French typefounder (b. Paris, 1712, d. Paris, 1768) also called Fournier le jeune.
- His books. Author of Manuel Typographique, two volumes published in 1764 and 1766. Nijhof&Lee write: The first volume is one of the major source books on the processes of making printing types in the era of the hand press. Volume two includes a comprehensive specimen of the types and ornaments of Fournier's own foundry, most of which he cut himself, and as such provides a record of one of the most remarkable personal achievements in the history of typefounding. The books are available as a Darmstadt Facsimile reprint (1995). He published other theoretical works, such as a 1737 manuscript on the spacing between letters for readability.
- His life. Son of typefounder Jean-Claude Fournier, he became famous as a type theoretician. He created his own point system in 1737, 14 years after the Frenchh government decreed that types should have standards. In 1739, he created his own foundry. The king of France, Louis XIV, commissioned new types for use during his reign, and turned to Fournier. Reproduction of these types by others was not tolerated. And so, Fournier modèles des caractères were in use throughout Louis XIV's reign. They had huge contrasts (after all, they just predated the outbreak of didones) and were crammed with rococo ornaments. Other contemporaries elsewhere, such as J.M. Fleischmann and J. Enschedé, started imitating Fournier's style. In the 1750s, his career was at its peak. He advised royalty in Sweden and Sradinia on types, and set up a printing shop for Madame de Pompadour. He developed musical types in cooperation with J.G.I. Breitkopf in 1756. But other printers thoroughly disliked Fournier. There were several literary battles between rival typefounders, such as between Gando and Fournier, and between Ballard (a music symbol typfounder who held a monopoly before Fournier in that area) and Fournier. Fournier's typefoundry existed until the 19th century.
- His typefaces. The Fournier MT family by Monotype was based on the types cut by Pierre-Simon Fournier (ca. 1742) and was called St Augustin Ordinaire in Fournier's Manuel Typographique. Mac McGrew: Fournier is an aristocratic roman typeface which had its inception in letters engraved and cast by Pierre Simon Fournier, a famous mid-eighteenth-century French typefounder. It is transitional, almost modern, in character, with a distinct French flavor, but with more grace and style than traditional French oldstyle designs. This modern character influenced the later work of Bodoni. This adaptation was made by English Monotype in 1925, and copied by Lanston Mono in 1940. The specimen of the roman shown here is from English Monotype, in the absence of a good American specimen, but the italic is from Lanston. Narcissus-Roman (1995, Font Bureau) is based on a 1745 design of Simon Pierre Fournier, and a 1921 version of it called Narcissus by Walter Tiemann for Klingspor, and was digitized by Brian Lucid in 1995. Jim Spiece's version is called Narcissus SG. In 1768, he designed an ornamental all caps face, which Peignot produced as Fournier le Jeune. More elaborate caps were added by ATF in the 1920s, and the current digital version by P22/Lanston, also called Fournier le Jeune, is based on that [see LTC Fournier Le Jeune]. Alan Prescott created APT New June (1996) based on Fournier le Jeune. In 2007, Tjorbjörn Olsson (T4) created Museum Fournier, inspired by a set of Rococo capitals designed by Pierre Simon Fournier le Jeune, ca. 1760. The matrices are part of a set imported to Sweden by J.P. Lindh in 1818 from Breitkopf&Härtel in Leipzig, Germany. They are now in the Nordiska Museum in Stockholm. Jas Rewkiewicz's Fournier RD (2007) is an interpretation of the famous Fournier typeface. The Castcraft version of Fournier is called OPTI Fourquet. Joshua Darden's Corundum Text (2006) and typeface Griesshammer;s free font Source Serif (2014, Adobe) are also based on Fournier. The ambitious PS Fournier (2016, Stéphane Elbaz) is perhaps one of the best digital revivals.
Pauline Nuñez graduated in 2007 from Ecole Estienne with a thesis entitled Pierre-Simon Fournier, typographe absolu, typographe accompli?.
Image of Petit Canon, 1742. Klingspor link. FontShop link.
View some digital typefaces based on designs by Fournier.
Klingspor Museum page
Books on type design ⦿
History of type ⦿
Type designers ⦿
Type designers ⦿
Ornamental caps typefaces ⦿
Type design in France ⦿
Modern style [Bodoni, Didot, Walbaum, Thorowgood, Computer Modern, etc.] ⦿