In one of his workshops at a psychiatric hospital in Switzerland, artist François Dey created a typeface in collaboration with the patients. Prior to this final result they experimented with different forms of being and collaborating. The hospital site, a public garden alike arboretum with grand sequoias older than hundred years is surrounded by mountains and woods which used to be a granite quarry. Early on, the geological society had asked for a cessation of mining activities on the erratic rocks brought by the ice fifteen thousand years ago. The vegetation, of which the typeface is made, has now taken over the ruins of pathways and walls build in order to reach and dispatch the granite stones.
During one of their first walks in the garden, François grabbed a liana and brought it back to his studio. Another time they went on harvesting them together and started braiding what they later figured were wild clematis plants. Later on, they held and bended the braided clematis to form letters together. The alphabet seen as a structure we all shared as well as a platform for expression. Reflections came later about why they thought they were allowed to harvest this plant which was denominated as invasive but started to look more and more human. The plant uses support of other trees in order to grow. In April its flowers pop up on the top of other trees. Finally, the group started working with brooms. The order and cleanliness felt like an attempted to contrast the wild and uncontrollable essence of the plant. The brooms were stacked up to create numbers for the font.
François Dey has published his research material of this project in a small booklet Carnet de Residence #5, stencil printed by Erwin Blok.
DESIGNER: FRANÇOIS DEY
FORMAT: OTF, WOFF, WOFF2