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Puzzles, people and platforms
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Puzzles, people and platforms

Article by Studio Ground Floor

Floriane Rousselot on her collaborative type design practice and her latest WEAVE collection

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Driven by emotion, reaction and vision, the practice of Aix-en-Provence-based type designer and art director Floriane Rousselot is fundamentally soulful and innately human; using her creativity to distill and discern the world around her and the people who inhabit it.

“My focus is on translating a message into a visual, an emotion into a letter or a shape, a vision into a concept,” Floriane tells us, noting the anthropological presence in the work she produces. Using design and typography as a lens for “understanding the human being and how to explain our behaviors,” Floriane playfully explores typographic form, reflecting the sympathy and variety found in people and places. “I consider it a puzzle,” she adds, collecting and curating an eclectic muddle of forms, “it’s a great assembly and a curiosity to mix shapes I’ve found anywhere, from graffiti in the streets to manufactured old letters.”

Following the prominence of collection and community in her type design practice, Floriane set up TYPELAB, a type foundry composed of remarkable, unique collections of typefaces sourced from Floriane’s bountiful network of young, talented and tenacious collaborators. Made in response to the rejection of their typefaces from larger type foundries due to the more experimental and abstract nature of them, Floriane explains “I felt there was a free place to take by giving us a digital space to show our work,” adding “it is the typical thing; if there’s not an already existing place at the moment for our fonts, I am gonna create a new one!”

Flourishing into a wonderful digital space that showcases and supports emergent type designers, TYPELAB has released half a dozen unique collections, with their latest hypnotic release WEAVE conceptually embodying TYPELAB’s original vision. “To me it’s all about creating links,” Floriane succinctly summarises, “just as letters are creating links to become a word, I like to think TYPELAB is creating links between designers to meet new talented people,” she adds, noting a shared common passion and practice. “WEAVE Collection is all about that,” Florianne states.

Immersive and innately energetic, WEAVE Collection includes 8 typefaces from the minds of Leonhard Laupichler, Sophia Brinkgerd, Alain Papazian, Emilie Vizcano, Ciaran Brandin, Gregory Page, Nadine Wetzel, Daniel Martins and Floriane herself – alongside an incredible 3D WEAVE experience developed in collaboration with Jonas Fürste. “I wanted to create a collection to show that even if we struggled with physical distanciation and many other things this past 15 months, there were still some things to reunite us,” Floriane explains, “and create a link between us all.”

Showing the astonishing outcomes of collective endeavours, WEAVE is ultimately an exhibition of collaborative capability, and the strength of pulling together different disciplines – working with Ray Kandinski and Flavien Minson to create five individual soundscapes for WEAVE’s 3D experience, Twistudio for the site’s development and Clément Perdigon to create 3D visuals for the social campaign. “WEAVE Collection is the result of the collaboration with all those amazing and talented people,” Floriane tells us, “I feel so grateful to work with them,” highlighting the significance of collaboration to Floriane and how it can expand your individual horizons. “It is essential to be pushed out of our comfort zone,” she adds, “to cultivate curiosity and to learn again and again.”

Discussing the process behind curating WEAVE, Floriane explains that it began with researching and curating typefaces and their respective designers that would complement each other, as well as stand on their own individually. A year in the making, the challenge for TYPELAB was to develop a collection diverse in style but rich in detail. “Something more ‘serious,’” Floriane explains, “in order to find a centered balance between interesting typefaces and sellable typefaces.”

Clearly, the very core of the WEAVE collection, as well as the concept behind TYPELAB as a whole, is indicative of what Floriane finds most rewarding in her practice; people. “I would say that more and more human relationships are really important,” Floriane recalls, “both for my clients and for designers I am working with for TYPELAB, this is not just making a job and being paid but building trust, respect and friendly relationships,” adding, “which sounds like the best way to develop good work.”

Using her work as a personal challenge, Floriane remarks on the introspection her practice has provided her, and how essential it is in the balance of her life as a whole. “I feel happy when my clients are satisfied and when we have a real dialogue,” she concludes, “and the most rewarding thing is to feel TYPELAB is helping designers to highlight their typefaces.”