Since 2013, Lyon Metropolis and the City of Lyon, France, have initiated a renovation project of the area of the Lyon Part-Dieu train station. Initially designed and constructed in order to welcome 35,000 passengers per day, the train station is now the primary European connecting station, with 125,000 travelers each day. This change in density required an architectural restructuration of the station, as well as a new wayfinding system to regulate the flux of passengers.
The whole project is carried out by urban planning and architecture studio AUC Paris. For the graphic design, they reached out to studio Encore, led by Quentin Brachet. Encore designed three different types of signs for the wayfinding. First, metal signs directly embedded in the ground of the station. These level with the surrounding stone slabs, and at the same time stand out through the change of material. Then, sign posts with the indication of places put vertically; and finally, bigger poles including maps and directions.
For all these supports, Encore chose to work withSynthese, designed by Gilles Poplin and Jean-Baptiste Levée from Production Type. Synthese combines different aspects of famous sans serifs from the 20th century, making it an Univers-like typeface from our time. However, its design is rounder and shows more personality than its predecessors: it is more welcoming, less impersonal, and thus more adapted to the design problems of our time, where the density of population paradoxically makes people lonelier.