• 2020
  • Garaje Monospace

  • +
  • 2020
  • Garaje Monospace

Garaje takes its inspiration both from the alphabets of the Bauhaus school and the vernacular inscriptions of Spanish garage owners: two worlds that share a desire to reduce typographic forms to simple geometric elements. At the Bauhaus this geometrization is ideological: it represents a rejection of tradition and the affirmation of an objective and rational vocabulary. With garage owners it is a simple matter of logic, certainly due to an ignorance of tradition. It is somewhat naïve to wish to reduce the shapes of the alphabet to elementary forms. Perfect geometrical forms seem less than perfect to our eyes: type Design abounds with optical corrections that compensate for our perception of forms.
Garaje plays specifically with this paradox: its construction is rigorously geometrical, anchored to a scalable modular grid, with no optical correction. A perfectly objective system, but a typographical aberration, simultaneously right and wrong. For the last 20 years, I have extended this family in every direction, to the point of absurdity: extremely narrow or outlandishly wide letterforms, all built from the same modules. Today it is a complete system, available in 44 widths and 5 weights. The complete family counts 445 fonts, hundreds of thousands of glyphs, and zero contrast: Garaje is a typeface which is at the same time brutal and playful, rational and naïve. Garaje Monospace subfamily goes from 05015 (5 on 15 grid) to 3503 (35 on 3), and includes 215 fonts + 5 variable fonts. Its construction allows to compose in many sizes without changing the stem weight, and/or the pitch.
Available at 205TF.
Online specimen

  • 2002
  • Minuscule

  • +
  • 2002
  • Minuscule

Minuscule is a typeface designed for very small sizes. Its creation was inspired by the theories of ophthalmologist Emile Javal and his “theory of compact prints” (Physiologie de la lecture et de l’écriture /Physiology of reading and writing, Paris, Alcan, 1905). I initiated this project during my studies at the Atelier national de recherche typographique in 2001-2002, and completed it, designing the italics in 2006–2007 during a residency in the Académie de France in Rome – Villa Médicis.
The font comes in five versions, all optimised for 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2 points. The design evolves progressively as "the size decreases": the spacing and the x-height increase, the contrast decreases, inktraps appear and the design is simplified. The MinUscule 2 is the strangest: “at this size, said Javal, we read most the difference between the letters”. As a consequence, the particularities of each sign are exaggerated, and the secondary details eliminated.
The contrast of the italics is not found in the spacing, almost identical to the roman, but by a more rhythmic design, progressively more lively and broken.
The Minuscule has received a number of awards: Type Directors Club in New York in 2005 (Certificate of excellence in type design); Erik Spiekermann declared it to be the Favourite Font of 2007 in Typographica (http://typographica.org/typeface-reviews/minuscule/ ), and Paul Shaw described it as one of the typefaces of the decade in Print magazine (http://www.printmag.com/imprint/ten-typefaces-of-the-decade/ ). In 2016, a collection of 256 original drawings of the Minuscule were acquired by the Centre national des arts plastiques.

  • 2020
  • Garaje Mid

  • +
  • 2020
  • Garaje Mid

Garaje takes its inspiration both from the alphabets of the Bauhaus school and the vernacular inscriptions of Spanish garage owners: two worlds that share a desire to reduce typographic forms to simple geometric elements. At the Bauhaus this geometrization is ideological: it represents a rejection of tradition and the affirmation of an objective and rational vocabulary. With garage owners it is a simple matter of logic, certainly due to an ignorance of tradition. It is somewhat naïve to wish to reduce the shapes of the alphabet to elementary forms. Perfect geometrical forms seem less than perfect to our eyes: type Design abounds with optical corrections that compensate for our perception of forms.
Garaje plays specifically with this paradox: its construction is rigorously geometrical, anchored to a scalable modular grid, with no optical correction. A perfectly objective system, but a typographical aberration, simultaneously right and wrong. For the last 20 years, I have extended this family in every direction, to the point of absurdity: extremely narrow or outlandishly wide letterforms, all built from the same modules. Today it is a complete system, available in 44 widths and 5 weights. The complete family counts 445 fonts, hundreds of thousands of glyphs, and zero contrast: Garaje is a typeface which is at the same time brutal and playful, rational and naïve. Garaje Mid subfamily goes from 0503 (5 on 3 grid) to 0504 (5 on 4 grid) and 0603 (6 on 3 grid), and includes 15 fonts + 3 variable fonts. Its construction allows to compose in many widths without changing the stem weight.
Available at 205TF.
Online specimen

