Jules Durand aims to “design cool new fonts” beyond the Latin alphabet
- Jyni Ong
- 20 June 2019
If type design wasn’t tough enough already, imagine working on a dozen fonts at the same time. For Jules Durand, this is all part of the fun. While it’s his dream to have his own type foundry one day, for now, you can find Valise on NoFoundry while Sneaky Times and Sinistre will be released some time in future on Collletttivo and Curva will be launched come Janurary 2020 on Blaze Type.
Originally from Anglet in the Basque Country, Jules studied graphic design at university and later completed two master’s degrees; one of which he is still currently finishing. The first focused on internet memes while the second significantly introduced the designer to a place called the Atelier National de Recherches Typographiques, where he spent his days reading books on type at the research facility’s library and discussing said topic with other students and teachers.
“So that’s when I began to get into type design,” explains Jules. “At that time, I was still very much into display letterforms. Titling fonts were a good way to begin my typographic journey and a lot of fun to work on,” adds the designer. But as he gradually gained more experience, notably during an internship with the Athens-based Parachute Type Foundry (where he still resides), Jules learnt to hone his craft and create consistently good fonts centred on legibility.
And as a result, Jules’ recent type designs are a reflection of his current typographic interests. “With my recent projects, I’m mainly trying to find shapes that I like,” he says on the matter. An attraction to the decorative medieval aesthetic led Jules to design a font titled Sinistre which is a free interpretation of old Celtic lettering: “half-uncial and a little bit gothic.”
In another design, Jules has designed a font based on an album cover from 1983. While wondering the streets of Exarcheia, a downtown neighbourhood in Athens, the designer came across a Christopher Cross album featuring art nouveau-inspired lettering designed by Michael Manoogian. “I really liked this lettering and it’s inspired a number of new fonts,” says Jules. “Out of only a few letters, I’ve designed the full glyph set for the font, and even a Greek version of it too!”
Additionally interested in warm and calligraphic, humanist type, the designer has also recently designed his first text font with sharp serifs. Titled Curva, the name arose from a comical mistranslation from Czech and for this multi-lingual font, Jules has thus far completed the Greek and Cyrillic features, and is currently working on a set of Armenian letters in Curva’s style. “Lately, I’ve discovered that there are an infinite amount of display fonts in Latin, whereas only a few display fonts exist in Greek or Cyrillic,” surveys Jules on Curva which will be released on Blaze Type in January. “So I would like to discover new alphabets and design cool new fonts for other countries. It’s a challenge to it well, but that’s also the fun part of type design.”
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.