This summer I was accepted into the five week intensive type design program, Type Paris. Over the course of the program, twelve students from around the world came together to learn about type design and to design our own typefaces. The program was lead by the Jean François Porchez of Typofonderie, Mathieu Réguer, Julien Priez, Xavier Dupré, Alice Savoie, and a handful of other guest critics and instructors.
Learning Type Design in Paris
The city of Paris was a great backdrop for this program as it has a rich history of design within the city limits. Full days of class instruction were supplemented by field trips to the National Library of France, the Libraire Paul Jammes, and a full day trip to Lyon. Each week, a guest critic would join us for a day of one-on-one discussions about our projects, followed later in the evening by a lecture about their work, which was open to the public. Several different designers came through and worked with us, each providing unique feedback and a new perspective to our work.
The first two weeks of the program were spent off of the computer, first inking Roman calligraphy by hand, then enlarging and expanding upon those humanist forms at a greater scale. For some students, this exercise became the foundation of their final typefaces. I found curiosity in a different exercise we did that first week where we drew letterforms with just a pencil, using pressure the same way one would with the broad nib pen. This gradient fascinated me and became the basis of my typeface, Camus.
The way I achieved this gradient appearance was through a twist of the stem. The result is quite interesting to discover at larger sizes and succeeds in its intended effect at smaller sizes.
Camus was named after Albert Camus, the French philosopher. He views reflected the extremities and the contradictions of life. My typeface and my process at Type Paris followed a very similar path. Camus is calligraphic, but not entirely. It seems to dance between a few different genres at the same time. In its regular form it has a light and airy feeling, but in other weights could be quite strong and forceful.
Camus In Use
Because it takes much longer than five weeks to develop a typeface, Camus is still in development. In addition to fine tuning the regular weight, I'm excited to explore italics, bold weights, and stencils that could be translated to signage and printed materials.
Many thanks to Jean Francois, Mathieu Reguer, Julien Priez, Xavier Dupre, Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer, and Alice Savoie for all their hard work putting the program together and spending the time with us each day. To Peter Bilak, Martina Flor, Alexandra Korolkova, Indra Kupferschmid, and Lucas Sharp for taking the time to not only be a guest critic during the day, but to have the energy to speak at our Type Talks in the evening. To Muchir Desclouds, Pierre di Sciullo, Helena Ichbiah, Bernard Brechet, and Leslie David for sharing their life's work. And to my fellow students for collaborating and helping one another to make our projects stronger.