Trax is France’s leading magazine and website for electronic music and culture. Founded in Paris in 1997, Trax was historically intermingled with its subject (from the early days of the “French Touch” to later major acts), witnessing, recording, and surviving the dramatic changes of the music industry and the rise of electronic culture. In 2013, the magazine was eventually bought by its own employees. Trax turned 18 in 2015 and decided to reflect these changes with a new format.
Production Type’s Jean-Baptiste Levée, in collaboration with Large design studio, rethought the new Trax from the ground up. Starting from a new magazine format and art direction, and a new logo drawn by Levée (based on Stunt Nord, a standalone style of the Stunt family, later to be released this year), the overhaul extended beyond the magazine to all aspects of the Trax brand, such as the website, events, and digital products.
The type palette provided by Production Type is a compound of existing off-the-shelf types, new extensions, and previously unseen designs. The main text typeface is Cardinal, a serifed alphabet drawn by Yoann Minet & Quentin Schmerber under Levée’s guidance. Cardinal refers to many classic Jannon-inspired typefaces that were popular in 1990s digital culture, and distantly echoes the ill-fated typeface ITC Garamond. In this way, Cardinal Photo and Cardinal Fruit are two extra sidekicks, reminiscent of an era where the early photocomposition faces were swapped with their electronic counterparts. Stratos, Minet’s own design, while being unreleased at the time, was featured in the layout since the first issue redesigned by the team. Minotaur Lombardic & Proto Slab debuted on the cover of Trax magazine (respectively on issues 185 & 190), too. Existing designs from the Production Type catalog were also put to use across all Trax channels: Minotaur, Minotaur Sans, Minotaur Beef, Countach, and Proto Grotesk, which gained newly drawn weights specifically for the brand.