• Steven Heller

Cutting Letters

Jerome Corgier does with paper and typefaces what Rodin did with bronze and the human form; he makes us ponder how he creates such incredible effects. His latest opus of sculpted type, “ArchiLetters,” is a marvel. I asked him to narrate his remarkable process and outcome.

What is the concept of this set of letters?

Typographic series after typographic series, I’m coming close to architectural forms. It’s [something] I did not expect at first, but it was already evident in the first series I did (“Space Typography”). For this series, “ArchiLetters,” I knew that I would like to come close to architectural forms and landscapes. Then I tried a new way of construction, and new materials, like copper.

Why did you decide to cut them like architectural models?

With series I did some years ago (“Space Typography,” “IsItStillType,” “Skeletype,” “ThreadAndLetter,” “Islands,” etc.), I liked to give life inside letters. And as letters are closed forms, the architecture vocabulary gives me a lot of creative possibilities. In 2016 I did a series which was really architecturally inspired, but very far from the letters—“Cities.” Nobody was interested by this series. Then I decided to come back to letterforms, which are very comfortable to work with, because they are defined and recognizable forms.

What do you plan to do with them?

Today, I have no plan. It is just a very big pleasure to do it, and I will send it to my agent, and see if she can convince any client to work with me.

There are some missing letters. How come?

Yes, I know! In each series, there are one or more I’m not inspired by. I don’t really know why! It’s stupid!

What letter began the series?

I began this series with the experimental “X”—it was a form I already did in the “Cities” series. In fact, after “Cities,” I tried one thing which was the real starting point of the “ArchiLetters” series: simple white on green background. Very efficient.

What is your favorite letter?

In the “ArchiLetters” series, my favorite is the “E”—simple, efficient. In the “Experimental ArchiLetters” one, my favorite is the “T” (bottom).

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