Langulaire is a display font designed from an illogical, calligraphic point of view. The typeface is made up of two distinctive parts, curves and 90-degree angles. Its creator is the France-based graphic designer and type designer Loris Pernoux, his conception for the font stemming from a simple idea, “to design a typeface as an image that is only legible to those who take the time to read it.”
Loris began work on Langulaire during his studies at Amsterdam’s, Gerrit Rietveld Academie, on a typography workshop with designer David Bennewith. Loris then continued to refine the letterforms a year after graduating and shortly after its release, Langulaire has consistently contributed to the international cultural scene. Its varied use is seen through book, poster and exhibition design and also adds a distinctive edge to the visual identities that are brave enough to use it.
“We are going through a particularly abundant era of graphic and type design which spills over into all directions”, Loris tells It’s Nice That. Graphic design has become a discipline that encompasses “all types of references and styles that meet each other through points of interest”, he adds. In the era of the internet where images are abundantly consumed in an instant, Langulaire asks its reader to pause as “it requires time and patience to read and understand” the complex typeface.
Each letterform of Langulaire calls for careful deciphering. Loris references the language of hieroglyphs, graffiti and calligraphy as the visual basis of the type: “I tried to situate my design somewhere in-between these modes of expression” to suggest a new kind of language that challenges the reader with its pictorial elements.
Langulaire should ideally be used on a large-scale, “the bigger it is, the more the shapes suggest an abstract composition”. Its function as a typeface blurs with its expressively, elegant strokes. Loris’ first sketches of Langulaire were done with a wide marker pen, utilising the contrast between the wide-edged nib with the thin point to exaggerate the curves which hint to the swooping lines of Arabic calligraphy.
However, in Loris’ words, the curves of Langulaire are “wrong because if we analyse them from a logical calligraphic point of view, some of the curves are impossible to naturally make with a pen”. The designer has reworked the curves digitally to find a homogeneity within the angels, using right angles to break the curves which in turn, disrupts its readability to create the characteristic typeface that is Langulaire.
About the Author
Jyni became a staff writer in March 2019 having previously joined the team as an editorial assistant in August 2018. She graduated from The Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Communication Design in 2017 and her previous roles include Glasgow Women’s Library designer in residence and The Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Illustrator.