After discovering Ange Degheest’s archives at the Rennes School of Fine Arts, we decided to put together an exhibition that attempted to finally give the designer the full recognition she deserves. In this exhibition, visitors learnt about Degheest’s life story and professional achievements, and discovered many original archival documents that had never previously been presented to the public. In addition to this historical research, we revived some of Ange Degheest’s most remarkable typefaces and lettering work, which are now available in digital format under an Open Source license on Velvetyne Type Foundry’s website. To revive means: to resurrect, to reactivate, to renew; and in many ways our work consisted in a kind of resurrection. We had indeed to reactivate the memory of Ange Degheest by diving in her archives, by exhuming the story of a woman who lived through many ages and locations. Only once we had acquired a good grasp of her life story, were we able to revive her typefaces. Reviving her designs and distributing them widely, free of charge, is our way to honour Ange Degheest’s memory and to give them a new life in the 21st century.
Curation and scenography of the exhibition, design of the typefaces and creation of the archive documents: members of the atelier of EESAB — Rennes (Eugénie Bidaut, Oriane Charvieux, Luna Delabre, Camille Depalle, Mandy Elbé, Justine Herbel, May Jolivet and Benjamin Gomez).
Texts: atelier members and Alice Savoie
Photographs: Justine Herbel
Webdesign and development: Eugénie Bidaut
Body text typeface: Kratos, Eugénie Bidaut
Thanks to Jacques Villeglé and Valérie Villeglé, for the precious 1945 pictures taken at Rennes School of Fine Arts.
Thanks to the anonymous typist from the Women’s Recycling Center, photographed by Janine Niepce in 1965, and who gives Ange Degheest a face.
“You say there are no words to describe this time, you say it does not exist. But remember. Make an effort to remember. Or, failing that, invent.”
— Monique Wittig, Les Guérillères, 1969