Locomotora display type family, designed by Gina Serret, was inspired by the Catalan jazz band La Locomotora Negra (Barcelona, 1971). This band started out as a quintet, but later grew to an orchestra of eleven, and now it has a total of sixteen members. The band’s style is strongly influenced by the most popular swing era musicians like Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie. Locomotora was created to be used by the band as the main pillar for a powerful graphic identity system and to be used for the band’s collateral such as album covers.

After doing exhaustive historical research, Gina concluded that the main style of the family should be very compact to minimize whitespace in graphic compositions. Formally, this translated into very compressed letterform proportions that emphasize verticality, with heavy weight, super short ascenders and descenders, and special ligatures to make certain letter combinations even more compact. The main style is a combination of these features, with a mechanical look in the straight glyphs, but unique round and oblique endings that give the typeface its soul and changing rhythm.

Gina developed the full Locomotora typeface family based on a two-axis design space, with weight and width as variables. In addition to the main compressed black weight, a compressed thin weight and an expanded thin weight was added. From these three masters, Locomotora can be expanded to a wide range of weights and widths. Similar to jazz, these styles can then be mixed and matched together to form a cohesive look for any graphic applications.

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