In 2016, French design studio deValence was commissioned to work on the visual identity and signage of “Petite Égypte”, a Parisian bookshop situated in a neighborhood crossed by “rue du Caire” [Cairo Street], “rue d’Aboukir” [Abu Qir Street] and “rue du Nil” [Nile Street] (and therefore nicknamed “Petite Égypte” [Small Egypt]). deValence had recently stumbled upon an Intertype specimen and had noticed “Vogue”, a font that would be a good match for this project. They decided to entrust me with the creation of a custom version. After some researches, we found that “Vogue” was actually a Stephenson Blake, sans serif, all caps typeface made in 1929. There was a slightly different version cut by Intertype in light and bold weights in the early 1930s. It was created for Vogue magazine, a Conde Nast publication, but was later released to the general printing trade and became an alternative to “Futura”. If “Nil” started as a revival, it quickly evolved into a completely new typeface: we decided to modernize it, making the regular slightly bolder, with a bigger x-height and smaller ascendants and descendants. We additionally developed several weights. The aim was to focus on the original alternate glyphs and emphasize the somewhat weird aspects to get away from a geometrical, polite, Futura-like feeling. “Nil” bring the initial design elsewhere and offers Petite Égypte’s identity a striking typographic treatment.
Photos © deValence
DOD is a custom, all-caps, single-style typeface designed for the identity of “Luminaire Dod”, a French lamp designer. The ground-breaking, eco-conceived, modular, dodecahedron-shaped light informed the original shape from which we derived all letters. Monumental and playful, it brings a unique voice which encapsulate DOD’s spirit and values.
Photos © DOD / Florent Blanchard
For years, Paris based design studio deValence has been using “Le Plus Grand”, a typeface of their own creation, for various projects (in particular, the firsts titles of Raphael Zarka’s iconic books, published by Éditions B42). In 2014, they asked me to work on a lighter version of the typeface. We took this opportunity to turn this all-caps, rounded sans serif into a complete new display tool for the studio: imagining three different widths within one single font (which you can choose from or randomly display). Additionally, LePlus has a complete set of easy-to-use underlined and overlined alphabets, thanks to the OpenType functions. Specifically designed for headings, Le Plus grew to a five styles font, packed with numerous ligatures and alternates.
Photos © deValence
Ensba is a bespoke typeface designed for the National Superior School of Fine Arts of Lyon’s new visual identity, in collaboration with Radim Peško. It takes advantage of the rhythm created by its monospaced width which brings the notion of temporality. It equally plays with a certain architectural dimension which structures the page, thus creating immediate impact and identity. If the general shapes of the letters are inherited from historical humanist sans serif, the font becomes more playful with certain glyphs as “i” and “l”. “I” as “Identity”, “I” as “Me” but also “I” as “Eye”… A three parted “i” which represent the three voices inside the school, the three actors: the board and administration, the teachers and the students. Alongside the monospace styles, a proportional companion was also designed for running text and address the school’s different needs.
French design studio deValence was asked to design a series of images for the merchandising products of the Colosseum in Roma. They felt that it was a perfect opportunity to commission a custom typeface to powerfully convey the Colosseum’s rich history. Of course, it’s an all caps typeface, based on Roman stone-carved inscriptions, with rough and chiseled flared strokes which respectfully refer to the archetypal “Capitalis Monumentalis” but don’t fall into the authoritarian pitfall. Colosseo is packed with historical ligatures tailored for display purposes which enhance its cheerful vibe.
Cover photo: © Henry Paul / Project photos: © deValence
For the re-opening of The House of The Laughing Cow’s brand museum, french design studio deValence was invited by Encore Heureux (the architects of the project) to work on the museum’s new visual identity, communication and signage. After thorough researches in the archives of The Laughing Cow ®, digging treasures of printed matter, objects, advertisements and ephemeras – covering almost 100 years of communication – they commissioned “MVQR”: a custom typeface that would synthesizes and reinterprets the Laughing Cow’s brand type history, playing a key role in the new identity. If MVQR takes its roots in late 19th and early 20th centuries’ printing woodblocks, it features a singular set of vertically centered small caps made to compose perky and distinctive headlines throughout the communication and signage system of the museum.
Photos © deValence
French design studio deValence was asked to art direct the visual identity of pop artist Kazy Lambist and to design his album and EPs covers. They engaged a collaboration with photograph Grégoire Alexandre on a series of images around the construction of a monolithic giant “K”. deValence commissioned the creation of a custom display typeface for his logotype and a monospaced text version with italic for the album, posters and EPs.
Photos: © Grégoire Alexandre / Art direction: © deValence