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Does anybody know if this is fully custom or based on an existing script font?
many thanks in advance,
Custom lettering by Nick Cooke.
Here it is on my website.
Some alternatives for those who, like me, don't have the talent of Nick Cooke: Damion, Milk, Drop, Susa
thanks for the awesome suggestions Ryuk
a bit more information on this. I'm the co-founder and former Creative Director of Rapha. I worked on the logo with Nick back in 2004. I created the concept, got the design about 90% of the way there, and then Nick added some beautiful touches: an authentic 'signature-like' realism and the lovely indent in the cap 'R'.
The letterforms were originally based on commercial hand-lettering that I found on the side of a 1950s (ish) Citroen H-Van Tour de France support vehicle in an old book about cycling. The distinctive open shape of the 'p' was the first thing I really liked about it, although the original 'p' had a rather nasty squared off descender, which we rounded off to create a more 'ink-like' appearance.
I can't remember what the original lettering read (I'm still trying to find a copy of the original picture!), although it did have the descender/ascender relationship of the final logo, but didn't include an 'R' or an 'a', which we drew entirely from scratch.
The logo is matched with Trade Gothic, which was also inspired by the H-van... a lot of European commercial graphics of that period had the 'signature + condensed sans' combination. And it just seemed to fit the slightly nostalgic feel we were aiming for, whilst also being a very functional typeface.
Nick did an amazing job at refining the concept and turning it from a good piece of work into a great piece of work, thanks Nick!
Incidentally, one of the reasons we originally chose the name Rapha was for the way it looked in a 'script-type' typeface. We did a few mock-ups of various possible brand names and 'Rapha' just looked good, even in crappy standard Edwardian Script type stuff. Rare perhaps to base the choice of name on how it looked, but satisfying for a designer!
Thank you for writing up that interesting testimonial.
And it strikes me that somebody should teach a class (or give a conference presentation) on how to choose a company name based on the appeal of letterforms!