Bruce Kennett, author of W. A Dwiggins: A Life in Design and a previous Lubalin lecturer, returns to Type@Cooper on the 16th of October for a tour of typeface designer and artist Roger Excoffon's joyful and passionate work.
Born in Marseille in 1910, Excoffon studied law at the University of Aix-en-Provence, and then moved to Paris to apprentice in a print shop. In 1947, he formed his own advertising agency and concurrently became design director of a small foundry in Marseille called Fonderie Olive. Later, he co-founded the prestigious Studio U+O, named in reference to Urbi et Orbi.
Excoffon's best-known faces are Mistral and Antique Olive, the latter which he designed between 1962 and 1966. Air France, one of Excoffon's largest and most prestigious clients, used a customized variant of Antique Olive in its wordmark and livery until 2009, when a new logo was introduced.
“Excoffon's faces, even the sober Antique Olive, have an organic vibrancy not found in similar sans-serif types of the period. His typefaces gave voice to an exuberant body of contemporary French and European graphic design” notes Wikipedia.