This article has not been translated in English yet. It is about the classification of typefaces, and was written in May 2013. It was commissioned by a magazine that was never published in the end. I publish it here so it won’t stay trapped in the depths of my computer.
The new version of Culture Papiers, the three-monthly magazine from France Culture, French national radio, has been designed by Building Paris, using the David font family from this wonderful type foundry itself together with Lyon from Commercial Type.
Building Paris is an art direction and graphic design studio run by Benoît Santiard & Guillaume Grall. Their work is quite direct, they are always eager for new typographic stuff and have a certain passion for architecture.
During their artistic residency at Mains d’Œuvres, the Kiösk studio used the David typeface family for the visual identity of this place.
Kiösk (Elsa Aupetit & Martin Plagnol) is a Paris based graphic design studio. They design a wide variety of projects including identities, websites, posters, books and signage. They work both for public and private clients. They took care of the most recent issue of Graphisme en France, made around a clever fold that isolates the texte from the images. They were in artistic residency in 2016 for Mains d’Œuvres, a place “for artistic and civil imagination”.
In the context of writing a master dissertation about japanese culture at the Inalco (Paris), I dived into the history of japanese typography, focusing on the figure of Motogi Shōzō. As there are only few sources in english or in french about the development of japanese typography, I want to share here some of the elements I discovered.
(master dissertation under the direction of Emmanuel Lozerand, in 2016)
In 2007, I translated for my master’s degree dissertation a german text by Jan Tschichold describing the evolution of the ampersand, a text that was published in 1953. Here is this translation in french, to which I added a few comments (set in italic). The orignial text is written as one block of text, but I chunked it here in historical periods and the ampersand’s collection made by Tschichold (naming in numbers) has been completed by personal finds (naming in letters). I am very sorry that I did not translate this text in english, but as english is not my mothertongue, I think it would have taken the text too far away form its source and it is never a good idea to make a translation of a translation. Anyway, you can still look at the images, they’re pretty nice! (And learn how to say “ampersand” in french, that is “esperluette” (cute word)).
The Coline typeface in use in the programme of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs of Paris for January to April 2015, designed by Atelier Anette Lenz. The whole family is here: Coline Première, Coline Cursive and Coline Extrême, in various weights.
The David specimen is set in 3 different formats. A fight between the small and the big (guess who wins…) It will show you the 6 weights of the David family and their italics. Texts are in french and english.
You have already met BTP regular, it has now turned into a warm and loving family, including a light and rotated versions.
Coline has been chosen to enter the collections of the French CNAP(Centre National des Arts Plastiques). To celebrate this good news, let’s dive into the work process that lead to the creation of Coline family.
David is a sans-serif typeface, looking sturdy and stable but keeping a slingerly spirit, that fits with its foundry companions. It does not fear the difficulties and has therefore equipped itself with a proper italic.
In front of the diversity of typographic offer, David stands alone, as the homonymous statue sculpted by Michelangelo in a block of marble rejected by other people because of its flaws. This statue had been placed in front of the palazzo Vecchio to symbolize the determination of the young Florentine republic facing surrounding tyrants.
Supported by an extended family of 6 weights, standing firm, of a generous width, the David typeface stands up to merciless giants and philistines of all kinds.