Concrete & Counterform

A favourite thing, since my Royal College of Art days in South Kensington, has been this cast-concrete typographic entrance to the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle.

Each facet, as you can see, is designed to become a different character. It is the three dimensional, internal, negative physical route from one to the other that offers beauty out of economy. 

I don't think all six sides of each chipped cube becomes a letter. Haven't done the maths to know the saving on cast forms. Tried to find out the designer without success. Anyone know?

So, the active and determinate nature of the counterforms and kerning call to mind Wim Crouwel's Soft Alphabet (via), originally designed for a Claes Oldenburg / Stedelijk Museum catalogue, I think.

Armin Hoffmann's consistently poetic use of energised negative space.

Roads lead back to Cassandre. Not so much the entirety of this poster but the word 'Reglisse' at the top. I have found that the character 's' is tough in a kind of relishable way, like a tricky but therefore valued personality in a family. Cassandre kind of looked sideways to solve his 's' with each re-incarnation, never forcing it to fit and therefore finding counter-rhythm and colour.