Head over to typelab.fr, and suddenly the white page will flare up in red. Your pointer will become the fire emoji. This website is stark but playful, just like the typefaces it houses. Welcome to Typelab: a collaborative portfolio for young type designers curated by Paris-based type designer Floriane Rousselot.
Click anywhere, and you’ll be sent to a page listing several expressive fonts. The two collections of typefaces currently on display—“capsule territory” and “capsule future”—include unusual, expressive fonts by Rousselot’s contemporaries, many of whom she’s connected with through Instagram. You can test the various typefaces on the site—manipulating weight, size, and letter-spacing—and then with the click of a button, contact the individual designers for purchasing information. It’s a DIY set up that might one day, as interest and submissions continue to gather momentum, develop into an e-shop.
“I started Typelab to show off my fonts and fonts by friends,” says Rousselot, who launched the platform earlier this year. “I felt like we needed a digital place to showcase our work—which is all based on experimental lettering—as foundries and type design distributors often don’t want to promote our typefaces. They don’t fit into their catalogs. Ideally, I want Typelab to grow in order to help other young designers show their work.”
Her selection criteria is based on experimentation; the fonts on Typelab “aren’t perfect”, but rather prize concept over technical precision. The idea is to explore how typefaces and letters “can behave” rather than emphasizing legibility and readability. “A typeface’s concept, and its sense of experimentation, is what’s most important to me,” determines Rousselot.
On Typelab, you’ll find fonts such as MK Amour, a fluid, oozing, curling font based on the idea of slang. There’s also Rousselot’s own Galejade—an ornamental font with the spiked, snaking appearance of fire. Vivien Hoffmann’s Kasja is a wispy with a hint of blackletter, and Kazuhiro Aihara’s Sword pierces the white page like an angry spectre. Typelab is no ordinary type library, and with it, you may just find exactly what you’re looking for to give your project an added, unexpected lift.