Typefaces collection

How did you get involved with typeface design? What led you to this practice?
My interest for graphic design naturally led me to delve into its fundamental aspects, with typography being of great significance. While studying at the École Estienne, I developed a passion for typography and typefaces. This continued at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Lyon (ENSBA Lyon), recognized at the time for its editorial design program. My academic career was further enriched by a period at the Atelier national de recherche typographique (ANRT) in Nancy, where I refined and developed my current practice.

What influences you? Are there type designers whose work you appreciate in particular?
In the early 2010s, as I began studying graphic design, I stumbled upon Karl Gerstner’s book Designing Programmes. Gerstner’s systematic approach was a revelation for me, resonating perfectly with the design approach I aspired to adopt. This book remains a cornerstone of my work to this day.

In your opinion, what is the point of creating a new typeface when so many already exist?
I design typefaces that are adapted to specific needs emerging within my practice of research and creation. This practice integrates poetry, typography, and programming. I develop an approach at the intersection of conceptual literature and concrete poetry, necessitating the design of typefaces with unique characteristics. These typefaces, like Krata, can then be directed toward a broader audience who can envision additional uses in new contexts.

Is it really possible to create something new in the field of type design?
Creating something “new” is a complex and hotly debated subject. Influenced by theorists such as Marjorie Perloff and Kenneth Goldsmith, I approach creation from a different angle, challenging the traditional notion of originality.

How do you begin work on a new typeface? Do you have a particular process?
Every new typeface emerges from a broader artistic and design project, embodied in both printed and digital objects, rendering my creative process unique each time.

What is your relationship with the history of typography? What is your relationship with technology?
I make extensive use of programming, exploring the vast creative possibilities that technology offers, including the development of my own tools. I create protocols for writing and scripts for the automation of page layout, as well as generative typefaces. However, my work is always rooted in the history of my discipline, recognizing that others have already explored, in various ways, the questions that I am passionate about.

Why have you chosen to distribute your typefaces with 205TF?
205TF brings together my mentors and friends. I am delighted to collaborate with designers whose work I deeply respect, contributing to shaping the typographic landscape of our time to a very high standard.

Do you think that typography can save the world?
Typography may not save the world, but it does have the power to make it more beautiful and comprehensible.

Do you teach? If so, where, and why does this role of transmission seem important to you?
Since 2019, I have been teaching in Lyon and frequently invited to conduct workshops and deliver lectures in France and abroad. In 2023, I initiated a lecture series aimed at showcasing the dynamic typographic scene in Lyon. The dissemination of knowledge is central to my practice, and it brings me great pleasure to share my passion for typography.

What type design project are you currently working on?
Since 2020, I have been engaged in an academic research and creation project titled “Poetic Program, Typographic System” in the TransCrit research unit under the direction of Vincent Broqua. This project has led to the development of my first typeface, Krata, along with numerous other original creations in the fields of visual arts, poetry, and typography. This ongoing project promises many surprises in the years to come.

by Rémi Forte