  • 2017
  • Le Barn × be pôles

  • +
  • 2017
  • Le Barn × be pôles

Cast iron is used on all signage and property objects, in a wide range of techniques: enamel plates, sign painting, silscreen, embroidery, etc.

  • 2015
  • Le Pigalle × be pôles

  • +
  • 2015
  • Le Pigalle × be pôles

Le Pigalle is a hotel in the eponymous district of Paris. The agency be-poles (Paris / New York) commissioned me to create its custom typeface, which is inspired by the vernacular signs and inscriptions of this lively and typical district. Photos © Benoît Linero

  • 2020
  • Garaje Condensed

  • +
  • 2020
  • Garaje Condensed

Garaje takes its inspiration both from the alphabets of the Bauhaus school and the vernacular inscriptions of Spanish garage owners: two worlds that share a desire to reduce typographic forms to simple geometric elements. At the Bauhaus this geometrization is ideological: it represents a rejection of tradition and the affirmation of an objective and rational vocabulary. With garage owners it is a simple matter of logic, certainly due to an ignorance of tradition. It is somewhat naïve to wish to reduce the shapes of the alphabet to elementary forms. Perfect geometrical forms seem less than perfect to our eyes: type Design abounds with optical corrections that compensate for our perception of forms.
Garaje plays specifically with this paradox: its construction is rigorously geometrical, anchored to a scalable modular grid, with no optical correction. A perfectly objective system, but a typographical aberration, simultaneously right and wrong. For the last 20 years, I have extended this family in every direction, to the point of absurdity: extremely narrow or outlandishly wide letterforms, all built from the same modules. Today it is a complete system, available in 44 widths and 5 weights. The complete family counts 445 fonts, hundreds of thousands of glyphs, and zero contrast: Garaje is a typeface which is at the same time brutal and playful, rational and naïve. Garaje Condensed subfamily goes from 0703 (7 on 3 grid) to 3503 (35 on 3), and includes 145 fonts, + one variable font. Its construction allows to compose in many sizes without changing the stem weight. Specimen made with DrawBot by Rémi Forte.
Available at 205TF.
Online specimen

  • 2017
  • America × be pôles

  • +
  • 2017
  • America × be pôles

Launched by François Busnel and Éric Fottorino, this mook tells of America, its beauty, but also its faults and cracks. Each quarter, the greatest French and American writers are invited to become the memorialists of an extraordinary era. 4 issues for 4 years: the time of Donald Trump’s presidential term.
For the header, I designed a custom lettering inspired by American typefaces, something between Woody Allen and Ralph Lauren. Lowercase m is an obvious reference to Windsor, but the wordmark is sturdier.

