Revue Faire, produced by Sacha Leopold and François Havegeer of Syndicat and Empire Books, is a magazine about graphic design that adopts an “analytical and critical posture” with regards to the medium’s forms and activities. Having worked as designers for years, the pair felt there was a lack of critical publications dedicated to the dissection of graphic design and initiated Revue Faire as a means of widening the conversation.
Published bi-weekly in both English and French, Revue Faire focusses on one subject per issue – inviting an author to discuss this theme. “We want Revue Faire to offer a range of subjects, ones that you might be aware of in your own discipline,” Sacha and François tell It’s Nice That. Ranging from the discussion of printing techniques to type design to exhibition design, each issue connects a “historical reference to a major subject”, analysed in the present day.
In its ninth issue for example, the publication was handed over to Theirry Chancogne, a teacher. For his iteration, Thierry focussed on the typeface Mitim, designed by Radim Pesko. Mitim is “a typeface design that extends to become a self-reflexive artistic and typographic project. An alphabet that evolves and adapts to the cycle of appearances of a publication in the form of a suite.” As well as typesetting the issue in a custom version of Mitim, Sacha and François were also able to provide each subscriber with a specimen of the font and a custom envelope.
In order to produce a magazine every two weeks, the pair has to plan issues months in advance. As a result, so far, every contributing author has been someone they have crossed paths with or collaborated with in the past: “Some are designers, some are historians, some are teachers, curators, journalists or, sometimes, all of those things.” Now in its second year, Revue Faire will extend its list of contributors to include international authors, increasing the breadth of its topics even further.
To accompany the variety of subjects being written about, Sacha and François design each issue accordingly. Although often employing a similar aesthetic – text heavy, with scanned imagery layered together – each issue has a distinct tone of voice. Revue Faire is both visually engaging because of its unique, untamed design but its heart is in its content. “In a way, Revue Faire is exactly what graphic design is – a meeting point of many disciplines,” Sacha and François remark. As a magazine that was born because of a field they deemed as lacking, Revue Faire has given Sacha and François the chance to share their interests and vision of what graphic design was, is and should be.
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