Type by Roger Excoffon: Collected Specimen Booklets

Roger Excoffon

Coming Fall 2024

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Letterform Archive
Publication date:
Fall 2024
9.5 ⨉ 12.5 inches
4 colors throughout
Hardcover with actual-size complete facsimiles and an inside pocket containing additional booklets

Dynamic, unconventional, and assertive typefaces from Roger Excoffon, the French type design icon behind Mistral, presented in ten facsimiles of Fonderie Olive specimens from the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s.

Small masterpieces from the age of metal type, foundry specimen booklets introduced new typefaces to the world with exquisitely arranged showings and a variety of original in-use examples. Distributed as ephemeral marketing, many are in fact bold visual essays, statements of typographic craft, and prized keepsakes containing essential information about type as it was meant to be seen.

This volume reproduces specimens of typefaces by midcentury maestro Roger Excoffon. Covering his entire career with Olive, the family foundry he transformed into an international trendsetter, the selection features dazzling specimens by Excoffon himself and generously includes examples of every typeface he created for the company. Bound in their original trims with an interior pocket containing smaller booklets, they offer invaluable access to the work of one design’s most unmistakable figures.

Roger Excoffon (1910–1982) was a leading French graphic artist, painter, and type designer. He became the art director of Fonderie Olive in 1945, and over the next two decades he headed an ambitious type design program for the Marseille-based foundry, producing some of the most recognizable typefaces of the twentieth century. Excoffon’s innovative print publicity led to high-profile independent design commissions for Air France, the 1968 Grenoble Olympics, and the French state. Found everywhere from shop signs to book covers, Excoffon’s typeface designs remain in widespread use today.

The ten specimens feature well-known typefaces such as Chambord (1947), Vendôme (1950; designed by François Ganeau under Excoffon’s direction), Banco (1951), Mistral (1953), Choc (1955), Diane (1956), Calypso (1958), Nord (1958), and Antique Olive (1962).