This typeface was conceived as an extra version of the Le Monde Livre. A typeface family featuring a lot of traditional elements revisited in a contemporary manner, not as a typeface revival. Designing a typeface in the nineties featuring ligatures, special variation of many glyphs, vignettes and ornaments wasn’t perfect. Specially for the users. So, with advanced OpenType technology as in common use today, it was obvious that a revamp of this typeface would be a good initiative.
This family was fully rebuilt from scratch as in 1999 it wasn’t simple to add easy access to the functionnalities of fonts. This new extended PRO version has been started in 2006, but its only in 2010 that a clear design strategy of the family was conceived by Jean François Porchez who continuously added new glyphs and ligatures months after months, he says Le Monde Livre Classic extensions was designed during my spare time, it means in fact working on airplanes and trains!
Mathieu Réguer who jumped into the project in 2011 reports Le Monde Livre Classic is a design that was technically challenging on every levels: a good deal of effort went into making sure that the resulting font family was ergonomic and usable, despite its complexity, but we also had to rethink our workflow and develop new production strategies just to make the decision making process reasonable and keep the development manageable. Expending a typeface featuring a lot of ligatures push to discuss about the best strategy regarding the language support. A simple ligature of e+e mean potentially an infinite multiplication of the combinations to cover all languages: 9 diacritic variants of the letter e x 9 diacritic variants of the letter e = 81 combinations. In fact many of such variants don’t exist in real languages!? There is a very small chance that a language feature é + ê or é + ë together, so the decision was to reduce the possibilities on this above example to only 17 combinations of e+e.
Mistakes are easily accepted by humans
When you have to code OpenType features, work on kerning, build testing process — a multiplication of glyph alternates, ligatures push to develop special scripts to be able to build code without bugs. Just imagine what mean 500 000 kerning pairs on a unique font when you have to compile your code… Mistakes are easily accepted by humans, but a mistake in a line of code crashs the application. For Mathieu, it is the kind of project that reminds you how type design is as much about designing the final product as it is about designing a process to get there. It was all about making sure that no one got mad along the way: neither the user, nor the designer!
So after long months of development, a first beta has been built in Automn 2011. The final version of Le Monde Livre Classic was postponed several times to be sure that no details were missing on the functionnality of the family.
Each weight of the roman include more than 800 alternates, finals, initials and ligatures + their diacritics variants, easily activable with the help of OpenType features. Multi-ligatured capital settings of Le Monde Livre Classic emulate Renaissance inscriptions, hand draws letters found in Italy, Spain and Portugal. Monumental displays as it happens in magazine pages will visually gain a lot from Le Monde Livre Classic fancy capital ligatures and alternate settings.
Le Monde Livre Classic’s italic structure follows the models of the Renaissance and includes two sets of capitals: the default slighty flourished capitals refer to specific forms of Baskerville italic capitals, especially J, M, N. The second set is the swashed capitals which transform dramatically your texts. In addition to the fi, ffl, ft […] and ct, st, other set of ligatures are proposed from the historical ones like the as, es, us […] to fanciest combinations such as pe, cc, ee. OpenType features are organised gradually to help the users.
Ornaments, vignettes, borders are also present on every styles via the OpenType features. The small caps versions are included as the usual set of capital and lowercase figures, superiors, fractions and so on. Le Monde Livre Classic works beautifully for book typography, magazine setting from text to display. This family designed by Jean François Porchez brings more exuberance in your designs.
Availability of the new typeface family
Le Monde Livre Classic OpenType fonts are available in our exclusive PRO version.
→ Download Le Monde Livre Classic pdf specimen.
→ € 55 by weight in exclusive PRO version
→ € 206 for the Full family in exclusive PRO version of 6 styles (5 romans, 1 italic).
→ € 45 by weight in STD version
→ € 169 for the Full family in STD version of 6 styles (5 romans, 1 italic).