Marie is an exclusive identity typeface designed at Atelier National de Recherche Typographique. It iwas commissioned in 2016 by Fabrication Maison for the signage system of Institut International de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mézières.
Marie is a cap-only humanistic Sanserif, based on the dimensions and structure of the Roman capital. The creative process found its source in the tradition of object theater : the letterforms attempt to reproduce the energy injected by the puppeteer actor when he sets an object in motion. The letter is no longer drawn from its outline but is build inside out, by sculpting solid shapes. Finally, letters reveal their construction by hinting at the decomposition of individual strokes and their points of articulation, thus referring to the notion of manipulation that is central to puppet theater. This deconstruction process results in a simplification of the ductus, provoking in turn the setting in motion of some letters through the introduction of oblique stems. Paradoxically, the decrease in the number of strokes used to build each letter increases the number of variations for each of them. The resulting letter, that may look more or less irregular, seems to stem from the spontaneous energy of of a quick and clumsy combination of strokes. Within a word or a sentence, some contextual ligatures are introduced to express the choreographic dimension inherent to contemporary puppet theater. The insertion of oblique strokes generates tension and movement in the word’s silhouette. The encounter between letters that are disrupted by the obliques (“A”, “M”, “N”, “V”, “W”) creates a very particular rhythm within the white space surrounding the words. The connections between letters create a peculiar balance of power, and occasionally some turbulent dialogues in the text. Thereby, Marie’s dancing letters come to life in the word’s context. As can be seen from the occurrence of the letters “M” and “N”, this variation plays with the concept of polyphony as if each letter played a role in the word’s staging.