents for all European languages using Latin script, superiors, inferiors, precomposed roman numerals and, for the upright cuts, small capitals. An ‘Office’ version has also been made for the everyday use of the brand.

Throughou its 8 Sans and 4 Serif styles, the Caran d’Ache family contains 12 styles, 9242 characters, more than 120,000 vector anchor points.

Throughou its 8 Sans and 4 Serif styles, the Caran d’Ache family contains 12 styles, 9242 characters, more than 120,000 vector anchor points.

Terminal forms available through OpenType encoding.

Terminal forms available through OpenType encoding.

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Several ampersands are available.

Several ampersands are available.

Some alternate forms appears automatically when a product of the brand is composed.

Some alternate forms appears automatically when a product of the brand is composed.

The logotype of Caran d’Ache has been redesigned as well, bringing the essence of its predecessor into a contemporary feeling.

The logotype of Caran d’Ache has been redesigned as well, bringing the essence of its predecessor into a contemporary feeling.