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Would you mind to introduce yourself?

Hi ! My name is Morgane Vantorre, and I am a French type and graphic design student, both madly passionate and very curious. I have always felt drawn to shapes and letters for as far back as I can remember. Naturally, after graduating with honors in A-level literature with a focus in Art, I turned toward graphic design studies. I began with a «MàNAA» (Foundation Year in Applied Arts) in Lycée du Gué-à-Tresmes, and then with a two-year degree in Graphic Design at École Estienne in Paris. I am currently still in Paris attending the same school, and as of September, I just started toward an MA specializing in Type design. It is safe to say that I have never felt so fulfilled in my studies.

How would you describe your approach to design?

Graphic design, the ability to give values to our thoughts through images, represents a lot for me. I think graphic design, in a way, is a kind of art where shared messages find their place into everyone’s minds. Typography, especially, is a field I love for its ambivalence; It both speaks to our mind and intellect because shapes materialize ideas and stimulate our emotions through their visual characteristics. It’s both a cleverness and an «aisthesis» (vibrations/sensations) affair that many people forget. Moreover, I am persuasive that in our career dominated by visible practices, getting an intellectual step back is important. I think it is necessary to have both a practical and reflexive approach, in order not to become servile by our work or by a third party. That is partly why I love to think and to write essays about domain, it helps to make my ideas and concepts clear. By the way, I am currently thinking and writing in readiness for my next diploma about the meaning of the effects of visual characteristics of typefaces.

What are your references both inside and outside the design industry?

If I have to describe my body of work and its inspirations, it’s could be a hard task. At this stage of my career, which is just at the beginning, I find it difficult to describe my style; But I am not really in that process since I accord great importance to research and experiment. I like to feel free to create without aesthetic boundaries. Shapes depend on messages, not on our style. Nevertheless, with hindsight, my work is influenced by all of the physical and numerical shapes and forms around me. Thus, nature is a great source of inspiration for me since I am fascinated by shadows and light games, but also daily objects, letters in town (Paris is very rich), and art exhibitions. I think that all shapes are potential sources of inspiration from the moment we look at them with a fresh look. I am used to take a lot of pictures in order to create my own bank of images to avoid Pinterest and other types of social networks, which are bottomless pits. Moreover, I have a fondness for the past. It is that which has already taken place has prepared me for my future. Thanks to the inherence of my grandfather, who was a teacher and book lover, I have an interest in old books and typefaces. He left me the entirety of his collection, which represents a rich source of inspiration for me. By the way, he also passed his taste for reading, as well as his madness for bookshops and libraries onto me.

Where the idea of designing «Arthemys» comes from?

I am currently working on a whole serif display typeface (light > extrabold + italic + sans) based on XVIIIth century type specimen of Nicolas Gando. It is a kind of revival, a way to revisit past. I am in love with both the rigour and the creative opening that this process gets together. Arthemys is the result of the meeting of an old typeface and my contemporary eye. I enjoyed a lot to create a lot of ligatures which enable readers to not only read but also gaze at words written. The idea of this project was originally initiated by my MA teachers who proposed to each students to make a singular typeface based on this century’s style and, at the end, to getting an eclectic type family whom we are the authors. A project I really love and which is not ready to be finish for my part.

How do you begin once you have the idea?

I am currently working on a whole serif display typeface (light > extrabold + italic + sans) based on XVIIIth century type specimen of Nicolas Gando. It is a kind of revival, a way to revisit past. I am in love with both the rigour and the creative opening that this process gets together. Arthemys is the result of the meeting of an old typeface and my contemporary eye. I enjoyed a lot to create a lot of ligatures which enable readers to not only read but also gaze at words written. The idea of this project was originally initiated by my MA teachers who proposed to each students to make a singular typeface based on this century’s style and, at the end, to getting an eclectic type family whom we are the authors. A project I really love and which is not ready to be finish for my part.

Can you give us any insight into the creative process behind the project?

If I have an advice to give, I think I could say we have to be first very patient. Making a typeface take many time. We can’t make it in one go. I am convinced that getting a step back is really important. I mean when you work all the time one the same shapes, you can’t see anything anymore at some point. At this moment, it is necessary to take a break, let the project aside and come back on it later with a new eye. I see any typeface project as a maturation process. Like a little bread you shape and let it stand for a time. Taking time is the secret, beside to giving a lot of love and to be meticulous 🙂

How long does it take to design a single-weight Typeface?

Hm… I think I can’t be objective yet since Arthemys is my first big font project. I have learn type design on software thanks to it, so I took a lot of time obviously :). In fact, I started this typeface in October and I can say not before today that it is « finished ». (Even if I don’t like the idea to say that shapes are definitively fixed. I think typefaces could still evolve) So I spent 5 months on the light weight. Now I am working on the other weights until extrabold in order to think it as a variable font. Moreover, italic and sans version are also coming. The family is growing up, this is my goal.

Are there any particular typographers you cite as an inspiration?

It is a difficult choice for me but I could cite contemporary graphic & type designer such as Ines Cox, Karl Nawrot or Emil Ruder for their minimalist and « pure » approach, but also Virgile Flores for his eccentricity. I also admire many artists such as Paul Klee, Matisse, Ellsworth Kelly and more recently I have discovered the incredible work of Louis Jou who made many typographic artworks with many ligatures.

Can you name a typeface you could not live without?

Such a delicate question aha ! During a time I was used to write with Plantin : classic serif typeface I love for its elegant shapes and serifs. Now I am instead used to write with Savon, designed by Fanny Hermelin. I find this body type absolutely beautiful. Italic version is so delicate and works very well with regular version. It motivates me a lot for the future, I would be glad to create a body typeface too.

What new projects do you have coming up?

Many projects in mind, as usual aha… First my mind is turned towards my diploma as well as my thesis for next year : I begin to think about it, read a lot and organize my ideas… Then, I am currently doing an internship with R2Design, from home. So I am focused on projects we develop together: visual identity, edition but also type design (For instance I am working on a typeface based on Porto’s old street plates. Vernacular shapes which give a special tone of the letters). Beside school and internship, I am also focused on personal projects. I find important to taking time to make stuffs for owns : a real ground where I feel myself free to experiment. So I am working on several other typefaces such as Lysje a lineal font or « Brussel » (temporary name), a typeface inspired by this city. I am also gone into a book design for an event of my school and I am preparing other things I keep secret yet 😉 ! Keep tuned through my social medias or my website.

 

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