French comrades, go vote to fight fascism!

We design libre / open source fonts. Learn more and contribute to the adventure of Velvetyne by reading our “about” page.


Quantum leaps only

pilowlava atome

Quantum leaps only

pilowlava regular

Designed by

Anton Moglia, Jérémy Landes, with the contribution of Maksym Kobuzan


  • pilowlava atome
  • pilowlava regular

Writing systems


Initialy published on April 26, 2019 and updated on May 28, 2024

Ce contenu existe en Français

Pilowlava (sic) was born as an intuitive, fast-paced creative feedback loop in which its creators tried to surprise one another. The result is a typeface that recalls cooled lava flows drawn with a compass. Striving to please both of its parents, Pilowlava seeks a balance between viscous energy and controlled geometry. This geometric approach lies on the shoulders of researches conducted by Swiss designer Armin Hofmann in his Graphic Design Manual edited in 1965. The structures of its glyphs are mostly derived from hand-written dynamics, that feed from both calligraphic and graffiti references. All these sweet inconsistencies produce a vacillating, fluctuating typographic colour, embodied by the almost-mathematical tension of its curves. Under a hardened crust, Pilowlava awaits the smallest temperature rise to recover its viscosity. The alternate shapes of certain letters play out these thermic accidents and raise the temperature of the text.

It takes its name from lava pillows, a natural phenomenon that is produced when lava is expelled by an underwater volcano, or when the lava flows of an emerged volcano encounter a body of water. In contact with the water, the lava flow is so hot that it's coated in a glass film. As it isn't totally cooled down, it transforms into smooth pillows that continue to slowly grow. This way, lava creates tubes and viscous balls that pile up and shape one another, and then they aggregate in puffy clusters that can measure several meters.

Pilowlava is available at Velvetyne from today on. It's cost-free and it can be freely used, modified and distributed for all of your burning needs.

On December 2020, we released a fork of Pilowlava by Vincent Wagner where most glyphs have been modelled in 3D to be used in 3D environments. Get more details and download these mesh files here.

Maksym Kobuzan drew the beautiful and sensible Cyrillic version which was added in March 2022.

In 2024, Anton Moglia introduced "Pilowlava Atome", a custom version with interior perforations in the letters to imitate climbing holds, developed for the climbing gym Atome in Annecy. The idea for this version came from a poster designed by graphic designer Gabriel Robert.

Pilowlava got featured in Typographica's favourite typefaces of 2019. Read the article.

Related Articles

Pilowlava Pilowlava 3D
Кульова лава (подушкова лава, ґлобулярна лава, піллоу-лава) — лава, що застигла у вигляді подушковидних тіл (має кульову або подушкоподібну окремість).
The vulcanoids are a hypothetical population of asteroids that orbit the Sun in a dynamically stable zone inside the orbit of the planet Mercury. They are named after the hypothetical planet Vulcan, which was proposed on the basis of irregularities in Mercury's orbit that were later found to be explained by general relativity. So far, no vulcanoids have been discovered, and it is not yet clear whether any exist.
Утворюється при підводних та підлідних виверженнях (особливо при невеликій швидкості виливу). Ймовірно, найпоширеніший тип застиглої лави на Земл. Розмір, форма та будова «подушок» дуже різноманітні. Вони можуть нагадувати амеб, буханки, короваї, балони, матраци, кулі, плоско-опуклі лінзи і зазвичай сполучені перемичками, утворюючи ланцюжки та нагромадження. Розмір «подушок» найчастіше лежить у межах від десятків сантиметрів до кількох метрів. Характерні ознаки подушкової лави — темна склувата кірка, вкрита борозенками, розколювання за радіальними тріщинами та схильність до утворення нагромаджень з крутими схилами.
Vulcanization (British: Vulcanisation) is a range of processes for hardening rubbers.[1] The term originally referred exclusively to the treatment of natural rubber with sulfur, which remains the most common practice. It has also grown to include the hardening of other (synthetic) rubbers via various means. Examples include silicone rubber via room temperature vulcanizing and chloroprene rubber (neoprene) using metal oxides.
Vulcain (Vulcanus en latin) est le dieu romain du feu, des volcans, de la forge, et le patron des forgerons. Il incarne non seulement le feu bienfaisant, source des industries humaines, mais aussi le feu destructeur dont il peut précipiter ou suspendre le cours : sous le surnom de mitis, le doux, ou quietus, le tranquille, il est celui qui peut éteindre les incendies
Download Pilowlava