I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when enrolling in my university’s typography course, and the still-new Wander Type Project was definitely a surprise. As my professor explained this assignment to us, I was immediately excited to start exploring.
I chose Normandy, France as the source of inspiration for my Wander Type book project because of a trip I took to France this past summer in 2021. My family and I visited my sister in Paris, and then took a 3 day long roadtrip to the region of Normandy. The stereotype of French people is that they are standoffish and rude, especially towards Americans, but the smaller towns welcomed us happily and excitedly as tourists. This trip happened towards the end of the COVID-19 lockdowns and I felt very lucky to be able to travel during a period with very little tourism. Many of the well-known destinations that are typically packed with tourists, we experienced almost entirely to ourselves.
On our first stop while exploring Normandy, we were in Giverney to see Claude Monet’s beautiful house and gardens. La Maison de Claude Monet sat in the heart of a quaint town whose vibrant personality cannot be outshined by the elaborate landscaping at the house. Next, we stopped in Étretat, a town directly on the English Channel, to see the breath-taking cliffs surrounding the water. This town’s proximity to the sea and to England has a major influence on the culture. Our last stop was a small town called Pontorson, where we stayed overnight and enjoyed many of our meals. Here, we rented bicycles and rode through the countryside to the city of Mont Saint Michel, enclosed by the rising tide of the Couesnon River. This city is heavily influenced by Christianity with the decorative Abbey at the very city center. Each place had a charming and cozy feel around it that was incomparable to the busy city streets of Paris.
As you explore the type specimens within my book, I hope you’ll notice the contrasting styles, the similarities, and the unifying themes across the different cities. It is also very interesting to examine these type specimens through the lens of language. The way words are written reflects the definition of the word or phrase. Language, spoken and written, has a huge impact on the way the reader interprets the message, and the Wander Type Project emphasizes that location influences language and therefore typography.
About the Author: Margeaux Miller
Bonjour! My name is Margeaux Miller and I am a sophomore at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida. I am majoring in art and design with a concertation in graphic design, and I am minoring in Spanish and digital communications. I grew up in Springfield, Illinois, and moved to Florida to attend college. I have always loved creating, and my major will help grow my creativity and my ability to communicate through designing.
View the Project:
Wander Type: Normandy