The Scriptorium de Toulouse was founded in 1968 by Andre Vernette, assisted by Bernard Arin during the first two years. The Scriptorium’s immediate aim was to restore education in lettering, in the setting of a local fine arts school.

The Scriptorium de Toulouse is closed from June 2005.

Xavier Dupré, a past student, reflects on his years at the Scriptorium.

[righthand] I went to the Scriptorium in 1997, after two years graphic design study in Paris. At the time, I felt that the Scriptorium could provide the base that I needed to expand my research on type design. I had already designed several fonts for display setting, but these were not very well drawn and were very rough. Traditionnal typefaces didn’t interesting me at the time. When I arrived at the Scriptorium, I discovered calligraphy and learned about the evolution of writing. I quickly understood that the historical forms would help me to think about the structure of the typeforms and their connection to general history and politics. So,

Quelques caractères de Xavier Dupré conçues au Scriptorium et après.

I have discovered with great pleasure the traditional world of typeface design. The Scriptorium de Toulouse was exactly what I had dreamed of as a study place: the two year programme was completly suited to my aspirations, with no scrict rules. Bernard and the others teachers just helped me to my choice without deciding for me. The atmosphere was very friendly, and Bernard Arin is really a funny guy! I learned everything without noticing anything!

Xavier Dupré. Dupré now works for a packaging design agency as type designer, and continues to develop his own fonts. He has recently worked with Ladislas Mandel on several typeface project.

Vues du Scriptorium, avec au premier plan, Bernard Arin.

Return to the Scriptorium history

(translated by Jack Yan)

The Scriptorium de Toulouse was founded in 1968 by Andre Vernette, assisted by Bernard Arin during the first two years. The Scriptorium’s immediate aim was to restore education in lettering, in the setting of a local fine arts school.

Since its first year, three of its students have won the Concours général des arts plastiques & des arts appliqués prize.In 1969, the Scriptorium was introduced at the Rencontres internationales de Lure, & the following year, Charles Peignot paid a visit to the school, acknowledging it as a leading institute. Almost overnight, the school became specialized in the design of lettering for dry-transfer type for Mécanorma & Letraset. The Scriptorium de Toulouse enjoyed the distinction of winning numerous prizes in France and abroad, notably in Germany & the United States. The results obtained by the students reached a high point with the winning of the Prix des Graphistes in 1973, & the Prix de l’Innovation (Mécanorma). In the field of calligraphy, Claude Médiavilla, who instigated the calligraphy revival in France, was an exemplary product of this institute.

Croquis de recherches par Bernard Arin sur la phonographie des Garaldes. Extrait des supports pédagogiques utilisés au Scriptorium.

Bernard Arin took on its responsibilities in 1982. New successes were obtained by the Scriptorium de Toulouse.* Franck Jalleau (also a former student of Ladislas Mandel & José Mendoza at the Atelier National de Création Typographique) is a worthy representative of this new wave. Later considered, by the ministerial authorities, as too technical, the Scriptorium de Toulouse closed in 1985.

In 1987, Bernard Arin relaunched the Scriptorium as a private venture, and the level of training was further advanced by the arrival of Rodolphe Giuglardo. Its methods were integrated with industrial and professional fundamentals. Students decide on the courses in a four-year degree, and select their speciality, relying always on the proven foundations of hand-lettering, calligraphy, typographic design and composition. The attitude is both professional, in facing the problems posed, & personal, in the manner with which they are approached. It is the aim of the Scriptorium to give students a genuine awareness & ability for their future professions. In the discipline of typographic design, production is based on in-depth knowledge of history & direct hand-lettering.

Since 1992, with the involvement of Denis Lefèvre, the Scriptorium has been involved in research on improved legibility in type.

Romane. Caractère de texte conçu par Séverine Hameau en 1994. Ce caractère suit en partie certains concepts sur la lisibilité développés par Bernard Arin. Premier prix au Linotype Type design contest (categorie text) en 1994.

Vetiver. Caractère d’image de marque conçu par Marie Aline Pavard en 1990.


Copyright 2001, Xavier Dupré. Bernard Arin, Directeur du Scriptorium de Toulouse..


Bernard Arin
Stage de calligraphie