Jean-Baptiste Levée is a French type designer based in Paris. He is a co-founder of the Bureau des Affaires Typographiques, and teaches typeface design at ESAD Amiens (and before that, at the Caen-Cherbourg school of Arts & Media and at the University of Corte). His latest work is mostly published at Production Type which he manages. He designs custom and retail typefaces, and has won multiuple awards for his type designs. Other designers publishing at Production Type include Yoann Minet, Sandra Carrera, Yohanna My Nguyen, Emmanuel Besse, Mathieu Réguer, Quentin Schmerber and Loic Sander. In 2020, the support team included Hugues Gentile, Dorine Sauzet, Suehli Tan and Igino Marini. Levée's typeface portfolio:
- Vuitton Persona (2007): a family made under the supervision of Porchez for Vuitton's bags.
- Wallpaper corporate typeface (2008): Under the art direction of Meirion Pritchard and Christian Schwartz, this 2-style sans was developed for the architectural magazine Wallpaper. It is a self-confessed blend of Meta and Amplitude.
- Le Monde Courrier (2008): an extension and OpenType completion of the glyph tables of Porchez's LeMonde Courrier (2002).
- Panorama (2004-2008): an elegant full-fledged sans family from hairline to extended bold, and from Extra Condensed to Extra Extended. It can be bought at Production Type.
- Henderson Serif & Sans (2006): This is a Baskerville family conceived by J.-F. Porchez, but extended and perfected by Levée. The Sans is in the style of Arial with large x-height. The Typofonderie page does not mention Levée.
- Retiro (2007): Done with J.-F. Porchez for Madriz Magazine. This is a didone family with juicy and classy alternates. It became a retail font at Typofonderie in 2015.
- Pimkie (2006): a playful feminine display face.
- Seenk Serif and Seenk Sans: a text family done with Christophe Badani in 2005.
- Expert (2009): a unicase typeface done for magazine, ca. 2009.
- Acier BAT (2009-2010, BAT Foundry): an extensive family that builds on Cassandre's 1930 font by the same name.
- Gemeli and Gemeli Mono (by Levée, assisted by Emmanuel Besse and Hugo Marucco). This sans family can be bought at Production Type. For Gemeli Micro (2018), Gemeli's x-height was enlarged, extenders shortened, stance widened, spacing loosened, and forms simplified.
- Carrefour Origin (2011). A tall thin face. This custom typeface led to the vretail typeface family Origin Super Condensed.
- Cogito Atelier Malte Martin. The sans family Cogito can be bought at Production Type.
- Telerama Dogon. This is a matchstick or campground face.
- Nathan Enfantine (2011) and Enfantine (2015). A simple upright connected (school?) script.
- RMNGP Constellation (2013) is the bespoke dot matrix typeface of Réunion des Musées Nationaux---Grand Palais for their on-site, online and printed communications.
- Vanité for Vanity Fair France (2013).
- Plinc Beaux Arts Didot (2014). A classical didone digitized from the original Photo-Lettering film matrix by Jean-Baptiste Levée for House Industries.
- Countach (2014, Production type). Described as follows by the designers and team, Superscript2, J.-B. Levée, Sandra Carrera and Irina Smirnova: Countach, the tough compact sans supercharged with brawn & brains. Developed for The Crew, a critically acclaimed auto racing video game, Countach evokes the muscular and mechanical dynamics of fast cars and urban adventure.
- Reception Semi (2014). A hybrid corporate typeface for Unibail / Rodamco.
- Renault Carname for Renault cars. This typeface won an award in the TDC Typeface Design competition in 2017.
- Fournier Orchestre de Paris (2014): Fournier ODP is the exclusive corporate typeface of Orchestre de Paris. Named after Pierre-Simon Fournier Le Jeune (1712-1768), punchcutter and typefounder. Famous for his musical founts, the Parisian Pierre-Simon Fournier is considered one of the first French moderns. The typeface borrows from the numerous alphabets produced by Fournier, retaining only the finest cuts and adding its own peculiarities: anachronical ampersand, reversed letters in reverence to poster ephemeras of the times. The Graphiques series are designed to allow for polychromic settings. The Gothic series are a nod to the residues of modernism. Faithful to the tradition of optical sizes, different designs have been assigned to different scales of use. By Jean-Baptiste Levé, who was assisted by Yoann Minet, Mathieu Réguer, Laurent Bourcellier and Roxane Gataud.
