Benoit Brun — A$AP Interview
Dennis Moya: Can you introduce yourself?
Benoit Brun: I’m Benoit, a student in graphic design. I grew up in a little paradise called Sanary-Sur-Mer in the South of France. Now I’m based in Lausanne where I plan to graduate from ECAL in June. I like being near water and being able to tell myself that in the evening I could have my feet in water to meditate.
DM: Can you tell us more about the A$AP typeface? What was the design environment?
BB: This project was born during a class with Ian Party in which we had to create a display font. Whenever I work I listen to a lot of music, it is a source of inspiration to me. The Hip-Hop culture, the MC’s means of expression, the street’s universe fascinates me with their radicality and resources. The idea to work a letter like graffiti, out of the ancestral codes of typography, is in fact liberating to me! I like to experiment the character drawing as an abstract shape that stands in the limit of visibility and readability. Ian often repeated “there are no rules, no mistakes in typography”, this sentence has become a philosophy for me. For instance, in my A$AP project I wanted to overcome the classic codes by thinking of a typeface that we can read in vertical. This allows a total different apprehension of the letter. To think a Monospace, Monocase is a space of rich constraints to generate contrasts. It has been for me a playground between full and empty.
DM: Is type design a practice you would like to pursue?
BB: Of course! In my bachelor memoir I questioned myself about the implication of the body in the act of writing, about what relationship the body and the tool maintain. When we are constrained by the tool, writing appears like a moment of instinctual and unthinking existence. From my point of view, writing is a testimony of the living body in action and composition in the instant.
Type design is a key element in my projects. I like to develop a specific font to an identity, to think a typographic character to retranscribe it into a universe, to create new shapes, new applications for a future design.
DM: What’s your favorite type designer(s)?
BB: There are a lot of typefaces I appreciate without necessarily getting interest in the identity of the person who hides behind it. It’s the freedom of writing, we can imagine whatever we want. The daily urban environment is a huge source of graphic inspiration that has an important role throughout my creations.
One of the flashes that made me fall into the passion of type design is the meeting with my teacher Ian Party who compared the advancement of typography with the improvement of a Porsche 911… I transplanted…