Arlette is an experimental yet functional text typeface designed upon two main concepts. The first one is Roger Excoffon’s work, in general his experimental approach to type design and more specifically his typeface Choc. Even more specifically its lowercase c, we were inspired by its fast stroke movement and its energy, which fascinated us.
The second inspiration source was the concept of Sans Serif itself. There are many very similar Sans Serifs, for a long while a lot of Helvetica-like typefaces were published, which we find of little interest unless they are needed for an specific use. Arlette is a reaction to this phenomenon, it is our interpretation of a Sans Serif, we believe more can be done in this area, this is our contribution to it.
Arlette also contain a big range of Swashes as part of our tribute to Excoffon, who worked greatly with handwriting typefaces. We experiment with those Swashes taking them out of their natural Italic environment and placed them also in the Romans. Furthermore, we developed Swashes for accented and special glyphs, taking this feature to all the languages we cover instead of relegating it to a few languages.
Arlette also covers Thai, for which we had the help of Fiona Ross as a consultant. We took the same fast stroke curves and extravagance from the Latin, which adapted very naturally to the Thai. We also adapted the idea of the swashes to this writing system, looking for a similar feature in the handwritten palm leaves where some of the characters have a decorative flair. Arlette Thai has a set of alternate characters inspired by those handwritten forms.
Its range of 8 weights (6 for Thai) allows its use both in text and display. In both writing systems Arlette is surprisingly legible in small sizes and beautiful in big ones.