Typofonderie Releases Specimen Collection

Typofonderie Releases Specimen Collection

After a dozen years, you can now take home the complete visual history of the French type foundry, Typofonderie.

Since 2004, Typofonderie has been producing broadside specimens for each of their new typeface family releases and always in the same format: Single sheet, double-sided offset printing on uncoated paper, folded, and made to impress and inform. The French foundry has always made them available to public, but it was not always easy to keep up with them or obtain a real collection without some diligent hunting.

Recently, Typofonderie compiled these specimens into one concise red folio and released it for sale. For the avid specimen collector, this is a good opportunity to capture these moments of history in one fell swoop.

This collection presents specimens for the foundry’s major families such as Ambroise, Angie Sans, Anisette, Apolline, Ardoise, Le Monde Journal, Le Monde Sans, Le Monde Livre, Le Monde Livre Classic, Le Monde Courrier, Parisine, Parisine Plus, Parisine Office, and PS Fournier. To entice you further, they included a few goodies and stickers to boot. 

Since the first release, each specimen has been designed with a unique color palette to identify it. This collection has done a fine job of ensuring each of the specimens are represented the way they were originally released, rather than redesigned.

Why Now?

Is there any importance to the timing of the collection’s release? The short answer is no, but there are a couple of thoughts serving as impetus for it. When it comes to type specimens, Jean Francois Porchez adheres to the storyteller’s philosophy. At its heart, this collection is a retelling of the numerous stories Typofonderie has created around each of their releases through the years.  

“There is a life behind its design, a function or a certain style that will perform well on a specific context put together by graphic designers, art directors, etc. We can’t just deliver new typefaces, adding them to our website without any explanation. A text about it or piece of design is crucial.”
— Jean François Porchéz

Secondly, the release of this specimen collection aims to bring the importance of the printed specimen to light. JFP stresses: “A list of bookmarks will never replace a bookshelf. Anyone who likes books and typography tends to know the typeface specimens they collect well, and will comeback to them regularly—never the case with web specimens, which are truly ephemeral. Not the same function.” 

The format seems to have been working for the foundry, as they have no plans to stop. “As we started this format back in 2004, there is no reason to change in the future! I can tell you that Claudia de Almeida is currently working on Mencken typeface specimens… there’s more to come.” 

You can pick up a copy of the collection, as well as more detailed information of the contents, on the Typofonderie website for €39 with free shipping anywhere in the world. 

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