News: Tagged as Xavier Dupré

At Home With Xavier Dupré

Next in our At Home With series, we reached out to type designer Xavier Dupré in his Cambodian home in Phnom Penh. (We rather would have loved to arrive in person, but since Xavier travels quite a lot, he was gracious to let us conduct this interview by mail.)

At Home With Xavier Dupré

Tell us about your recent work in the FF Yoga®  family.

In my previous FontFonts like FF Absara®  or FF Sanuk®,  I draw a wide range of weights because this is a different exercise to draw a hairline and a fat weight and both are really exciting; the line versus the mass. I feel like Botero and Giacometti at the same time.

In FF Yoga, the initial family was basic, a regular and bold with italics, in serif and sans. At that time, I thought that a small family was useful enough. It was primarily to be used in books. Actually, it seems that to reach a maximum number of uses, not only book design but also corporate identity, magazine and packaging work—in a word, to be really versatile—a type family has to span a wide range of weights. That’s the reason I designed lighter cuts as well as a medium one. These new cuts gave me a fresher view on this family and I assume that FF Yoga is now much more interesting to use. I kept some contrast in the hairline, which is not a real hairline, but that gives it a feminine touch and a distinctive sensibility in display use. The regular weight was slightly dark—I’ve prepared now a light weight suitable for short texts.

At Home With Xavier Dupré

New FF Yoga weights are set in black.

At Home With Xavier Dupré

New FF Yoga Sans®  weights are set in black.

What initially caused you to travel through Asia? What led to your decision to live there? 

This is the combination of two different things. The first was to try a different life from what we know in developed countries, to stop the monotony of a modern life in a big city like Paris. In French, we call that metro-boulot-dodo, which literally means subway, work, sleep. Initially, life in Cambodia was really full of freedom for me even though salaries are very low, but life was really exciting. Now, many things have changed here. I still like living here and the idea of going back to France full time is a bit difficult for me. The second reason was directly linked to my family since my great grandfather arrived in Indochina in 1904 and my grandmother has lived there about 50 years until the fall of Phnom Penh in 1975. By the way, my grandfather is buried in Phnom Penh. I also have a Cambodian aunt who divides her time between Paris and Phnom Penh. Since I was a kid my parent’s house has been full of Cambodian objects and photos, so Cambodia and my family has a long history. I can say that the purpose of living in this country was the discovery of my father’s country of birth.

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What do you collect? 

From very young I collected posters, especially movie posters. I have a few hundred huge old French posters from the 1930s and 40s printed in lithography, and also some recent ones from Poland and Japan. Most of my collection is in France. I also took an interest for a few years in illustrated books from the 1920s to 40s with wood engravings or etchings and set in letterpress. The Art deco period is the golden era for the illustrated book. I’m very touched by the work done by these book artists and printers who spent all their energy to produce these masterpieces which represent the best connection between creativity and technique. So, we can say that paper is important for me and I deplore that it’s not the case in Southeast Asian cultures, contrary to western or Japanese civilization.

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How do things such as the local people, culture, or language show up in your work? 

My culture is western and French before all. I like to observe things or people around me but this is difficult to know how it can show up in my work. A long time ago I did some fonts inspired by some shapes I saw here, but I simplified them and I’m not sure they’re any typically Asian marks left in the end result. If one detects some Asian influence in my work, this is not intentional.

At Home With Xavier Dupré

Similarly, how does travel and motion influence your work? 

Traveling is not a good thing for work! It’s best to stay in the same place with all one’s books and things nearby to be efficient and competitive. But it helps me to take a step back, considering my work as not really important since typography doesn’t interest anybody in Cambodia. My daily life is disconnected from my professional-online-life. I almost never talk about typography. It’s rare I work in my real Cambodian life, most of the time the purpose is to help friends. Today, I think most of my influences comes from old books I collect. 

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How do you develop new ideas; / Who do you discuss your ideas with? 

I have a few colleagues in Europe who can be considered advisers and I ask them sometimes for their views on a project. I also ask what they need in term of a font and that may result on a custom project like Vista stencil, a typeface quickly developed just for a friend. I may also add some special glyphs or useful dingbats. Most of the time, I design the shapes I like, trying to reach the needs of the market, but this is not the first motivation. I want to be proud of all my typefaces and consider each one truly my creation. I think there is a link between all my fonts when put in chronological order. A new creation is often a reaction on the previous one. FF Yoga has some roots in Malaga, for example—we can see some similarities—but the idea of FF Yoga was to draw shapes more invisible and useful in body text.

