Benoît Bodhuin claims to be “curious about everything” which is a useful trait for a graphic designer. Specialising in type design, Benoît has designed a wide variety of type families including Marriane, Zigzag and Mineral. Continuing to impress us with a determination to push the limits of the abstract letterforms Benoît’s most recent creations are two grid inspired typefaces Standard and Pickle-Standard.
Both typefaces feature wonderfully quirky latin glyphs, maze-like in its even distribution between straight lines and curves. Standard comes in six different weights from 20 to 120. Its heaviest weight feels overpoweringly dense with slivers for counters and eyes (that’s the empty space within the ‘o’ and ‘e’). Comparatively, its lightest weight is airy and the letterforms are pointedly defined by the awkwardly shaped bowls in the form of semi-circles that jut out of the stems.
On the other hand, Pickle-Standard comes in three different styles: italic, regular and reversed italic. Pickle-Standard is a more rounded typeface and soft curves cushion the numerous bends that distinguish these highly-stylised typefaces. The slanting italic and reversed italic styles are particularly sleek, as the italicised horizontal lines run in strict parallels to one another creating smooth feelings of satisfaction. On the design of the typefaces, Benoît says “its drawing obeys and emancipates from the grid at the same time”. There is an elegant balance between the typeface’s straight lines that adhere to the grid contrast with its curves offering an irregular personality.
The typeface is informed by Benoît’s other experiments in type as well as an interest in architectural signage. He designed the first drafts of the typeface based on a grid with guidance from his architect friend Nicolas Gautron. From there, Benoît developed Standard and its six weights, followed by Pickle-Standard as a fun alternative.
The type designer likens this creative process to conducting an orchestra of letters. He tells It’s Nice That: “I try to turn noise into something harmonious”, working painstakingly “as a sculptor” who is very slowly “modifying, correcting, regulating every detail until I get what I want.” Benoît finally asserts that his design decisions are made according “to what I hear from the orchestra” and sometimes, “some decisions change according to my mood.”
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor. Feel free to drop Jyni a note if you have an exciting story for the site.