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Week 02: Towards the personal typeface project

Week two started with Xavier Dupré, Mathieu Réguer and Jean François looking over the attendees’ work from week one. The end of the week was also memorable: Visit at Bibliothèque Mazarine, then a day trip to Lyon to visit Musée de l’Imprimerie and Musée Gallo Romain.

On Monday the attendees moved on to an design exploration of letterforms: weights, widths, contrasts, styles all day. This was very useful for the group, as they began to search for ideas for their own typeface project. Tuesday followed in the same vein, as Mathieu guided the group through different styles to fix ideas. The group needed to have chosen their typeface project, and have written a brief about it. The attendees created iterations of different styles of letterforms to give them an understanding of the differences and similarities between styles and forms that their personal typeface could take.

Wednesday brought international guest critic Martina Flor, as well as the next TypeParis Talks, held at Le Tank. Martina spent time with each student to help clarify and refine their brief all day long. Read more about the TypeParis Talks with Martina Flor and Pierre di Sciullo, and to watch the videos on their talk page.

On Thursday, attendees worked hard on their projects with Xavier, Mathieu and Jean François. Some decided to continue and improve what they started last week, others on their new brief: Baskerville revival, Political poster typeface, editorial typeface project involving headlines and texts families, typeface as a reflection of Swedish seasons, another for travel and lifestyle brand, etc. After a long weekend working on their own projects, they will meet Alice Savoie and Jean François on 4 July to refine their project and move on the computer.

Bibliothèque Mazarine

This visit on Thursday evening is always special, as going to this historical place means a lot to us. The Mazarine Library originated in the private collections of Cardinal Mazarin (1602–1661), Richelieu’s successor and prime minister during Louis XIV’s rule. The library in Mazarin’s mansion (which later became the historic site of the Bibliothèque nationale de France) was opened to scholars in 1643, making the Mazarine France’s oldest public library! We enjoyed a great selection of books, from Gutenberg Bible, Sweynheym and Pannartz, Jenson, Henri Estienne, Arrighi, Tory, Augereau, Granjon, Romain du Roi first edition, Baskerville, Caslon, Bodoni, Jarry, etc…

Lyon trip

We jumped on the TGV to Lyon at 6:30am to spend a great day at Lyon. This city was the Roman capital 2000 years ago, and an important place in Europe during the Renaissance. We feel very much the presence of the history: buildings, colors, Roman ruins… The first visit was Musée de l’imprimerie de Lyon. Matthieu Cortat received us and presented a lot of material from the French history of typography: Hollenstein, Fonderie Bertrand, Deberny et Peignot, and the highlight was the Ladislas Mandel artworks for his telephone books typefaces, from drawing on tracing papers to final corrections on bitmap printouts.

In the afternoon, we reached the Musée Gallo Romain de Lyon. crossing the fantastic Roman theatre. Impossible to count how many inscriptions we’ve seen! Three floors full of them, it’s fantastic, it’s incredible: many sizes, many styles, different proportions, ligatures, variants, details. Very inspiring for all of us, including the ones who already seen this place last year. We arrived in Paris at 23:00 full of great memories.

— By Dave Coleman

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July 5, 2016
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