• Top

    Benoit Challand: Fold Yard

Graphic Design

Graphic Design: Benoit Challand creates a typeface from office furniture

Posted by Maisie Skidmore,

French designer Benoit Challand is more than happy to test the boundaries of just what typography can do; his portfolio is full of projects which see him manipulate lettering to test new ideas, whether that be through 3D illustration, design or CGI.

This project takes it to a whole new level. In an attempt to combat the criticism of the open-plan office, which according to research is bad for creativity, he proposes an office in which each desk composes a different letterform, which can then be moved around to create new, flexible shapes.

He explains: “This typography turned into functional furniture celebrates the beauty of the large-scale letterform. The letters’ shapes are abstracted unless viewed from above when they spell out words or phrases.” Whether or not you condone investing in a range of furniture whose principal purpose is to spell out a series of words that you’re unlikely ever to read, you have to admire the wealth of imagery Benoit has created to inform his idea. The tiny models are complete with books, keyboards and desktops, in an illustration of just how far research can go. Check out Benoit’s snazzy website to see some of his other innovative type-focused ideas.

  • 3

    Benoit Challand: Fold Yard

  • 2

    Benoit Challand: Fold Yard

  • 5

    Benoit Challand: Fold Yard

  • 6

    Benoit Challand: Fold Yard

  • 1

    Benoit Challand: Fold Yard

  • 4

    Benoit Challand: Fold Yard

Ms-300

Posted by Maisie Skidmore

Assistant Editor Maisie joined It’s Nice That fresh out of university in the summer of 2013 and has stayed with us ever since. She has a particular interest in art, fashion and photography and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. Syfon_studio_collage_dehuman_it's_nice_that_list

    Warsaw-based creatives Urszula Janowska and Filip Tofil are no strangers to working with some of Poland’s foremost art spaces. Since meeting in a poster design class at Warsaw’s Academy of Fine Arts, the founders of Syfon Studio have striven to be part of the city’s aspirational art initiatives. From creative direction for champions of Polish contemporary art like the Zachęta National Gallery, to editorial design for the right-bank creative hub Soho Factory that has attracted a wave of exciting galleries with its industrial edge, the young designers are ones to watch. What’s more, when they’re not working on these citywide design projects, they still manage to make time for self-initiated projects like this brilliant publication of Filip’s collages.

  2. Fons-bees-itsnicethat-list-3

    Fons Hickmann m23’s latest number is ostensibly the yellowest book we’ve ever covered on It’s Nice That. Appropriately it’s a declaration of love for one of the yellowest animals, the bee, and all the reasons we should be doing more to save them.

  3. Morphoria_diegrosse_itsnicethat_list

    There’s a reason why black and white is still a strong combination. It doesn’t shout, always looks cool, and allows the design to speak for itself. It’s the reason I was so drawn to German studio Morphoria’s identity and exhibition design for DIE GROSSE Kunstausstellung NRW 2015

  4. Carolineroberts-graphicdesignvisionaries-itsnicethat-list

    As someone who came into design journalism from the outside, it was a challenge to get to grips with the famous graphic designers blithely referenced in talks or other publications. Who were they? What did they do? And maybe most importantly, why are they important? How I could have done with a book like this new addition to the Laurence King Visionaries series, which contains profiles of 75 graphic design luminaries alongside large, full-colour reproductions of their significant and groundbreaking work.

  5. Claudia_basel_doing_fashion_4_it's_nice_that_list

    Looking through Claudia Basel’s vast repertoire of impressive print work, its forward-looking, monochrome design for Doing Fashion Paper really holds its own against some of their brighter projects. Helmed by Roland John, Thomas Bircher and Jiri Oplatek, for the last five years the Swiss studio based in Basel have designed each issue of the Institute of Fashion Design’s annual publication showcasing student’s work. Like its posters for the young art fair in Basel, Liste we featured last year, the bold alphabet spreads and nudes overlaid with text for Doing Fashion Paper stand out from what is fast becoming an overflowing, first-rate portfolio.

