Acid Grotesk: Folch's 'fluid and energetic' smiley typeface for Acid House Barcelona

Folch has unveiled the custom typeface it designed for Acid House Barcelona, the creative innovation hub it launched in Poblenou last year in collaboration with Adidas Originals, Elisava, OFFF, and Vice.

Called Acid Grotesk, it's named after the transgressive music genre and hopes to follow the same spirit of that era, "breaking the rules and turning the classical idea of a business on its head," as COO Rafa Martínez of Folch puts it. "Acid House Barcelona was never just a physical space. It was designed to be a hybrid initiative, focusing on education, music and bridging the gap between business and creativity, engaging with global audiences digitally as well as physically.

"It could have happened the other way round, but according to this business model we positioned ourselves as a reference for what many people call the 'new normality'."

Sadly, Acid House was open for less than a month before lockdown began in Spain. "It will open again soon and, if all goes well, we will fit perfectly into this framework of 'think globally, act remotely'," adds Rafa.

The personality of the typeface lies in its smooth curves and rounded vertex, "characteristics that represent the more fluid, rounded principles of Acid House Barcelona," adds Josep Puy, art director and senior designer at Folch.

But it also has a light and playful feel with the addition of a smiley face to the character set. There are also several Opentype functions, such as fractions, old-style figures and case-sensitive forms where you can adapt the shape of any letter.

Why the acid house influence? "The integration of the smiley was a natural step for us," says Pablo Fernández, Designer at Folch. "We wanted to make a direct reference to the pop element that nowadays is accessible and recognised worldwide. It is a friendly and welcoming symbol and by incorporating it as one more glyph within the typography itself, with the same weight and within every iteration, we embed the genre of Acid House into the essential language and identity of the brand."

With different weights and displayed in 507 characters, Acid Grotesk can be used for headlines, texts and displays. There's also a unique stylistic set where all accents and symbols are changed to a very fine weight in contrast to the rest of the characters that remain the same.


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