At Home With Xavier Dupré

Malaga for Emigre

At Home With Xavier Dupré

FF Yoga

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More At Home With and At Work With episodes:
 
At Home With Erik Spiekermann

At Home With Achaz Reuss

At Home With Albert-Jan Pool

At Home With Jörg Hemker

At Home With Lukas Schneider

At Home & At Work With Mike Abbink

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Introducing new FF Yoga weights

The ever flexible FF Yoga® adds more strings to its bow with this latest extension. FF Yoga

“…To be really versatile—a type family has to span a wide range of weights,” FF Yoga® designer Xavier Dupré explained in a recent interview. The now superfamily builds on the previous versions made primarily for book work, adding Hairline, Thin, Light, and Medium weights.

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During the process contrast was left in the hairline, which could be argued as not a real hairline, which shows a distinct sensibility for display uses. Whilst a light weight of the regular was created making it suitable for short texts.

FF Yoga

The new members give a fresh look to the family creating further more interesting opportunities for use building on its primary suggested use for book work.

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FF Yoga

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New release: FF51

BERLIN, GERMANY, December 2009 – FSI FontShop International announced the latest additions to its award-winning FontFont® typeface library.

The new FontFonts

FF Yoga Pro
FF Yoga Sans Pro

Xavier Dupré’s FF Yoga family is a type system conceived to work for newspapers and magazines thanks to its strong personality and good legibility. The Serif weights with their sturdy serifs are a good choice for body text, but they also serve as an original headline face with their subtly chiseled counters inspired by blackletters. FF Yoga mixes the harshness of blackletters with the balanced rhythm and round shapes of the Garalde typefaces. FF Yoga Sans is a contemporary alternative to Gill Sans and a sober companion to Yoga Serif.

FF Mister K Dingbats OT

FF Mister K Dingbats are the newcomers to Julia Sysmäläinen’s FF Mister K family, a script typeface based on Franz Kafka’s manuscripts. It started with Finnish illustrator Oili Kokkonen creating some pretty funny cartoon characters using letterforms of FF Mister K Regular. Soon after, the design of almost 600 pictograms was on its way. All are based on glyph parts of the Regular with which they make a very good match.

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New release: FF50

BERLIN, GERMANY, November 2009 – FSI FontShop International announced the latest additions to its award-winning FontFont® typeface library.

The new FontFonts

FF Mach

FF Mach The very first sketches of FF Mach were drawn in 2004 when a colleague who planned a new Polish magazine about culture and arts asked Łukasz Dziedzic for a logo – there was neither time nor money, so he did it quickly and for free. The logo was met with approval and Łukasz was asked for some sample covers and a few days later for the whole layout – again immediately and free of charge. Łukasz agreed with mixed feelings, thinking this might be a chance to use some of his fonts and even make a new one based on the logo and title graphics. The new font worked well but unfortunately, after the magazine failed three months later, it was never used again until Łukasz decided in 2008 to redraw all the glyphs in order to remove the traces of that speedy work, and in the end he designed a complete new type family with six weights and three widths.

FF Masala
FF Masala

FF Masala is as unctuous as a curry sauce with a hint of chili to add zest. Xavier Dupré’s initial idea for FF Masala was to offer a casual Sans matching FF Tartine Script. After rethinking and refining, FF Masala became a truly casual type system with three Sans weights and their Italics plus three powerful Script versions with swashes, right for logos and packaging as well as comics or children’s book covers.

FF DIN Italic

FF DIN® Condensed Italic — The FF DIN family has been completed by FF DIN Condensed Italic including Latin Extended and Cyrillic Extended characters.

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TDC2 2005: FF Absara

Big Honors for FontFonts

TDC2

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TDC2 2004: FF Angkoon and FF Unit

FF Angkoon and FF Unit awarded Certificates of Excellence in type design by the Type Directors Club

The Type Directors Club Type Design Competition (TDC2) is widely regarded as the premiere venue for the world’s best in type design. The annual competition is judged each year by a new international panel of respected type designers. This year’s jury included Veronika Elsner, Josh Darden, Dmitry Krasny, Pablo Medina and Charles Nix. FF Angkoon, by [ Link missing ], and FF Unit, by Erik Spiekermann, were among the winners selected from more than 100 entries. The two FontFont originals will be published in Typography 25, the annual of the Type Directors Club, and will join a touring exhibit of typography to open this summer in New York City. The show will travel throughout North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and East Asia.

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