Chapelle type family is inspired by the 13th Century Rayonnant Gothic Architecture of Saint Chapelle in Paris. It is a contemporary, personal expression of the deep sense of tranquility that was instilled when I experienced this space for the very first time – I was charmed by the soaring ceilings, the solemn silence and the light flooding in hues of golden, red and purple through the ornate stained glass windows depicting stories from the Bible.

Saint Chapelle was the royal chapel that was built by King Louis IX of France as a reliquary for the “Crown of Thorns” from the Passion of Christ. It is one of the signature marvels of the French Gothic Era.

Chapelle takes cues from Rustica and Rotunda calligraphic styles – the thin strokes of Rustica accentuates the sense of height and delicate ornateness, and the round proportions of Rotunda resonates with the feeling of light, peace and tranquility. The letterforms combine the characteristics of both styles, and comes in 3 variants – a vertical stress and a reverse stress, with a semi-reverse low contrast interpolated variation in the middle. A condensed version of the regular is also defined for Headings & Display purposes to fully encapsulate the essence of the Saint Chapelle’s architecture.Th signature features of Chapelle borrow ornate calligraphic swashes from Rustica and straight stem strokes and round counters from Rotunda. The vertical stress variation has subtle serifs in comparison to the reverse stress.

My biggest learning curve during this project was the conversion from Vertical to Reverse Stress, tweaking the anchor points for keeping axis and weight distribution systemic on both styles, so that they are identified as one family. Unlike vertical stress weights like bold, and black, changing stress is more challenging - as someone who’s always struggled with bezier curves, this was a fire drill. I’m grateful to all the instructors at TypeParis for guiding me to navigate these challenges.

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