La Perruque is a 1 × 90 cm-long magazine publishing nonstandard type specimens printed in the margins of regular documents.
La Perruque hacks unused paper surfaces from print shop production, so they become carte blanche for type designers instead of waste.
Fixed-format paper sheets for offset printing, 100 × 70 cm
La Perruque magazine, 90 × 1 cm
Each issue is a specimen of a typeface. All of them together draw the portrait of a contemporary typography scene. La Perruque showcases experimental typography projects. It is also a place for type manifestos and in-progress fonts.
Besides being an online archive of the magazine issues, this website also gives access to the font design processes documented by the type designers themselves.
“A ‘homer’ [«perruque» in french] is an artifact that a worker produces using company tools and materials outside normal production plans but at the workplace and during workhours. Despite legal, artistic and ethnographic evidence of their existence, silence surrounds [perruques]. […] this silence is not linked just to the marginal and illegal quality of these artifacts. [Perruques] shed light on a high degree of ‘complicity’ between employees regardless of their position in the hierarchy.”
Michel Anteby, “Factory ‘homers’: Understanding a highly elusive, marginal, and illegal practice“, in Sociologie du travail, 45, 2003, p. 453.
La Perruque is not only a typography magazine. It is also a research platform focusing on alternative economic models for the publishing industry, the hacking of standard printing among others.
Year 2015. A first unspoken agreement with the print shop Media Graphic in Rennes allows Oliver Bertrand to use a blank surface in the margins of their regular prints. Ever since that founding experience, materials (unused print surfaces) and large scale production techniques (offset printing) have been the playgrounds for type designers, print shops and publishers to collaborate. Production time, number of copies, colors and type of paper depend on this economy of means.
To learn more about La Perruque’s economic model, check Les banquiers aiment parler d’art, les artistes aiment parler d’argent (“bankers like to talk about art, artists like to talk about money”), a talk by Olivier Bertrand during the erg seminar 2019.
Formerly named Payez l’imprimeur (“Pay for the printer!” is the title of a short story by Philip K. Dick), La Perruque was initiated by Olivier Bertrand at ÉESAB, Rennes, and launched during his graduation years at erg, Brussels. The magazine is now published by Surfaces Utiles, a publishing house runned with a similar mindset, trying to publish parallelepiped books through these non-standard production methods.
This website has been designed by Olivier Bertrand using Grotex Micro, a font by Alex Chavot for the first issue of La Perruque. Exaggerated ink traps and other gross distortions suit an odd and narrow format well.
Have a look at the old website (V.1, 2015). Warning: not responsive page.
Past & present accomplices
Print shops and publishers: Cassochrome, Graphius, HEAD – Genève, INNI Group, Media Graphic, Sans niveau ni mètre, Vies Parallèles.
Special thanks to: Atelier Bek, Alexandru Balgiu, Raphaël Bastide, Axel Benassis, Yves Bernard, Julie Blanc, Quentin Bodin, Justin Bihan, Piero Bisello, Marion Bisserier, Marion Cachon, Jean-François Caro, Alex Chavot, Jil Daniel, Sammy Del Gallo, Olivier Deleersnyder, George Dupin, Gilbert Fastenaekens, Laura François, Luc de Fouquet, Laure Giletti, Luc Hanneuse, Harrisson, Pierre Huyghebaert, Antonin Lefevre, antoine lefebvre editions, Felix Luque, Renaud Huberlant, Maxime Kerneis, Olivier Lamy, Olivier Lebrun, Pierre Leguillon, Odile Lemée, Marjolaine Lévy, Lucas Le Bihan, Weiyi Li, Pierre Martel, Lionel Mélin, Pierre Merle, Lucas Meyer, Léa Michel, Jan Middelbos, Marine Montagné, Laurent Müller, Aurélie Noury, Camille Pageard, David Jonathan Ross, Fabrice Schneider, Laurence Soens, Swiss Typefaces (Ian Party, Emmanuel Rey, Denis Moya), Marie Theurier, Marie Tueni, Clément Le Tulle-Neyret, Julien Vallet, Francis Voisin.
© Unless otherwise stated, each document reproduced on this website is the property of its author. Content produced by La Perruque is under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to contribute to the magazine, distribute it, organize a workshop, or just to have a beer in Brussels.
La Perruque, Avenue Maréchal Joffre 153
1180 Brussels – Belgium