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Q&A with Jean Francois Porchez

Typeface designer based in France. Founder of

I design typefaces since 1988, and I don’t think I will ever stop. Typefaces and design are in the center of my life, but the things around nourish the creativity. I teach since the early days of my professional life, currently director of typographic design master of Ecole de communication visuelle, Paris. I’m also involved to many non-profit activities, as various design and typography related organisations.


Typography start when you wrote any text. Because typography help to organizing your thinking and mind. To reply to your questions I simply opened TextEdit, but if it was yesterday it can be Textmate. Who knows? When I wrote, I generally like a lot to use Textile language, because you can separate clearly the content from the structuration without to be annoyed by the style, effect and design step. Its always a problem for a designer to separate the two activities. To set texts, it can be any tools; from pens, brushes, to metal and wood type. On the computer, TextEdit,  Textmate, Pages, Keynote, Indesign, Illustrator. To design letterforms and typefaces, again, any tools; from the first pen I can find on a table, to the similar tools that my colleagues use everyday in different order. Fontlab, Robofont, Superpolator, Bitfonter and few others depending the needs.

Ideal work environment

A quite place, never far away from my books, electricity and internet. I work faster on a bigger screen.

Work inspiration

Dreams. Type designers like to build stories around the typefaces they design because it helps them to create a world which reflects their own dreams.

© Jean Porchez