Rapha — Mondial
With the launch of Mondial magazine, clothing and accessories brand Rapha aimed to offer a new perspective on associated and peripheral subjects related to bicycle and cycling culture. The new print publication required a strong, autonomous visual identity outside of Rapha’s now-classic script but also had to feel intrinsically linked to the its predecessor.
Working closely with the brand’s creative team, we collectively looked back at some of the primary sources that had informed the foundations of the company in 2004. Though a decidedly British endeavour, Rapha’s founders had looked to Italian cycling’s heyday for early inspiration, and we returned to a trove of vintage cycling literature (and Italian type specimens, on our end) to select several new points of reference. Consistently finding its way to the top of that pile was La Gazetta Dello Sport (founded 1896), many of whose midcentury issues covered the Giro d’Italia and road cycling almost exclusively.
The organic, almost Art Nouveau form of the newspaper’s vintage masthead led the way as we drew the seven letterforms that would comprise the all-caps ‘MONDIAL’ setting. We landed on an unexpected sloping behaviour that typifies several of the letterforms within (M, N, A), and would come to set the tone for the remainder of the type’s narrative: The wordmark gave way to an all-caps display alphabet, which led to a full upper- and lower-case typeface, which ultimately led to the creation of a comprehensive Bold weight for use across the magazine’s typographic logo and interior headlines.
As the editorial team moved into Issue No. 2 on the heels of a successful launch, Rapha commissioned a follow-up to the initially-drawn Bold weight that would expand the scope of the typeface. Adding a new visual texture to the magazine, we re-cut the Mondial type into a categorically-linked but more nuanced Regular weight — something that retained the original qualities of the typeface but also enabled new editorial possibilities.
Now running in parallel to Rapha’s overall brand identity, the two-weight type family is consistently put to use across issues of Mondial and accompanying marketing materials. Moreover, the type’s sturdy DNA leaves room for further expansion as the client sees fit, ensuring the ongoing longevity and mutability of the type system.
2 Styles: Regular, Bold
Coverage: Latin-A Encoded
Classification: Display Sans Serif