Stowe Framework: Identity

Development posts


Stowe Framework developed from a project in the Studio & Entrepreneurship module of this course and was originally conceived as a typeface design project to embody the area of Walthamstow. 

Stowe derives from Old/Middle English as a word to describe a holy or meeting place, and ‘stow’ appears in ‘Walthamstow’. As the location is known as a welcoming place, it is suitable to retain this part of the name to ground the project, whilst removing it from the locale enough to make it applicable in other areas in the future.


I am using the typefaces Archia (san serif) and Calendas (serif) from the Atipo Foundry – I like pairing the typefaces from the same foundry as it gives a more cohesive feel. Both have a few different styles in the font families, but not so many to be overwhelming. Calendas Plus is a serif font with a pleasing stroke contrast and is suitable for long stretches of text. It also has some interesting discretionary ligatures as extra glyphs (see the as and us above) that give it a special feel without being too distracting for the reader.

Archia has a modern geometric feel that contrasts to the traditional feel of Calendas. The ‘a’ has a single storey, like Calendas, and some letters like the lowercase ‘l’ have slab serifs to make reading easier. The descender of the ‘g’ has a flattened base, and the ampersand has a flattened top loop, which gives it some distinction. It can be used for very heavy text, for captions in small sizes, or in lightweight spaced capitals for headings.


The colour theme uses a two-colour palette of black and neon red (Pantone 805C) so that the high-contrast between paper and text is easily readable and the unusual bright colour is eye-catching. The palette utilises tints of the colours.


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