  6. Linaforsgren-satisfactionguaranteed-itsnicethat-list

    Nowadays we consumers are pretty savvy about how we’re manipulated by the advertising and marketing industries, but does this make us better-placed to resist or merely more complicit in our exploitation? It’s this idea that Swedish designer Lina Forsgren explored in her graduation project at Beckmans College through an installation, film and publication that questioned our own role in the commercial process.

  7. Groszcolab_ascuiandco_itsnicethat_list

    The power of colour and its ability to influence our visual language is fascinating. Using colours to signal change and progression is Australian studio Grosz Co. Lab and their identity for architecture firm Ascui & Co. Architect.

  8. Studiobaer-thomaslohr-itsnicethat-list

    When Studio Baer’s gorgeous book of Thomas Lohr’s plumage photographs arrived in the studio last week, I waxed lyrical about its Japanese paper cover, which felt unlike anything I have ever had the good fortune to stroke before. Add in the subtle, debossed title and I was in publication heaven, but the rest of the editorial team wasn’t so sure –“like weird rubber/reminds me of fingernails down a blackboard/gives me goose pimples” those philistines mewled.

  9. Lundgrenlindqvist-hbtqrethink-itsnicethat-list

    Icon magazine’s Rethink feature – which challenges studios to redesign a well-known identity or industry – has long been a source of innovation and inspiration. In the past we’ve covered Design by St’s fish packaging, Manual’s new US road signage and Studio Makgill’s funeral parlours.

  10. Sea-aiap-fedrigoni-madeinitaly-itsnicethat-list

    Europe has a fine graphic design tradition but certain countries – Switzerland, The Netherlands, and the UK – tend to predominate when it comes to coverage. And so we’re always keen to hear about initiatives that celebrate lesser known design scenes, such as SEA and Fedrigoni’s upcoming exploration of Italy’s graphics heritage. Made In Italy showcases post-war Italian graphic design by way of a show in east London and a series of monographs focussing on some of the most interesting practitioners – Ilio Negri, Heinz Waibl, Franco Grignani and Giancarlo Iliprandi. With amazing access to the Aiap archives in Milan, SEA has also put together a book for the show with the explicit aim of putting this “untapped” subject firmly in the spotlight.

  11. Eddie-opara-pentagram-frida-kaho-its-nice-that-list

    While there’s no shortage of Pentagram projects on It’s Nice That, a partner whose work we don’t show too often is Eddie Opara. We’re not sure why, but remedying that we bring you this lovely project from Eddie and his team in the form of the catalogue for Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Mexican Modern Art. Showing the famously monobrowed mistress of 20th Century painting and her husband and fellow artist Diego Rivera and letting the imagery speak for itself, the design is simple, strong and confident, using a bright blue for the book’s spine inspired by Casa Azul, the couple’s home in Mexico City. Elsewhere the palette draws on the colours of Mexican folk art, while the striking large portraits on the front and back covers look to “position the pair as icons,” according to Pentagram. The catalogue accompanies an exhibition entitled Kahlo, Rivera and Mexican Modern Art, currently on show at the Nova Southeastern University Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale.

  12. 5173

    As the creative world digests last night’s big D&AD winners (those that scooped Black and White Pencils), there was a host of interesting work recognised in the 44 Yellow Pencils given out at the London awards bash. In total, the D&AD juries considered 847 projects this year and so less than one in 20 made the prestigious Yellow Pencil cut. Here’s our rundown of those winners that caught our eye for one reason or another – you can see the full list of winners over on the D&AD site here.

  13. The-plant-art-15-its-nice-that-list-

    Staying two seasons ahead (calendar-wise, at least) of the autumn art fair scrum, Art 15 takes place this week over in west London, heralded by some unmissably bright new branding by The Plant. The annual fair – now in its third outing – used to take place in February, and its new look aims to reflect its sunnier spot on the calendar. “As it’s spring and it’s a fairly new fair, we felt [the new identity] needed to look quite bold,” says Matt Utber, founder of The Plant, who also designed the fair’s initial identity. “We chose colours that were very bright and vibrant because of that light change – it reflects new life, flowers bursting into existence, it’s that kind of feel.”