For 17 years now, our sister society ZeCraft imagines the typefaces of the french metro. The year 2012 permit to come back to this marvelous collaboration by creating a new version of the Parisine adapted to the specific display in the front of buses.
Over the past years, LEDs displays have been implemented on buses all over the world. Generally the typefaces on such displays were provided by manufacturers without any care about legibility and design. The users of buses suffered of the situation, and RATP decided to resolve the situation.
Parisine Girouette Frontale
One of the crucial aspects was to resolve low resolution issues, as technical limitations. Indeed the main thing was the design of the letterforms themselves. We designed several versions, testing various weights, proportions until we found the acceptable solution. We advocated for static text, even smaller when necessary rather than moving text in large size. A non static content generally moves too fast to be read in good conditions, specially if the bus moves too.
Three typefaces depending the size and function have been delivered by Jean François Porchez with Mathieu Réguer and Sonia da Rocha. Parisine Girouette Frontale is used for the main direction on the front of bus and was designed quite narrow to display a maximun of content. A great care have been take on the counters and various elements to increase differientation of the shapes. Caps where designed smaller and almost as narrow as the lowercases to save space. Two others typefaces have been also designed at 50% of the size of the main typeface (50% less LEDs available…) to set information on the side of the bus.
→ Pecha Kucha Paris Jean François Porchez about the project
→ Parisine Girouette received a star (étoile) at the Observeur du design 13
→ Project page on ZeCraft
→ Creative Review about Parisine Girouette
→ French quotidian Metro about Parisine Girouette