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Roger Excoffon: type designer, graphic designer, painter, philosopher with...

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The Rose Auditorium, in Cooper Union's New Academic Building

41 Cooper Square

New York, NY 10003

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Excoffon’s work is a central part of the personality of post-WWII France — the three decades that the French call les trente glorieuses. Perhaps best known for his display types, such as Mistral and Banco, Excoffon spent many years as art director of Marseille’s Fonderie Olive. In the 1950s and ’60s, his work rapidly found its way into the very fabric of everyday life, visible in the tiniest villages of rural France on the awnings of beauty parlors and exterior signs of garages. Beyond his printing types, Excoffon also expressed the fundamental spirit of the times through his posters for Air France, his work in advertising, and his graphic design program for the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble. He was a prime mover in les Rencontres de Lure, France's equivalent of the Aspen Design Conference. Bruce Kennett, author of W. A Dwiggins: A Life in Design and a previous Lubalin lecturer, returns to take us on a tour of Excoffon's joyful and passionate work.


Book designer, photographer, and teacher Bruce Kennett lives in rural New England. After earning a B.A. in humanities and working as an architect and printer, he moved to Austria to study calligraphy and book design with Friedrich Neugebauer, and later translated Neugebauer’s The Mystic Art of Written Forms. During the 1980s, he was the managing director of Maine’s renowned Anthoensen Press, and since then has maintained his own studio with clients that have ranged from the Folger Shakespeare Library, Boston College Law School, and the Grolier Club to L.L. Bean and the Mount Washington Observatory. In the peaceful surroundings of his country studio, Bruce designs illustrated books and exhibition graphics, and makes large-scale murals of his photographs.
Bruce has collected the work of W. A. Dwiggins since 1972, and has been writing and lecturing about him since 1980. His comprehensive biography, W. A. Dwiggins: A Life in Design (Letterform Archive, 2017), captures the inspiring accomplishments and wit of this amazing artist.


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The Rose Auditorium, in Cooper Union's New Academic Building

41 Cooper Square

New York, NY 10003

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