- Libé (2015). Rob Mientjes writes about this custom typeface family done for Libération: Libé is a family of a wide array of sans serif fonts and a set of stubborn typewriter fonts with a slightly sloppy underline style. The sans part of the family is a hybrid Excoffon, nineteen-seventies, tight-but-not-touching fever dream. If the spirit of Excoffon is alive, it has possessed Libé Sans. The Typewriter styles are a typographically successful, if unexpected, match.
- Granville (2015). A Peignotian (or modulated) sans published by Production Type.
- Minotaur (2014, with Yoann Minet). Minotaur won an award in the TDC 2015 Type Design competition.
Proto Grotesk (2014). Proto Grotesk won an award in the TDC 2015 Type Design competition. Review by André Mora, who writes: This beast is a strong sans serif with two mean weights. While others were busy breeding show dogs, Proto emerged from the love den of a couple of mutts high as hell. It ain't tame. It'll never be domesticated. Proto Slab and Proto Slab Condensed followed later.
- Cobalte (2015, Production Type). A flared lapidary sans serif family.
- Courrèges (2016) for the fashion house.
- Boreal (2016). A sans family.
- Columbia Sans and Columbia Sans Display (2016, Jean-Baptiste Levée). Initially intended as a sans version of Times New Roman, Levée's explorations take him far afield through his flirtation with reverse stress and his back-rotated small o. He writes: Columbia is an unorthodox blend of multiple historical models. It excavates the so-called Elzevir style, an example of permeability between French and Dutch flavours. The type's restrained nature eschews caricature, giving paragraphs a clean texture while retaining the classical touch expected from late Renaissance typefaces. Initially commissioned by science magazine Sciences & Avenir, Columbia strikes a balance between rigorous topics and an approachable, informal tone.
- ARC (2016). A custom multiline typeface for the City of Paris (L'Arc de l'Innovation).
- Spectral (2017). A 7-style sharp-edged book face by Jean-Baptiste Levée related to Mrs. Eaves, and freely available at Google Fonts. Levée describes the influence of the French Elzevir on Spectral. The type experts opine that the spacing is too loose.
- Alpine (2017). A custom sans family for the new Alpine Vision automobile.
- Antique Gothic (2017). A condensed vintage sans with extreme x-height, designed by Jean-Baptiste Levée, with the help of Emmanuel Besse, Yoann Minet, Quentin Schmerber, Hugues Gentile, Pauline Fourest, and Kristina Jandova.
- Cardinal Classic and Cardinal Fruit (2018). A large transitional typeface family by Jean-Baptiste Levée, Yoann Minet and Quentin Schmerber. The tightly set and high impact photojournalism typeface family Cardinal Photo was added in 2020.
- Media Sans (2018). A typeface family with tight spacing and some extra condensed styles to be used in headlines and on posters. It was influenced by Frutiger's Antique Presse (at Deberny & Peignot) and some European typefaces of the 1960s and 1970s, such as the tightly letterspaced Brasilia, the squarish caps of Eurostile, and the oddly contrasted Antique Olive.
- LVMH Air (2018). A knife-edged fashion typeface family custom designed for LVMH (Moet Hennessy & Louis Vuitton), a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate that specializes in snob appeal.
- Duperré Sans (2018). A custom sans by Jean-Baptiste Levée and Quentin Schmerber for École Duperré.
- Acier (2019). A bi-colored revival of Cassandre's Acier (1930, Deberny & Peignot).
- Tesseract (2019). A display typeface with edges as sharp as a bamboo-cutting machete. Stuff for James Bond movies.
Speaker at ATypI 2013 in Amsterdam and ATypI 2014 in Barcelona. Speaker at ATypI 2016 in Warsaw.
Behance link. Old URL. Klingspor link. Home page of Jean-Baptiste Levée.
Fontspring link [Buy fonts]
Klingspor Museum page
Type designers ⦿
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Type blogs ⦿
Type design in France ⦿
Type design and Escher ⦿
Type design in Quebec ⦿
Modern style [Bodoni, Didot, Walbaum, Thorowgood, Computer Modern, etc.] ⦿
Corporate typefaces ⦿
Typewriter fonts ⦿
Fashion mag typefaces ⦿
School fonts ⦿
Multicolor typefaces ⦿