Paris native Philippe Apeloig hasn’t been to Cambridge in about ten years, but he says he’s looking forward to returning on Monday to speak at Le Laboratoire in Kendall Square.
Apeloig is an influential graphic designer who’s created typographic identities and posters for clients like the Louvre and Hermès. Last year, his work was featured at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and in 2014, an exhibit called Typorama at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris illustrated his 30-year long career.
Presenting The Substance of Letters on April 25, Apeloig will discuss his design composition, showcasing projects from posters and motion graphic images to logos and typefaces.
“I will try to focus very much on the conceptual approach, and how to deal with space and the feeling of good balance between light and shadow,” says Apeloig. “Also—how to play with typography. To make it really experimental, but at the same time, to not forget about the functionality of it.”
Apeloig emphasizes exploring type as both a physical form and abstract system. In presenting his design concepts at Le Laboratoire—an art and design lab that was originally founded in Paris in 2007 and opened a second location in Cambridge in October 2014—Apeloig hopes to introduce ideas that are “refreshing and new.”
Creating original designs has been a goal of Apeloig’s since he finished up his formal art education.
“The art education I received was kind of very classical and traditional,” he says. “I went to many classes in drawing, painting, and design, too.”
Since then, he’s broken typographical boundaries partly by learning to use a new tool—the computer. During a stint in Los Angeles, he was shown the ropes by designer April Greiman. A year later, Apeloig established his own design studio in Paris in 1989. He has also taught typography and graphic design at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and the Cooper Union School of Art in New York City.
Apeloig says he’s inspired by modernist movements, like modern architecture.
“There’s something which is very similar between architecture and graphic design,” he says. “It’s how you deal with the space.”
The differences in space between posters and logos, for example, cause Apeloig to appreciate them differently. He considers posters like paintings, but while making logos, it’s necessary to maintain a strong, essential idea, and then “reduce it to a minimum.”
“They’re very delightful to make,” he says. “All kinds of things.”