Jean François Porchez - Typefaces as voice of branding and publications

As the founder of Typofonderie and Type Director at ZeCraft, Porchez designs tailored font and logo types for LeMonde, for numerous clients from the print and advertising sectors. »Thinking is non-tangible abstraction«, sayt Porchez. His font types are translations into information, communication and emotions. »Writing was the most efficient away to keep people and information alive. Written texts are a complicated response to a simple problem. They have to function in different contexts.«

For Porchez, the identity of a company is reflected in the typeface, even in ordinary everyday objects like telephone books.
Travellers and people out for a stroll bump into Jean François Porchez regularly all over Paris. Not personally, of course, but in the form of font families created by his Typofonderie: Parisine is the font for the universal identity of all means of transport in Paris, from the Métro to buses and information signs from the transport provider. What is good about it: it is easy to read, whether on advertisements on the sides of buses or on timetables, whether used for instructions in the Métro or railway station displays. And beyond mere user-friendliness, Parisine also lends the city and its transport system an identifiable image in font that reaches right down to the smallest branches of the system.

Font catalogues show that fonts, like DNA, represent an individual identity, the unique voice of a company. In the sense of branding, it basically works in a similar way to the coats of arms of kings in days of old. As such, fonts are the perfect typographic reproduction and ideally they convey content as directly - and have as high a recognition factor - as the design itself. This means that such individually developed fonts can be compared to architecture. Just as LeCorbusier is timeless, so are typefaces – ideally they survive technological changes, trends and also semantic changes in the meaning of language. It is certainly a tightrope walk, because finding the right font is a reference to a brand. It is certainly a tightrope walk, because finding the right font is not only a reference to a brand - through its individual matching and its declination through all levels of design, it is also protection against copying. Using the wrong fonts for content that is to be communicated or fonts that are wrong for a company is »a serious error of form«, says Porchez, »not only an error in the layout.«

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