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You are here: Home / Conferences / Warsaw 2016 / Programme

Typefaces for telephone directories

Rediscovering the work of Ladislas Mandel
When Thu 15 Sep 0930
Where Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw ASP
What Track A
Who Alice Savoie, Dorine Sauzet

French typeface designer Ladislas Mandel (1921–2006) is a major, yet little known figure of the second half of the twentieth century. Starting his career with Adrian Frutiger at the Deberny & Peignot foundry in 1954, he succeeded him as Head of the design studio, a role he kept until 1977. Mandel subsequently worked as an independent designer, specializing in typefaces for telephone directories. He conceived several families for Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, the UK and USA, and developed a unique approach, both in term of design choices and in the way he adapted his working process to successive technologies. In a context filled with heavy constraints, Mandel believed in the social responsibility of the designer, and created a methodology that deserves to be rediscovered by designers today.

Presenting unexplored material from his archives, this talk will briefly introduce Mandel before focusing on his typeface family Galfra (designed for Italian, Belgian and US directories). The presentation will discuss his approach to designing typefaces for very small sizes and for non-linear reading. Moreover, it will provide an insight into an ongoing research project led by an art & design school, and demonstrate how studying professional archives can inform contemporary practice.

Watch video of this talk here

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