Concours et prix
Stage / Internship
Monograph (Creative Review)
WWD Magazine, december 2009
Galerie Anatome / 20 ans
+ 81 Magazine / Japon
Le Mois du Graphisme / Échirolles
Alliance française des Designers
Design&Typo le Blog
étapes (Brésil Brésil)
Rene Wanner's Posterpage
Philippe Apeloig for + 81 Magazine / Japon
+ 81 How did you come to be interested in graphic design?
Philippe Apeloig (PA) I had originally hoped to work in theater or contemporary dance as a stage director or choreographer so I never intended to get into graphic art. I enrolled in art school because I liked the paintings, so I chose a course on visual expression. Back then it still wasn't established just how graphic art and design should be presented. My course of study began with calligraphy, so that was where I first learned about text. However, what really made me think I wanted to become a graphic artist was my experience at Total Design in the Netherlands. The constructivist world that makes up Dutch culture opened the path of graphic art up to me. Even today that experience forms the fundamental basis of how I work.
+ 81 Aside from conveying the meanings of words to readers, what sort of role do you think typography plays?
PA Typography helps us recall what something is even if its nature isn't clear immediately. It shows us the concept in a sharper and more precise manner while avoiding simply explaining things with illustrations. It allows for more brilliant visualizations of the invisible, and obverts the gazes of people, adding a strength that can't be seen at first glance. That's what makes typography so magnificent.
+ 81 What position do you think typography occupies in design?
PA Typography is one of the foundations of design. Even something that might become unclear if an image like a photo was added can be conveyed in its entirety with just text alone. Take for example the typography of a book. Rather than just allowing someone to read the book I think that it should also help the reader feel the book's theme as well.
+ 81 Aside from your own original fonts, what are your favorite and most-used fonts and why?
PA Akkurat, which was just made recently, is one of my favorites to use at the moment. I also like Foundry Sans from England. I used Taz for the posters for the yearly Literature festival in Aix-en-Provence.
+ 81 What is the importance of elegance for you?
PA In my opinion design should be fundamentally beautiful. Of course that's not all that it should be, but I think that regardless of whether it's an object or an image it should be visually appealing and special in some way. Which in the end means that by necessity a certain elegance will be born.
+ 81 Do you think this has something to do with your having many art museums and architects for clients?
PA I don't think that is what leads them to choose me. In France there is a lot of freedom in many different areas of design. However, design in advertising follows an older style that unfortunately I can't say is very creative. I'm not interested in the methodology of copy-catting preexisting codes currently going in the ad industry. Compared to this graphic artists and people involved in cultural communications are quite open and like new, experimental things. Being someone who prefers to do more personal work this is why I get along much better with them.
+ 81 Do you think there are differences in the role and purpose of typography depending on the medium, such as with print, 3D, and video?
PA With video things like time and movement come into play and become crucial elements. But even with print you still have the time of "reading" and the action of turning the pages. That's why I feel that at the very basest level all mediums are very similar. Also, no matter what type of artist you are be it sculptor, painter, or designer, you go into your craft with a thorough knowledge of various techniques and media. For example, Joan Miró worked with all sorts of different media and his creativity and preferences shined through in each of them. There are no boundaries based on media, and I think this is the same in design.
+ 81 What led to you creating moving typefaces like La Lorraine?
PA I had always felt that there should be text modeled after actors or dancers that you could control onscreen like a stage director or choreographer. So in 2003 I started doing animation. Sound became a factor as well as time and movement, so things got even more interesting. The project broadened my creative horizons. Now I can choreograph text and see the fun of making animations.
+ 81 Tell us a bit about your work process when creating a font.
PA I also use computers, but oftentimes I will add lines by hand to things I have printed out and endlessly cut and paste things. While building up this indecision I keep pushing my ideas forward until I am confident in them and mull them over until the very end. What if I adjusted the space between characters, or what if I changed the arrangement or color, or the inclination...and so on. That's how I work no matter the job. Unlike current advertising that makes use of preexisting things, design is a manipulation of form that can imbed a message conveying the "now" while still possessing originality. This is one of the privileges of being a graphic artist.
+ 81 What is your favorite of your own works and why?
PA One of the first works of my career, poster "Chicago, naissance d'une métropole" for the Chicago architectural exhibition held at the Musée d'Orsay. I'm also fond of my Claude Monet-inspired boat poster "Bateaux sur l'eau", which I really thought over to good result. For my poster for Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera's exhibition "Frida and Diego - A creative love" I used a chance idea of connecting the final "A" in Frida and the first "D" in Diego with an "N" to create "AND" and symbolize the bond between the two artists with just letters.
+ 81 In closing, what do you consider to be the essential elements for creating a new typeface?
PA I think graphic art is the same as painting or sculpture. So at any rate it is important to cultivate one's sensitivity. Expressing one's feelings is also crucial, so you must learn the ability to make a creative appeal about something.
Par Tomoaki SHIMIZU