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Renault’s New Typographic Identity

Designed by Production Type.
Filed under:  Type-Emblems
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Renault’s 2016 Line Sports a New Typographic Identity designed by Production Type.
The typeface system is part of a comprehensive overhaul of the French car company’s vehicles, designed to remain visible even when the car is in motion.

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Renault "Carname" typeface.

Paris, France, February 16, 2016.
Paris-based studio Production Type formally unveils Renault Carname, a suite of fonts for the interior and exterior badges on Renault vehicles.

Over the past several months, designer Jean-Baptiste Levée and his team conceived and produced the type with technical assistance from the car design team at Renault. The flexible family of various widths, weights, and slopes covers the spectrum of visual expressions in the Renault line, from hulking, muscular trucks to swift, nimble cabriolets.

In general, the automotive industry continually updates models with exciting new advances in technology and design, but when it comes to labeling these cars the scene is relatively static and staid, with badges unworthy of the products upon which they are attached. For their latest revamp, Renault took a sharp turn from the well-trodden path and sought out typographic specialists to help them develop a new identity that was both striking in appearance and practical from a production standpoint. Informed by a deep research of Renault’s background and car history at large, Production Type created a new typeface that departs from current convention without reverting to nostalgia or retroism. That’s not an easy task: When working in an industrial environment with numerous technical constraints it’s easy to settle for a predictable aesthetic.

Renault Carname manages to steer away from the industry’s typically “technical” look while retaining a solid and dependable mood. “Chrome letters have their own peculiar way of behaving, and must be treated as such,” said Jean-Baptiste Levée, Production Type’s president and lead designer on the project. “Receiving and reflecting light elegantly is one of the key roles a chrome letter is expected to play: their shapes need to interact closely with the environment, their lines and curves must perform seamlessly with sun rays. Among the multiplicity of parameters, our team sought the most down-to-earth (matching a minimum typeface weight to the viscosity of a glue) and the most person-oriented (thickening and rounding small stems & spikes which can be hazardous in case of an impact).” The solution happened to be surprisingly poetic, too. “The upper surface of the letters is not flat, but a parabolic, asymmetric curve, similar to the profile of an airplane wing,” continued Levée. “At any mounting angle the letters will thus always reflect the sky, not the ground.” The end result proves that a chrome badge not only gives a car its name and personality, it also attracts attention by its very nature.

The final artwork for this design not a two-dimensional typeface in the strict sense. In Renault Carname, the attention to rounding, cambering, and extrusions contributes to create a threedimensional typeface, where the design fills a given volume. Expanding the alphabet into several weights and widths created many combination possibilities, allowing more freedom for Renault’s car graphics department. Production Type continues to work with the in-house team at Renault, optimizing the balance between design choices and industrial possibilities.

About Production Type.
Based in Paris, Production Type is a digital type foundry. Its activities span from designing exclusive typefaces for the industry, the luxury, and the publishing sectors, to the online distribution of its typeface creations for design professionals.

(source: Production Type)

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Renault "Carname" typeface.

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Renault "Carname" typeface.

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Renault "Carname" typeface.

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2016 Renault "Carname" typeface by Production Type.

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2016 Renault "Carname" typeface by Production Type.

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2016 Renault "Carname" typeface by Production Type.

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2016 Renault "Carname" typeface by Production Type.

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2016 Renault "Carname" typeface by Production Type.

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2016 Renault "Carname" typeface by Production Type.

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2016 Renault "Carname" typeface by Production Type.

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2016 Renault "Carname" typeface by Production Type.

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2016 Renault "Carname" typeface by Production Type.

Carlos's comments

Renault Carname Megane.


Renault Carname Megane from Production Type on Vimeo.

Renault Carname Megane.

Renault   Founded in 1898 by brothers Louis, Marcel and Fernand Renault.
Renault Samsung   Established in 1994.
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