Basel University’s Sprachenzentrum, its central language teaching/training facility, is celebrating its ten-year anniversary. What started out as an improvised little place staffed by one person has grown into a bustling centre of learning, teaching, and lively exchange, with now more than a thousand students enrolled in its many classes.
For the anniversary festivities I was happy to design this fine 36-page brochure, printed on two different stocks (Tempo for the images, Munken Lynx Rough for the text), along with the accompanying invitation card. The booklet presents a multifaceted image through 18 texts (in different languages) and 12 large photographs by Christian Flierl.
The client gave me the freedom to relate only loosely to existing materials; I adopted the circle (commonly used in their materials – see logo and website) as a design element in different functions, but chose the type freely. I was looking for a combination that would feel “celebratory” enough for the anniversary, but energetic, somewhat “youthful” and a little joyous – basically the opposite of tired and dusty. Siri (especially the Black, for display) and Eames (for text) turned out to make quite a striking combination, crisp and pretty and bold.
When it turned out that portions of the text needed to be set in Russian or Greek, I settled on a compromise setting those from Scotch Micro (which in terms of color, contrast, and proportion clicked quite nicely with the Eames used for Latin, much better than did the regular optical size of Scotch Modern), as I did not want to lose the Eames for the Latin-based majority of the text. For the one Russian title I was thankfully allowed to draw the needed Cyrillic glyphs matching Siri myself.