Font 'BPcelsian' (formerly 'Phedan'), (diploma work)
Curves with corners
Why design typefaces by hand in this day and age? The typographer Ian Party, who created the new 'BPcelsian' typeface, provides an answer to this question. Despite all-embracing computerization, he starts his design by hand a first, and then digitalizes it in a second step. Ian Party, who trained in Lausanne, deconstructs before he reconstructs. In order to develop 'BPcelsian', Party cut up his 'starting material', a stencil-like typeface, into its component parts. Here he takes advantage of the fact that calligraphic typefaces can be broken down into small elements, reflecting the line followed by hand and pen. The elements he isolated in this way then had to be simplified and reassembled. When developing 'BPcelsian', this meant for example that the upper curved part of the letter 'b' was one of the smallest of these elements. The challenge for the designer now lay in designing a typeface that would generate the whole roman alphabet with the smallest possible number of these components.
This highly individual concept means that transitions between the smallest typographical units do remain clearly visible in the 'BPcelsian' typeface. Rounded parts, for example, look strangely angular, while in the letter 'a', for example, the lower part of the curved section and the vertical stroke are not connected, which is again reminiscent of lettering written witha quill pen. But the charm of Party's invented type lies precisely in this exaggeration of the hand-written quality-one is almost tempted to say this caricature of that quality. What could be seen as disturbing at first glance – a certain clumsiness –, gives the new typeface its very special, unmistakable character, evidence of its designer's subtlety and inventive spirit.
Designer HES en communication visuelle, spécialisation design graphique