Chloe Legret on creating her “timeless and contemporary” typeface Migma
The London-based designer recently won a D&AD Next Pencil for the personal project which combines traditional and contemporary design techniques.
- Ruby Boddington
- 13 July 2020
Currently working at HemingwayDesign in London, Chloe Legret is graphic designer born and raised in Watford and she’s been interested in creativity “from as early as I can remember,” she tells It’s Nice That. Always “the artist in the classroom,” a defining moment for Chloe was when she discovered “the wonders of” graphic design. “Visual communication is a fascinating area, but most of all, I love how both functional and artistic the craft can be,” she continues.
On what specifically draws her to this area of the creative world over any other though, it’s the discipline’s ability to “talk to everyone and anyone on so many levels,” as well as the fact that it can be a vehicle for positive social change. Politics aside, however, typography is what consumes most of Chloe’s interest as the medium has boomed “over the past few years and is no longer that much of a niche. More and more clients are beginning to understand the importance of type design. There is also so much potential to create one off – super bespoke identities simply through the creation of a new typeface.”
Typography was therefore at the centre of a recent project Chloe reached out to us about. Titled Migma, the project began back in her second year at Brighton University, during a type design module but only came to full fruition earlier this year. She tells us about the link between the project’s title and concept: “Migma translates as ‘mixed’ in Latin – which describes the mixture of traditional and contemporary techniques used to produce the specimen. Migma is also named like so because it is a hybrid, or semi serif display typeface.” Beginning with the typeface being designed in fontlab, the project then went through myriad traditional and contemporary techniques including laser cutting from plywood, letter pressing using a traditional press, documenting using black and white film, and finally being compiled into a Riso-printed zine.
The idea, Chloe explains, was to showcase the “rawness” of each technique – “the misregistration of Riso, or the texture of letterpress.” In turn, the project is also about juxtaposing the old and the new – the notion of craft with more automated processes, fully embodying the notion of “mixed”. It’s something Chloe even brought to the specimen’s colour scheme: “I used a modernist fluoro pink paired with a heritage brown. This concept seems to be timeless and contemporary at the same time.” Migma is therefore at once a demonstration of Chloe’s adept typographic skills and her modes of thinking as a designer, packaged into a beautifully presented zine.
This kind of approach in which projects have a strong backbone or a clear concept is typical of Chloe’s practice, with her enjoying projects that “have a great backstory to them, or when you can see great potential in where they can go.” In her role at HemingwayDesign, she is often involved in “place design” something the studio has become known for, “and there is something really special about branding a place steeped in history rather than a single product or company, because these types of projects have the power to affect so much of the community, and as such are always driven by values and purpose,” she explains. She is keen, she tells us, to continue having a positive impact on places and communities with her work at the studio saying “We have a number of big projects this year, one being The Good Business Festival, an event part of a global movement that believes in the power of business to affect positive change.”
The success of the Migma and Chloe’s thorough approach to exploring its concept garnered her a Next Pencil at the D&AD 2020 awards in the category for Next Designer. This recognition led her to rebrand herself and initiate her own studio called StudioLegret. “I have some exciting projects lined up in the hospitality and digital marketing sector and can’t wait to share them this year,” she concludes. “Watch this space.”
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor.