In the beginning of TypeParis we started with calligraphy, to understand the structure of the letters. Although I had some experience with calligraphy already, I learned so much more about it, I started feeling quite comfortable with the alphabet that we were practicing during the first week -and later on tracing paper. I was pretty sure to use my drawings of the first week to start with my type project and expand it to a type family.
As TypeParis included also numerous of library visits, we had the opportunity to see a lot of printed books from the 15th to 19th century and a large bandwidth of old typefaces. Especially some Didot Typefaces printed in small sizes catch my eye. I was quite fascinated by the overall aesthetics; especially in small sizes which the letters looked very sharp, compared to other typefaces that were produced at that period. I thought of doing revival, based on the Didot typeface.
But since there are many revivals of Didot, it didn’t make sense to do another revival. So regarding that, referencing William Morris’ »Golden Type«,-which was a clear statement against the Didone Typeface- I had the idea to give my brief a little twist.
The goal was to create a sharp looking typeface (like the ones we saw in the specimens from Mazarin Library) and keeping the certain characteristics that were mentioned in «Golden Type» and «Didot».
The regular weight became, a transitional which worked well in body text; whereas the letterforms had some limits for heavy display weight. So it was a better idea to draw a Didot Black Display and interpolate between those two weights.
The name Guillotine references the overall sharpness of the Typeface and especially the shape of the serifs and also the «cut off» ball terminals.
Finally i would like to thank Martin Majoor, Mathieu Réguer, Julie Soudanne, Gina Serret, Malou Verdomme, Marc Rouault, David Březina, for the best feedback, support and suggestions. Petra Dočekalová and Nadine Chahine for wonderful workshops. Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer for all things he showed what is possible on glyphs, to make my life easier.
And of course Jean François Porchez to made this programme possible, keeping us on track and for being the person that he is! Also thanks to the attendees, it was an intense, but wonderful time with you. Especially Yaprak, Andrea, Valentin, Celine and Marc for sharing the same sense of humor, that made this program more enjoyable I could ever imagined. We will see each other in the future!
The 6-week type design programme that you’ve been waiting for starts on 6 June and ends 13 July 2023.
Our summer programme is in English and covers typeface design and calligraphy techniques, type history, and software practices. Every kind of design professional can learn about type design in a relatively short amount of time.