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L’Équipe, “1924–2024, Cent ans de Jeux en France”

Contributed by Production Type on Feb 23rd, 2024. Artwork published in
October 2021
L’Équipe, “1924–2024, Cent ans de Jeux en France” 1
Source: L’Équipe. License: All Rights Reserved.

The 2024 Paris Summer Olympics will be kicked off on July 26 this year. Exactly one thousand days before that moment, French sports newspaper L’Équipe dedicated a special issue to this event. “1924–2024, Cent ans de Jeux en France” builds a bridge between the Paris games of 1924 and the upcoming ones one hundred years later. In fact, this year the French capital will host the Olympic Games already for the third time, the first time being 1900 when they were held in conjunction with the world’s fair.

The front page of the special edition reflects on that long history designwise. The huge photograph (by Franck Seguin) on top shifts from black-and-white to color and depicts two superstars of today: Kylian Mbappé, Parisian footballer, and Cléopatre Darleux, goalkeeper of the French handball team, who respectively talk about their Olympic ambitions and experiences. While the layout of the page follows the expected pattern for a newspaper, the combination of typefaces is quite extraordinary.

The three fonts used to typeset the headlines draw an inspiring line through French type design history.

To begin with, you see Robur used for Darleux’s name and the quote beside the smaller picture of Mbappé. Robur was designed by George Auriol and published by Peignot & Fils between 1907 and 1911. In general terms, it is a bolder display variant of Auriol’s first typeface Auriol. It has its roots in Modern Style and the discovery of the Asian pointed brush as a writing implement by Western calligraphers. Auriol and Robur were very popular in France deep into the 1930s.

Next up in chronology is Cassannet, used in two contrasting weights for the big headline “1924–2024, Cent ans de Jeux en France”. Released in 2011, it was designed by Ismael González and draws its inspiration from the constructivist Art Déco lettering style of A.M. Cassandre who, back in 1924, had just begun his stunning career as a graphic and type designer.

All remaining headlines are set from Mars. This sans serif was designed by Alaric Garnier, who took cues from Venus, a typeface published by the Bauer type foundry around the same time as Robur. It is available from Production Type in three widths, two of which are used here: Mars Condensed is what you see in the all-caps lines and in the intro to the text about Darleux, Mars Standard was used for “Je veux vivre les Jeux de Paris”. Not on view here is the widest style, Mars Extended.

The reading text is typeset in ITC Cheltenham, a narrow and thereby economic roman with short sturdy serifs and roots in the early 1900s. “Sommaire”, the headline to the table of contents, is set from Engravers Old English, a broken script stemming from about the same time. The “Football” and “Handball” headings appear to be reproduced directly from an old newspaper. It’s unclear if these words use handdrawn letters or a typeface – Basuto is similar.

L’Équipe, “1924–2024, Cent ans de Jeux en France” 2
Source: Collection Journal L’Equipe – Ar Skipailh. License: All Rights Reserved.


  • Cassanett
  • Mars
  • Robur
  • Engravers Old English
  • ITC Cheltenham




Artwork location

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