Julia art directs Elephant

London-based design studio Julia has recently completed a rehaul of the art direction of visual culture magazine Elephant, designing a bespoke typeface in the process…

London-based design studio Julia comprises the talents of Valerio Di Lucente, Erwan Lhuissier and Hugo Timm. The trio has recently completed a rehaul of the art direction of visual culture magazine Elephant, designing a bespoke typeface in the process. Click through to find out more about the new typeface and to see a selection of spreads from the new issue of the magazine…


The new typeface, appropriately named Elephant, is the result of an investigation, say Julia, of letterpress. “The ink absorption of the letterpress process was and is very different from current offset printing, resulting in clogging. On its display sizes, Elephant has ink already trapped in the inner angles, simulating this effect. For small body copy there is another cut with normal ink traps.”

Above: a closer look at a couple of letterforms that show a bit more clearly the idea of ink trapped in the tighter angles of letterforms


Here are some spreads from the new issue (7) of Elephant:


“When we’re designing a magazine we see ourselves as contributors in the broadest sense of the word,” Julia’s Erwan Lhuissier tells us of the sudio’s approach to art directing Elephant. “The design is one of the many things involved in putting a publication together,” he continues, “and we enjoy when it’s an extension of what’s happening in the whole editorial process. With Elephant we’ve been focusing on giving each of its sections a distinctive identity. That requires changing image selections, the way texts are written, the relationship between individuals and their subjects, and ultimately the layouts. It is an ongoing process and that’s part of the beauty of working on magazines: it’s never over and there’s always more to be explored. The typeface is part of this process and we’re taking the opportunity to keep developing it. We feel that its main idea, clogged ink, can generate interesting effects when pushed further.”




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