Sans-serif typeface

from Mathieu Triay
designed by Mathieu Triay

Variable Font

3 axes: Optical Sizing, Weight, Width

21 Styles

7 Weights: ExtraLight to ExtraBold
Width: 75 to 100
Optical Sizing

Best for

  • Headings (display text)
  • Long reading text (body text)
  • User Interfaces (functional text)


Free and Open Source


A free sans-serif font that shows confidence and personality with a vintage vibe, and versatility in a broad range of sizes.

My thoughs on Bricolage Grotesque

Mathieu Triay created a typeface that immediately fascinated me! The free font with the beautiful name Bricolage Grotesque is a contemporary, eccentric blend of many influences. It certainly has a vintage vibe, can be loud in expressive titles and headings, but also tame its temper in copy or smaller text.

Quirky & Expressive

These were the first things that came into my mind when I saw this beauty. It is definitely a bit too much for a lot of running text, too eccentric for that. It’s ideal for posters, headings, and other use case that have a moderate amount of reading text, not a blog.

Extra Light is Extra Lovely

You can express yourself even in small sizes. The power of optical sizing gives you what you need to keep it readable, even in captions. I recommend using the Medium weight here.
Bricolage Grotesque works in many applications and sizes

Some of its peculiarities are the well articulated ink traps, an organic flow that shows in the descender of the small y or the ampersand. But also a certain strictness in angled cut off terminals (see f, s, a, e) and a lot of quirkiness, like with the hook shaped top of the f.

Hook-shaped top of the small “f”, softly curved descender of the small “y”, Articulated ink traps shown at the “p”, the straight ear
of the lower case “g”
Some of my favorite characters of Bricolage Grotesque

To be that versatile, Bricolage Grotesque comes as a variable font with a weight, width, and optical sizing axis. Optical sizing means that it adjusts the amount of detail and spacing to the specific size it is set in. The smaller, the more spaced out it is. As it grows, the spacing becomes narrower, the ink traps finer, and the apertures more closed.

Optical Sizing Joy with optical size 14 and 96 in comparison
When comparing the smallest and largest optical size, you see how the spacing and some details change, like the ink traps and apertures.

It is absolutely worth checking out the beautifully crafted microsite, the design notes and beautiful personal backstory of Bricolage Grotesque. Learn about its origins there, but also on the September ’23 Font Friday Video Digest on Patreon.

Patreon blurred image
See the origins of this font. On Patreon in the September ’23 Font Friday Video Digest.

Recommended Font Pairing

Bricolage Grotesque is a rational, linear, sans-serif typeface. If you want to use it for expressive headings, but it’s a bit too distracting for a lot of body text, it pairs well with quite similar Massillia. Rational serif typefaces like Gelasio or Spitzkant also make a great match.

Bricolage Grotesque (free)
Bricolage Grotesque (free)
  • Headings
  • Copy
  • UI Text

Learn more about pairing typefaces using the Font Matrix.

I can’t wait for a project where I can use this beautiful typeface before everyone else does. What about you? Tell me in the comments!

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Edition #132, published


  1. This is a good one but I prefer Gangster Grotesk. When using and older style grotesque/gothic, I want the eccentricity to stand out – the only reason I use them. Ganster is less accessible though: not on google, have to sign up to a newsletter to get it, and a custom licence (which is OK for me but maybe not everyone).

    If you’re accepting nominations, I’d love to hear your opinion of Radio Canada. OK, it’s another plain, readable font but I wonder whether there’s a reason it’s relatively unpopular that I don’t see. I think it has a lot going for it.

    1. I like Gangster Grotesk, it has got a different flavor, a bit stricter and sharper. Also really beautiful landing page, but what else can you expect from FreshFonts 😉!

      Thanks for the nomination, I’ll check out Radio Canada! It is a great typeface, I don’t see any disadvantages at first sight, I just guess that the Grotesk style sans-serifs are still more in fashion right now. Even though we are riding this wave for a looooong time now 😅.

  2. I am using this one for a new identity for a school. I will be happy to share. 🙂 What do you think about combination with lato? I need Sans Serif and it feels like it works nicely. 🙂

    1. Nice! Please, Jan, go ahead and use the feedback form! About combining it with Lato, I’m not sure. Lato is dynamic from its from model and Bricolage more rational. But eventually it will depend on how you use it and for wich kinds of text. So just send it over and I’ll have a look 😉.

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