Garamond in the public arena

Garamond and its successors are rarely used for signage purposes, where sans serif typefaces like Helvetica are favoured for their greater readability from a distance. Logos and shop names occasionally use Garamond, but here again sans serif characters tend to dominate. However, certain creative projects in recent years have turned to Garamond, sometimes exclusively, to underscore/assert a specific approach.

"The Garamond represents France in its tradition of the dialectic, expressed in the perfect dialogue between strokes and counters, between curves and geometry"
Françoise Schein

This is the case with the work of the Belgian artist and architect Françoise Schein, who uses only Garamond for her large-scale installations in metro stations around the world. These include Paris's Concorde metro station, where she created an installation in 1989 to coincide with the bicentennial of the French Revolution. In it, she highlighted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, so that, in her own words, "this founding text for both French society and the construction of democracy would be made visible in monumental fashion." The choice of Garamond was based on the humanism and the spirit of tolerance that it embodied, as well as for aesthetic reasons: "This infinitely elegant type, so perfect in its disposition of curves and counter-curves […] represents France in its tradition of the dialectic, expressed in the perfect dialogue between strokes and counters, between curves and geometry." Françoise Schein has extended this link with Garamond in metro stations in Brussels, Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro and Stockholm, and for installations that affirm the universality of the Rights of Man, in particular in the Brazilian favelas .