The “Mobilier national” is a French institution whose roots can be traced back to 1604 and the reign of King Henri IV. At the time of its founding, the task of the “Garde-Meuble royal” was to produce and to repair furniture and other items such as tapestry in order to equip the royal castles.
The duties of today’s Mobilier national are not far from this. It holds more than 200,000 pieces that it lends to official establishments like the presidential Élysée Palace or French embassies across the world. It furthermore runs several workshops that constantly repair and conserve the holdings and also create new objects. Accordingly, Mobilier national has a stake in the education of new generations of designers and craftsmen who will take on the task in the future.
Since 2019 the Mobilier national organizes a yearly design competition in collaboration with selected institutes of higher education. Each year the “Prix Mobilier National – Jeune Création” sets a different topic to solve and thereby addresses different disciplines. In 2020 the students were called to design, among other things, a new conference table for the council of ministers that occurs every Wednesday at Élysée Palace.
The pictures in this post show promotional material around the exhibition of the results and the award ceremony that took place in the framework of Paris Design Week at the Galerie des Gobelins. The typefaces used here are Mars and, in small quantities, Cardinal, both published by Production Type in 2018. Designed by Alaric Garnier, Mars is a sturdy sans-serif available in only one weight but three extremely different widths – condensed, standard and extended – of which each brings its own flavor. In the media shown here you see the extended version. The seriffed Cardinal, on the other hand, is characterized by an abundance of variants. The collection provides five basic styles: Fruit (condensed), Photo (semibold and tight spacing), and three versions of Cardinal Classic, with short, medium, and long ascenders and descenders. The style use for Mobilier du XXIème Siècle is Cardinal Short Italic.