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Two Lions and a Red Stripe

The Romans established Lausanne – then Lousonnensium – in the second century AD. In the 1,800 years since, the city has undergone nearly as many rebrands. OK, that may be a slight exaggeration, but over time Lausanne’s brand has become diluted and disconnected from its history and traditions. Our challenge was to reconcile the rich past of this storied city with the municipality’s need to modernize its identity and communication system.

The new identity is rooted in two essential elements that pay homage to Lausanne’s long-established traditions: the resurgence of the lion as a symbolic representation of the city and a custom contemporary typeface, called “Lausanne”, serving as a necessary reminder of its history.

Anthony Franklin, Partner & Design Director

We began by analyzing the city’s coat of arms, from which we drew a font with unusual proportions. The typeface features lowercase letters that are ⅔ the size of the capital letters. The result is a simple, warm, and coherent visual language supported by a typeface with distinctive character.

Since the 1950s, Switzerland has been typographically synonymous with simple, rational, and legible fonts – like Helvetica or Univers. These fonts have become the symbol of modernity and timelessness. Rather than piggybacking on the success of these particular fonts, we decided to combine the bold use of the color red with a contemporary return to the inherent Swiss-style in order to give the municipality of Lausanne an intrepid voice.

Anthony Franklin, Partner & Design Director

Lausanne is the first city in Switzerland to have it's own typeface. The type design was carried out by Matthieu Cortat.