Back Story: This typeface was inspired by the American psychedelic rock band Love, and in particular by their marvelous 1967 album Forever Changes, according to Violaine Orsoni of VJ-Type, the studio she runs with her business (and life) partner Jérémy Schenider. That was the year musicians began moving away from releasing single tunes on 45-RPM discs and started producing ambitious, full-bodied albums. In this vein, Forever Changes blended diverse styles including rock, jazz, folk, and symphonic pop into a fluid, irresistible groove. Despite being a commercial flop at the time of its release, its now widely considered one of the great unsung albums in rock history.
Why’s it called Love? Besides being named for the band, other reasons include: because the letterforms embrace each other in the many ligatures, forming singular couples; because the meeting between sharp and round shapes embodies the “opposites attract” theory of relationships; and because Violaine and Jérémy love to design typefaces. And also, because they love each other. Aw.
What are its distinguishing characteristics? Love is an all-caps display font with each letter available in at least two styles (although Schneider, in typically playful fashion, created two character sets named Uppercase and Lowercase, distinguished mostly by variances in letter width, plus a few other quirks here and there). Many have an even more generous selection of alternates: the “M” has four options, for example, and the “R” has five.
“We worked to give Love 17 stylish ligatures,” says Orsoni. The characters have beautiful contrast thanks to exaggerated counter-forms paired with thin stems, creating a variety of rhythms that somehow preserve balance among typeset words. The typeface emits an essential French-ness despite its American ’60s inspiration, channeling the ghost of 20th-century design legend A.M. Cassandre and echoing the sensually intertwined letters of one of his final projects, the 1963 Yves St. Laurent YSL logo. However, Love’s inventive ligatures coupled with extreme contrasts in letterform width and stroke give it its own distinctly modern voice.
What should I use it for? “Mostly for titles,” Orsoni says. “But the range of glyphs can bring the font into a kind of logotype universe, too.”
What other typefaces do you like to pair it with? For a partner with equal typographic distinction and flair, try pairing Love with Kobe or Fugue. Some happy couples work because one is content to let the other hog the spotlight; for this effect, try the more modest GT Pressura.