Matthieu
Cortat

Enseignements

Minjong Kim – Amateur

TYPE DESIGN

Minjong Kim – Amateur

with Kai Bernau, Matthieu Cortat

Amateur is a serif typeface that synthesises the calligraphic features derived from historical research. It evokes a niche sanctuary for a forgotten genre, exuding a sense of elegance. Inspired by the letterforms of early antique German models, Amateur cleverly plays with a distinctive form of horizontality, simultaneously revealing untamed strokes and meticulously crafted details. The uniform text styles provide robust, harmonised textures for optimal readability, while the display styles amplify the expressive qualities of each letter to the extreme, fearlessly embracing deliberate imperfections that blur conventional type systems and showcase captivating aesthetics.

Lana Soufeh – Toujan Display: Contextual Arabic Typeface

TYPE DESIGN

Lana Soufeh – Toujan Display: Contextual Arabic Typeface

with Kai Bernau, Matthieu Cortat

Today, most typographic design is done in Latin script and type design software is geared towards Western scripts. Toujan is a contextual Arabic typeface that aims to explore the potential of this software to reintegrate versatility and connectivity in Arabic script, while preserving its dynamic nature. It is inspired by the Tawqii’ style, a hybrid of thuluth and naskh calligraphy and features ligatures that enhance the visual allure of the text but also serve a functional purpose, optimising the spacing and improving the text flow. Toujan pushes the boundaries of Arabic type by reintroducing one of its unique features, i.e. that of connecting all words in a sentence with a series of swashes that link the last letter of each word to the first letter of the following word.

Amélie Gallay – Phaedon

TYPE DESIGN

Amélie Gallay – Phaedon

with Matthieu Cortat, Alice Savoie

Phaedon is an elegant typeface family based on Ancien Romain, an Elzevir metal type issued by the French type foundry Deberny & Cie around 1880–1890. Driven by the desire to keep the nobility and fragility of the original, Phaedon’s lighter weights are a faithful reinterpretation of Ancien Romain while the bolder weights are personal interpretations. A text style compliments the family. With its four display weights, matching italics, and a text style, Phaedon is intended for contemporary use and stands out with its highly contrasted, slightly condensed and delicate attributes.

Alexandre Lescieux – Radiolar

TYPE DESIGN

Alexandre Lescieux – Radiolar

with Alice Savoie, Matthieu Cortat

Radiolar was inspired by Heinrich Jost’s Jost Mediaeval (1927), which marked a turning point in typography, as geometrically constructed sans serif typefaces started appearing, namely Erbar (1926), Kabel (1927), and Futura, which was published under Jost’s own direction by Bauer. Jost Antiqua seems to be the first serif typeface to go down this utopian path of elementary typography. How does one synthesise the geometric and the organic in typography? Radiolar, named after the spherical marine micro-organisms whose skeletons are made up of highly detailed spicules, attempts to answer this question. Its forms have the intense warmth of calligraphy and the utopia of rationality through geometry, oscillating between complexity and simplicity.

Stefan Fitze – Remo & Rhea

TYPE DESIGN

Stefan Fitze – Remo & Rhea

with Alice Savoie, Matthieu Cortat

Remo & Rhea is a typeface family based on the proportions of Roman square capitals as found in the inscription on the tomb of the children of Sextus Pompeius Justus (2nd century AD) on the Via Appia in Rome. Linked by their common origin – an apocryphal sketch of the development of Roman Type – Remo Sans and Rhea Serif intrinsically evolved into a set of two emancipated yet related typefaces, expanding the notion of the traditional type family. Consisting of a sans serif (Remo) and a serif typeface (Rhea) with a typewriter complement, the family is explicitly built for text-heavy and typographically complex environments, offering a wide range of possibilities for contemporary typesetting.

Giacomo Bastianelli – Quarto

TYPE DESIGN

Giacomo Bastianelli – Quarto

with Matthieu Cortat, Irene Vlachou

Unlike the more traditional five-lined musical stave, a graphic score is a different way of notating a piece of music. Originally called “eye music,” it first appeared in its modern form in the 1950s, when notation became more and more influenced by a dialogue with painting, installations, and performativity. These conceptions required a new language and a unique reading of what it is to be musical. Quarto aims to revisit the idea of graphic scores in a contemporary tone, connecting MIDI technology with variable fonts and producing an experience that could take the form of an interactive/synesthetic performance or a piece of printed visual music with its own autonomy, independent of sound.

Maël Bächtold – Milkshake

TYPE DESIGN

Maël Bächtold – Milkshake

with Matthieu Cortat, Kai Bernau

Milkshake is a typeface family which was initiated by anemoia (nostalgia felt for a period in the past that was not lived) for the 70s. The music, the freedom, the vibes, and mostly the aesthetics in terms of type and graphic design of that period strongly influenced the direction of the project. Milkshake is divided into two sub-families. The first one, Milkshake Display is the spine of the project: its voluptuous curves and generous drops combined with sharp edges give it a dynamic look while its alternates and swashes exaggerate its flow and funkiness. To add a contemporary touch and versatility, the family is complemented by text cuts, which are much calmer, friendlier and more stable, suited for longer lines in small sizes.

Lucile Billot – Parallax LCG

TYPE DESIGN

Lucile Billot – Parallax LCG

with Matthieu Cortat, Kai Bernau

This multi-script typeface family covers Latin, Greek and Cyrillic, balanced to be typeset side by side in a homogeneous way. Designed for text purposes, it includes several weights and italics for each script, and the sharpness of the drawing (its “digitality”) is made to match contemporary writings.  *The hand, the pencil; then the broad pen, the nodes, the handles.* Reflected in the shapes is a tension between a tool-based approach (through instrokes/outstrokes and calligraphic features) and an outline-based one. The calligraphic “frontline” (as G. Noordzij calls it) sometimes breaks and each contour, each line, is thought of as an autonomous shape. Both approaches play a crisp choreography, resulting in a scalable typeface that works at several sizes.

The Sources of Jan Tschichold’s The New Typography

The Sources of Jan Tschichold’s The New Typography

with Davide Fornari, Matthieu Cortat, Jonas Berthod, Chiara Barbieri

Jan Tschichold’s essay Die neue Typographie (The New Typography, 1928) is a game-changing book, acclaimed as the curtain raiser of modern graphic design. While it takes the form of a critical essay and an operative manual, its sources have been understudied because of their difficult identification. This project aims to reconstruct the body of sources that Tschichold drew on to understand the broader cultural context of the book, through an international conference on its impact and a travelling exhibition.

Events

ECAL×On,23.09–08.10.2022,Zürich

EXHIBITIONS

ECAL×On,
23.09–08.10.2022,
Zürich

Following a collaboration with the Swiss avant-garde brand On, ECAL presents the interdisciplinary work carried out jointly by the 2nd year students of the Product Design, Photography and Type Design Masters. An exclusive exhibition to discover from 23 September to 8 October 2022 in Zürich.

Articles

ECAL×On : interdisciplinary collaboration to rethink the brand's universe

PARTNERSHIP

ECAL×On : interdisciplinary collaboration to rethink the brand's universe

Following a collaboration with the Swiss avant-garde brand On, ECAL is proud to present the interdisciplinary work carried out jointly by the 2nd year students of the Product Design, Photography and Type Design Masters.