TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Tue Jan 15 23:31:47 EST 2019






Marcel Duchamp

French dada artist, 1887-1968. Several fonts were made that were inspired by his writing, most notably FF DuDuchamp (Dung Van Meerbeeck). Interestingly, Richard Kegler, the founding partner of P22 type foundry in 1994, mentioned that P22 was an outgrowth of his Master's thesis project on Marcel Duchamp. P22 has had its trouble with the Duchamp font of Kegler, which was designed in 1994. As P22 puts it [text by them]:

  • April 1994: Created for the "Through The Large Glass" Installation as a collaboration between Richard Kegler and Michael Want. "P22" has been a name used for years as an art collective based in the Buffalo NY area. P22 type foundry was the name given as the creative entity behind of the font. Uploaded to America Onlines Macintosh Software forum.
  • August 1994: Interest generated in fonts resulted in Purchase order from LA Museum of Contemporary Art--P22 type foundry officially begins operation. A follow up font, Miro, inspired by the fascinating forms of Spanish artist Joan Miro, was introduced in October 1994.
  • June 1995: Joan Miro's grandson pulls our Miro fonts off the shelves of the Guggenheim giftshop and enlists the Artists Rights Society! Our understanding of the copyright laws at the time were blissfully ignorant! We write a letter to the Artists Rights Society and plead our case, hoping for an amicable solution. Since we are an Artists based organization and our work is done with much reverence and research on our subjects, we feel if we are represented to the estates, they will work with us on a suitable royalty. ARS returns to us with an order to stop selling Miro AND Duchamp. They give us several months to sell off our stock and pay a royalty to ARS who will in turn pay the estates. We wish to separate the issues of Miro and Duchamp since Duchamp is the great master of appropriation, it would be inconcievable that such a nod to his art and philosophies on art would be challenged by his estate. ARS refuses to comply. We have no money fight [to] this in court so we must comply.
  • November 1995: Final sales of Miro and Duchamp. Duchamp is taken off of America Online. We abide by the orders of ARS.
  • March 1996: Final payment is made to ARS for all sales of Duchamp and Miro. A letter is in turn sent to our lawyers indicating that even though final payment has been recieved, we are still obliged to supply regular statements of any sales. Our definition of Final payment is that all sales have been made, accounted for and royalties paid. ARS is either unaware of this, or questioning our honor.
  • July 1996: No resolution has been reached. We have made our wishes known to ARS that we would like to license to use of the Duchamp name from the estate for the font. They will not persue the issue.
  • So--if you own a copy of Duchamp- consider it a collectors item. If you ever have to deal with ARS, be on your guard. Associates of ours who have dealt with them have consistently had rather unpleasant results. The goals of this organization are intended to protect artists from unauthorized infringement. Their tactics are questionable and in the end, hinder the dissemination of art history to the public. They harrass museums who wish to market images from their own collections and inacurately represent the estates they are enlisted to represent. ARS claims to represent over 23,000 artists.
  • If you would like to see the Duchamp font in use, watch The Single Guy on NBC. It is a wacky sitcom about a wacky bachelor!
A brief note: the hand-printed fonts P22 Duchamp and P22 Duchamp-Bold (1994) can be found in numerous font archives. I am afraid that they are not collectors' items.

Footnote: It appears that P22 also designed a set of ornaments called Readymades in the original collection, together with P22 Duchamp and P22 Duchamp Bold.

Marcel Duchamp
MyFonts search
Monotype search
Fontspring search
Google search

Dadaism ⦿ David and Goliath ⦿ Handwriting fonts ⦿ Type design in France ⦿ Typefaces related to fauvist and surrealist painter Joan Miro ⦿

file name: Dung Van Meerbeeck F F Du Duchamp

file name: P22 Duchamp Bold 1994

file name: P22 Duchamp Bold 1994b

Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html