The Typographic Hub

NOTE: This event is now closed

TYPE TALKS: Jean Francois Porchez: Adding value to the invisibility of typefaces

14th April 2016

In the beginning was the word. Then came the writing, an almost universal way to convey a message in a sustainable way, a thought, an emotion.

There is nothing better that writing to visualize something abstract. Designers use writing as a tool to bring the imaginary to the real world. Typography is at the heart of graphic design, and it perfectly demonstrates the adage that good design is not seen. For most readers, typefaces are neither understood nor effectively analyzed but only interpreted (often instinctively) as a tool that supports reading. Despite their omnipresence and constantly reuse type and typography remains transparent to the public. So how does one develop something that is invisible?

Jean Francois Prchez is the founder of Typofonderie, type director of ZeCraft, Jean François Porchez’s expertise covers both the design of bespoke typefaces, logotypes and typographic consultancy for Arjowiggins, Baltimore Sun, Beyoncé Knowles, Costa Crocieres, France Télécom, Le Monde, Louis Vuitton, Nespresso, RATP (Public Transport in Paris), Yves Saint Laurent Beauty. His retail typefaces are distributed through He launched Type@Paris in 2015. He is honorary President of the Association Typographique Internationale (was ATypI President in 2004–2007) and frequent speaker at conferences all over the world. He was awarded the Prix Charles Peignot in 1998 and numerous prizes for his typefaces. Introduced to French Who’s Who in 2009. In 2014, Perrousseaux publishes his monograph. Knight in the order of Arts and Letters in 2015.

After training as a graphic designer, during which he focused on type design, Jean François Porchez (1964) worked as a type director at Dragon Rouge, then at Le Monde newspaper. Since 2012, he is the programme director for typographic design master at ECV (France). He taught type design at Type@Cooper, Cooper Union (United States), at the MA typeface design at the Reading University (United Kingdom), at Ensad, (France) and conduct regularly type design workshops all over the world. Founded the french community Le Typographe in 2003. He published Lettres Françaises, a book (in French & English) that shows all contemporary French, digital typefaces. For the Linotype Library Platinum collection, he has created a revival of the Sabon, a Jan Tschichold revival of Garamond in 2002. He was the President of a jury set up by the Ministère de l’Éducation Nationale to select the new handwriting model and system for France and was a jury member of the 3rd Linotype Type design Contest (Germany), of the of the 1st Biennial of Slovene Visual Communications (Slovenia), of the Typeface design competition TDC2 (United States), of the Design category at the Club des directeurs artistiques. He launched with Guillaume Chifflot, the new category Typography at the Club des directeurs artistiques for which he serve as board member. He is the godfather of the French event TypoCamp.

Twitter: @jfporchez

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Registration opens at 1730. Talk scheduled 1800-1930

Birmingham City University, P350 Lecture Theatre, Parkside Building, 5 Cardigan Street, Birmingham B4 7BD