After launching its Vroum typeface all the way back in 2015, Lift Type has gone on to do some wonderful things. Continuing in signature flashy fashion, the Montpellier-based type foundry has been continuously adding to its family of typefaces in a variety of playful manners.
Referring to each family as “fun”, co-founder and director Romain Oudin – who works alongside co-founder Nicolas Aubert, social manager Romain Pisa and type designers Aloïs Ancenay, Benoît and Antoine Brun – tells us how there’s been a whole host of new developments since we last spoke. This includes Ace Regular which, for example, is a “kind of cartoonish” sans serif typeface, inspired by the tennis world and drawn up by Aloïs and Benoît. Expanded into a bold version of the original, this is just a small example of the great things that were to come from the foundry.
“After that sporty project,” Romain continues to tell It’s Nice that, “we mainly worked for other type designers and on a custom-designed typeface for a year.” This includes the addition of a new family, titled Gustavo, plus a newly focused concentration on the remastering of all of the foundry’s preexisting fonts. Proceeding with reflection and evolution, the lockdown granted the team plenty of time to do so. “The lockdown was an opportunity to focus and be efficient on reviving Lift Type,” says Romain, citing the relaunch of the foundry last month alongside a new website, designed by Troa Digital, plus a new typeface collection as its most recent accomplishments.
As a whole, Lift Type is a place for experimentation. Or, as Romain states, a “place for freedom” for him on a more personal level, particularly when it comes to expressing his own passion for typography. Circling around an all-encompassing ethos of having fun, often the team will work on projects that brings a sense of vibrancy. This includes a bouuuuuh, a limited edition typeface created in 2017 produced to share their own Halloween Special – “the same way our favourite TV shows Brooklyn Nine-Nine or (obviously) The Simpsons do for halloween,” he adds, cementing the collection as a place that houses all of its typefaces created the month before halloween arrives. “It’s like a personal workshop.”
The bouuuuuh collection is a place for Lift Type to add to its ever-growing portfolio of ideas – one of the pillars to the manifesto behind the foundry. “It’s a cool excuse for experimenting and keeping a spontaneous feel,” says Romain, noting how the foundry is a great opportunity to meet people who share the same passion as they do, just like Antoine Brun who drew the Kalistê typeface currently available on the site.
Fun, experimental and collaborative, the Lift Type fonts are just as playful as the work put into it. Clearly, the environment plays a big part in the development of each typeface, but as for more concrete inspirations Romain points us towards the typefaces of French type designer Jules Durand, plus wider influences from various art directors and designers as a whole. “But we mainly like trying to find inspiration in our daily lives,” he says, “what we see in the streets, movies, series or event at football games.”
In Gustavo, you’ll see the foundry’s ethos and goals intertwined into a well-executed, functional typeface that’s been dusted with a hint of Lift Type personality. A complete family set comprising five weights, an italic version and large set of pictograms, the mix of geometric shapes and a slightly wide shaped sans serif typeface alludes to a classic but charismatic use. Lift Type sees it being used mostly for logo design, as well as titling or short texts.
Kalistê, another recent font, sees a more high-contrasted take on a serif display font come to life with a host of ligatures. The very first typeface released by Lift Type, this time it sees Antoine Burn take the reins in order to give it a modernised refresh. “[He] asked for an internship at Lift Type a few years ago, but we couldn’t hire him at the time,” says Romain. “I however directly had a crush on this project he had in his portfolio, so he completely reworked and finalised the typeface, and now it is available on our website.”
As you can evidently see, Lift Type has a knack for keeping things fresh and wholesome, all the while continuing to add to its repertoire of fun-infused typefaces that work in both playful and functional settings. Next, Romain tells us how the team has already started working with other inspiration French designers on some new typefaces. “We have waited so long to create this new website, but now that it is finally out, we are so excited about designing new typefaces to enrich it.” With plenty of ideas in the making, upcoming plans are set to involve a project that’s “all about typography”, but it isn’t a typeface per se. “I will say no more, but get ready for some new stuff early 2021!”
Lift Type: Vroum, Gti, used by Helmo for Entorse magazine. (Copyright © Lift Type, 2020)
About the Author
Ayla is a London-based freelance writer, editor and consultant specialising in art, photography, design and culture. After joining It’s Nice That in 2017 as editorial assistant, she was interim online editor in 2022/2023 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. She has written for i-D, Dazed, AnOther, WePresent, Port, Elephant and more, and she is also the managing editor of design magazine Anima.