Grilli Type’s Noël Leu on an obsession with detail when it comes to type design

It’s all about the attention to detail for Noël Leu, co-founder of the acclaimed type foundry behind GT Alpina, GT Walsheim and GT Flexa.

18 September 2020

Grilli Type is a type foundry that’s no stranger to It’s Nice That, or the design community for that matter. Founded by Noël Leu and Thierry Blancpain, we were pleased to welcome the former as our final speaker at August’s Nicer Tuesdays event. And he got down to the nitty gritty. In a fascinating and highly technical talk, the Swiss designer took us through the ins and outs of Grilli Type’s obsessive creative process, starting with how it started as a university project then touching on a few highlights to date.

At the heart of the talk, Noël discussed the crux of modernist Swiss design; a fixation with detail. Providing the audience with a few examples of just how seriously the studio take this, Noël proceeded to run us through a few of its latest typefaces, all of which he equates to “a collection of minimalistic two dimensional sculptures.” Typefaces designed by Grilli Type can take around a decade to perfect, so it’s no wonder that the studio creates mini sites for each respective typeface detailing its design story and explaining its relation to the cultural context. Finally, rounding up the evening’s events, the co-founder answered a few questions on Grilli’s unique approach to licensing and offered advice on how to successfully work with clients.

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Nicer Tuesdays is our monthly event of creative talks. You can find out more here.

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