“I think graphic design needs more benevolence, and young type designers need more help to highlight their work and find clients and collaborators. I think they need a digital place where the public can test their work to help them acquire more visibility,” says graphic and type designer Floriane Rousselot, the founder of Typelab. A digital platform, Typelab is a space to do exactly that: showcase the work of young typographers who are unable to sell their fonts through more established and traditional type foundries.
Floriane tells us about the origins of the project: "Typelab began one year ago as a part of my diploma project. Some friends and I wanted to share our type design projects, but they were mostly work-in-progress display fonts, and they couldn’t fit within foundries’ catalogues. That’s why I decided to create a digital platform which could help firstly my friends and then other young designers to showcase their fonts and communicate their practice.”
This kind of work is indicative of Floriane’s wider practice, as the ECV Aix-en-Provence graduate believes in design’s ability to influence others for the better – and vice versa. “This practice, and most specifically type design, can represent a population or a culture,” she states. “I think of graphic design as an anthropological field.” While Typelab started with the work of Floriane and her friends, she soon branched out, sourcing other designers through Instagram, allowing her to expand the remit of Typelab to be as supportive and inclusive as possible. “More and more people are directly sending me their work now and this is really valuable,” she adds.
So far, Typelab has been home to the work of 24 young designers through four themed collections. The third collection, Gadji, for example, focused solely on the work of female designers in an effort to “show the work of female typographers is highly relevant and definitely got its place in our field.” The latest collection, titled WWW, takes on the idea of the internet. “More and more often, I am highlighting people’s work from all around the world and I like the idea that the worldwide web can be a positive medium that links designers,” Floriane tells us. “I decided to create a quiz in order to communicate this new collection: Which typeface are you? I like the idea of creating a bridge between people’s personalities and type design, and so the quiz is based on general questions and topics like our relationship to new technologies, the climate crisis, social life etc. Every end result is a 3D animation with a font from the new collection.”
Typelab is off to an impressive start, showcasing work of an incredibly high standard, from the likes of Jacob Wise, Laura Csocsan, Margot Leveque, Ciaran Birch and Vivien Hoffman. Away from the actual work, however, what’s most compelling is the ethos and spirit the project embodies. In a simple website, what Floriane has created is a tangible space which supports and champions the work of designers, diversifying the pool and offering young people the chance to monetise their work. “In the future, I’d like Typelab to become a real distributor, where you can purchase every typeface showcased,” Floriane adds on this point. “And I’d like Typelab to help designers in their professional career through finding collaborators and clients or helping potential clients to find the type designer who would perfectly match their need.”
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