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Hotel Byblos [Saint-Tropez, Var]

Project for: Hôtel Byblos, 2019 | Custom typeface: Byblos, 5 styles

The Byblos hotel is located in the heart of the town of Saint-Tropez, a symbol of the French Riviera. Founded in 1967, it has been for 50 years a famous gathering point for the artistic world, beginning with Brigitte Bardot, the hotel’s sponsor. The Youbold agency—in charge of the visual identity—requested a custom type family for all the printed and digital communication of the hotel, of its restaurant and its private beach.

First, we extrapolated a full display typeface from the five letters (B, Y, L, O and S) of the original, hand-lettered sign. Its crudely-shaped capitals, drawn with straight lines, originate from Roman carved inscriptions which go back as far as the 3rd century BC. The curved stems are a distinctive feature, and we added lowercase letters for practical purpose. The family then grew larger with Text versions in two weights (along with their italics), resulting in a lively sans serif with gentle shapes. Fine-tuned for text setting, with wider proportions and rounder shapes, they include modern letter structure (like the “closed” lowercase e). Some details, like the pinched curves on round letters, echo the display typeface’s more rudimentary design.