Designer Spotlight: Xavier Dupré

Our Designer Spotlight Series continues with another up-and-comer. Like Christian Schwartz, the award-winning Xavier Dupré has created successful typefaces for multiple foundries at a surprisingly young age. To quote Schwartz himself, Dupré is a “designer coming into his own, developing and understanding his own style and approach without being restricted by it”. Born in France, Dupré is inspired by many cultures, having traveled the globe, working in both packaging and typeface design. After a few years in Southeast Asia, he recently returned to Europe, settling in Belgium.


TDC2 winner

Vista in UseVista Sample

Vista Sans™ (2005)

Dupré describes Vista’s origins: “I sketched a few characters in a notebook while staying in Sumatra on a one month holiday. I wanted to design a typeface for text and display that would retain some of the characteristics of the idiosyncratic shop signs that surrounded me in Sumatra.” Each of Vista’s six weights includes alternate, small cap, and italic variants for a total of 36 fonts in the family.


TDC2 winner

Absara in Use
Absara sample

FF Absara™ (2004–05)

FF Absara is a typeface of French proportions, but its shapes take their cues from the Dutch style: less polished, more direct. The casual forms refer to humanist handwriting. FF Absara’s rough cut makes it an interesting display typeface, but thanks to its generous proportions and firm serifs, FF Absara works equally well at text sizes. The idiosyncratic italic builds a strong contrast with the roman. FF Absara is functional and expressive, and lends a humanistic colour to both editorial and advertising design. Text in the above sample comes from Chris Rugen’s review on Typographica.


Megano in Use
Megano Sample

FF Megano™ (2005)

“We usually don't have this combination in one family: humanistic and calligraphic shapes, roundness in diagonals (especially in the uppercase), ‘unserious’ stars, and arrows,” Dupré says. “I tried to mix what I like in typography — humanistic oblique axis, high readability, and a touch of fun.”


Zingha Source
Zingha Sample

Zingha™ (2005)

Zingha “balances French rhythm with American style.” Traditional inscriptions inspire design of the roman capitals, but Dupré allowed himself more freedom in the spirited lowercase and personal italic. He drew at night, defying the round and luscious letterforms required by his day job preparing sweet and creamy designs to please the food packaging industry. Rich sets of swash characters offer decorative variation in display yet remain legible in small sizes.


Tartine in Use
Tartine Sample

FF Tartine Script™ (2002)

A nice heavy script is difficult to come by. FF Tartine fits the role beautifully. With three weights and alt swash caps, this brush family behaves well at both casual and formal occasions, adding life to the page. Logos practically paint themselves.


Sanuk in Use
Sanuk Sample

FF Sanuk™ (2006)

This lively sans serif combines readable shapes with a calligraphic spirit. FF Sanuk’s roman letterforms are clean and crisply drawn, but their stylish detailing showcases Dupré’s artistic sensibilities. Nearly upright italics convey a contemporary air while maintaining a high degree of legibility. The seven-weight family runs the gamut from a delicate hairline to a chunky fat face, and is an inspired choice for both text and display typography.


Jambono in Use

Jambono Sample

FF Jambono™ (2002)

While at a packaging design agency in Paris, Dupré created Tartine and Jambono. He wanted to have a complete font on hand whenever a logo was needed. FF Jambono is a display type for packaging but can also be used in text thanks to its several weights. It’s a dynamic face with a soft and playful look.




FF Angkoon™ (2003)

As elegant as the Angkor temples which surrounded Dupré during his years in Cambodia.



FF Parango™ (2001)

Demonstrates Dupré’s view of French typography with its alternating narrow and wide letters. Its sweetness and thick/thin strokes evoke old prints.



FF Reminga™ (2001)

A contemporary text face, rather sober and especially legible in 10-12 point size. The graceful Titling versions are specially designed for use at large sizes.



Fonts used in title graphic: Vista Sans™ & Zingha™.


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