Graphic designer Benoit Canaud creates projects in the cultural and commercial sectors of the industry. As a result, his portfolio is a mix of technically refined commissions and projects that display a more experimental side.
Throughout each of these projects typography is a key component. Feeding from his practice as a student, Benoit tries, “to devise conceptual and sophisticated projects with an experimental use of typography and image structure,” he tells It’s Nice That. “This produces compositions and layout generated by the content. Every choice has to be logical and legitimate by applying strict typographical rules.”
By carefully following his own font-based rules Benoit has created a neatly composed portfolio that displays fonts he has designed implemented editorially. One font the designer has created, Pluton, is consistently evolving. “Pluton follows the reader, rhythms his reading,” explains the designer. “This character evolves and adapts itself to the cycles of publications as a continuation. Grotesque inspired by the 1920s, it was drawn by confronting the old and modern, fixed and unstable, adapting itself to the reading situations by tracing the lines of the pages.”
The designer additionally describes Pluton as a font rather than typeface, “because of the link between typeface and technique, character and unicode and a liquid drawing,” he says. Benoit’s thought process behind the typeface relates to how we perceive typography on screen. “Just like technology, our perception of text evolves on the screen and the dream of a new adaptive optical scale (in our browsers) becomes reality. Nevertheless, typefaces remain fixed. A process, the space of a pause, where the content draws the shape becoming a program, an unstable, adaptable and liquid layout.”
Currently Benoit is working on his thesis, developing Pluton and his “theory of liquid typography, like the Zygmunt Bauman’s liquid modernity theory as a metaphor of our society, a reflection of our time where the structure becomes network and variable”.