“My primary role is to answer communication problems” says Alex Dujet, co-founder of Futur Neue. The independent Geneva-based design studio is known for its sleek editorial graphic design as well as its experimental type design, research and interactive work for a variety of clients. Additionally co-founded by Constance Delamadeleine and Sébastien Mathys, the studio prides itself on its multi-disciplinary output for a number of cultural institutions and businesses alike.
Presently, Alex is in the process of releasing his latest type design. The “spontaneous and instinctive” project began recently when Alex realised he’d never attempted to draw Didot before. He tells It’s Nice That: “I think that there is a lack of contemporary stuff of this kind on the market right now. There are some more or less qualitative Didots available from nice foundries out there, but none of them cracked exactly what I was looking for.”
Designing the new font in just a few short days, Alex quickly arrived on the mechanical structure and is already testing the font on two or three new projects. Currently without a name but going by the byline Walk the Line, Alex references the famous Johnny Cash song as a nod to the uniquely thin lines that are used to construct some letter’s single serifs. “And as you can observe” adds Alex, “a long thin line can also be created by those serifs depending on the combinations of letters.”
This quirky design aesthetic came from an idea to link glyphs together, almost like a chain of successive ligatures. “It’s a trick that has turned my head for a while,” says the designer on the fonts idiosyncratic horizontal lines. Classifying his new font as a hybrid, Alex talks us through the different choices that went into creating the font’s final structure. “It’s a headline typeface that looks mainly like Didot at first sight, but then there are details taken from the American 70s design school too. Old structures from Lubalin and Carnase were on my mind when I made those first decisions. It’s almost a monospaced typeface too, but not really. And there are also some Victorian affinities thrown in there as well.”
He humorously likens the intended atmosphere for his design as a culmination between swans and Lamborghini cars on the shores of Geneva’s Leman Lake, with blurry visions of Indian luxury lifestyle and a dash of the documentary Wild Wild Country. Alex then goes on to say, “Sorry if all this sounds unclear and weird, but this is the only explanation I can find to express the atmosphere I was looking for.”
Yet to be released for the general public’s usage, the font encapsulates Alex’s fascination with type design. Fundamentally, type design allows Alex to think about every detail of a project and incorporating his own type designs means the designer can indeed control everything on the plan. Despite the fact he trained as a graphic designer, and would even describe himself as a graphic designer rather than a type designer, the crux of the matter fundamentally lies with the quality of the design. Alex concludes by saying, “the important thing is that my letters are here and alive through my work, and I try to use them as much as possible.”