  • 2020
  • Garaje Multi

  • +
  • 2020
  • Garaje Multi

Garaje takes its inspiration both from the alphabets of the Bauhaus school and the vernacular inscriptions of Spanish garage owners: two worlds that share a desire to reduce typographic forms to simple geometric elements. At the Bauhaus this geometrization is ideological: it represents a rejection of tradition and the affirmation of an objective and rational vocabulary. With garage owners it is a simple matter of logic, certainly due to an ignorance of tradition. It is somewhat naïve to wish to reduce the shapes of the alphabet to elementary forms. Perfect geometrical forms seem less than perfect to our eyes: type Design abounds with optical corrections that compensate for our perception of forms.
Garaje plays specifically with this paradox: its construction is rigorously geometrical, anchored to a scalable modular grid, with no optical correction. A perfectly objective system, but a typographical aberration, simultaneously right and wrong. For the last 20 years, I have extended this family in every direction, to the point of absurdity: extremely narrow or outlandishly wide letterforms, all built from the same modules. Today it is a complete system, available in 44 widths and 5 weights. The complete family counts 445 fonts, hundreds of thousands of glyphs, and zero contrast: Garaje is a typeface which is at the same time brutal and playful, rational and naïve. Garaje Multi embeds 13 different widths in each font, from 0503 (5 on 3 grid) to 05015 (5 on 15 grid). The default set is a mix of 0503, 0504 and 0505. The subfamily includes 5 fonts (2352 glyphs each) + 1 variable font. Its construction allows to compose in many widths without changing the stem weight. Letters on the lowercase set go wider and wider when repeated, and it’s fun.
Available at 205TF.
Online specimen

  • 2017
  • Park MGM × be pôles

  • +
  • 2017
  • Park MGM × be pôles

Park MGM is the new name of the famous Hotel Montecarlo, on the Las Vegas Strip (Nevada). It is owned by the Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The agency be-poles (Paris / New York) commissioned me to design the exclusive typeface of the hotel, Alder, used for its interior and exterior signage, and all of its communication.
Rather than the excessive and often caricatured image of the hotels in the city, the visual identity of the Park MGM chooses elegance, with a very refined interior design. Likewise, Alder is inspired by the proportions of classic Roman capitals, with a more contemporary design. It comes in 4 weights : Regular, Bold, Italic and Condensed. Exclusive use

  • 2017
  • Minérale

  • +
  • 2017
  • Minérale

Minérale is a typeface based on uncommon stems, whose sides intersect at their centers. These two triangles that meet at the tip are an exaggeration of triangular serifs.
This project was born from a lettering for an exhibition entitled Splendeurs Minérales at the Musée de Montbéliard (France). I then developed a series of weights, which share the same width: a Multiplexed typeface that occupy the same space, whatever its weight.
The same goes for Roman and Italic. Italics turn around a central, vertical axis: the more the weight increases, the more slanted is the typeface.
Minerale is published at 205.tf since 2017 for Roman, 2018 for italics. It is developed in the new technology of variable fonts, which allows the user to act directly on the appearance of the characters, on a weight axis.
Minerale was designated Favorite Font of 2017 by Typographica, and won a TDC award in 2018.
Try and buy at 205.tf

  • 2014
  • Luxeuil script

  • +
  • 2014
  • Luxeuil script

Luxeuil script is a very rare Merovingian script, from the beginning of the seventh century. It is derived from uncial, half-uncial and roman cursive: before the advent of the Carolingian Minuscule, it is considered as one of the first formal minuscule.
Intrigued by this local unknown writing, born a few kilometers from my home, I studied it with my friend Claude-Laurent François and tried to design a digital version of it. I had to understand the ductus and then to reproduce the gesture and stroke of the pen. Rather than drawing the outlines, I digitized the inner skeleton, and applied afterwards a virtual elliptic pen. This dynamic approach allowed me to create the very large number of ligatures contained in this handwriting: these ligatures are created automatically with initial, medial or final contextual forms.
Unpublished

  • 2010
  • Musée d’Orsay

  • +
  • 2010
  • Musée d’Orsay

The Musée d’Orsay wanted, in 2010, to renew its typography, returning to the typeface defined in its original visual identity, developed by Bruno Monguzzi and Jean Widmer (1986). The museum will was to update Walbaum, cut by Justus Erich Walbaum (around 1830), then unique typographic voice of the institution. With Philippe Millot, we defined a family of «cousins» of Walbaum, in styles that appeared later in the 19th century. For text typefaces, a Grotesk (sans serif and bold), and a Typewriter (slab serifs, low contrast, and light). For display typefaces, the uppercase present variations of texture in the manner of 19th century display type. Unfortunately, the Museum barely used this new typeface system.

next page