Bon Anniversaire, Jean-Luc!

Our favourite director turns EIGHTY, and we want to celebrate (with) him, with everyone.

HAve always been in love with the title sequence lettering to Godard's movies Made in U.S.A. and 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d'elle. So as an hommage to Jean-Luc, to the Nouvelle Vague, to Seberg, Karina, Faithfull & Cie., we present you our Jean-Luc typeface, as a birthday gift for everyone. Voilà!

We didn’t find out who originally made the lettering for these two movies. Some speculate it could have been Godard himself – Godard’s interest in graphic design and typography is clear, with many of his other films employing such strong typography-only titles and intertitles. They are almost a self-sufficient entity, another character in the movie, another comment.

This style of lettering is so interesting to us because it is such a clear renunciation of the “pretty”, classical title screens that were common in that time’s more conservative films. It has a more vernacular and brutishly low-brow character; this lettering comes from the street:

We can not prove this at all, but we think it may be derived from the stencil letters of the Plaque Découpée Universelle, a lettering device invented in the 1870s by a certain Joseph A. David, and first seen in France at the 1878 Exposition Universelle, where it found broad appeal and rapid adoption. We think this style of lettering was absorbed into the public domain vernacular of French lettering, and that the 2 ou 3 choses titles are derived from these quotidien lettering style, as it would seem to fit Godard’s obsession with vernacular typography.

We learned about the PDU through Eric Kindel’s article in Typography Papers 7. In 2009, then-Werkplaats Typografie student Dries Wiewauters surprised us with a revival of the Plaque Découpée Universelle.

Below, the JeanLuc alphabet (white) and the PDU alphabet (blue), to show similarities and differences.


You can get the typeface right here, in two styles, for Desktop and Web use:

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I’m an iPhone user, show me the licence on a separate page.

Atelier Carvalho Bernau, Font Software End User Licence Agreement (Freeware Fonts)
v1.2, 2010-11-29

This is an agreement between you, the downloader, and Atelier Carvalho Bernau, located at Hoge Zand 36a, 2512 EM The Hague, The Netherlands. In accepting the terms of this agreement, you acknowledge understanding and promise to comply with its terms. If you do not accept the terms, please do not complete the download.

What you are getting from Atelier Carvalho Bernau is the licence to use digital typeface software - hereafter "fonts" - free of charge on computers within your organization; the copyright to the design of the fonts remains with Atelier Carvalho Bernau. These fonts are NOT available under "Open Source", "Creative Commons", "Open Font Licence" or other kinds of "open" licences.


You are allowed to make archival copies of the fonts for your own purposes and we recommend that you do so. Please, do not distribute the fonts to people outside of your organization under any circumstances. That means putting them for download on a server that is accessible from outside your organisation, file sharing, uploading, bundling on a CD-ROM or other physical media.

This typeface is available free of charge from the website http://www.carvalho-bernau.com/jlg and we will be glad if you link to this site, but you are not granted the right to offer the fonts for download yourself.

As an exception to this, using the fonts for @font-face/CSS is allowed under certain conditions, see below at "Embedding".

Furthermore, a copy of the fonts may be sent to a prepress bureau or printing office with a print job you used the fonts for.


The fonts can be embedded in other software files, such as Portable Document Format (PDF) or Flash files, but you will take all reasonable care to embed the fonts in such a way that they cannot be extracted from the files you create. Web-embedding is allowed under this licence with Cufon and sIFR, and with @font-face and CSS it is permitted using the .woff, .eot, the special version of the .otf and .svg fonts we provide (not with the normal .otf fonts), under the condition that following immediately under the @font-face declaration block of the CSS file, or under the javascript call statements of your web pages, or equivalent, you append this text as a comment in the source code:

"The Jean-Luc typeface was designed and made by Atelier Carvalho Bernau on the occasion of the 80th birthday of Jean-Luc Godard. It is available free of charge from http://www.carvalho-bernau.com/jlg/
Jean-Luc typeface Copyright (c) 2010 Atelier Carvalho Bernau"


The typefaces are our copyright, and licensing does not permit you to modify the fonts for your own purposes, or to execute modifications of our fonts for third parties. You may not modify, or commission a third party to modify, the fonts without first gaining permission from Atelier Carvalho Bernau. You may not sell or give away modified versions of the fonts.

Excluded from this are conversions necessary for Cufon and sIFR web embedding only.


If and where design is credited in publication colophons, website colophons et cetera, where you employ this typeface, it must be credited like this: "Typeface(s): Jean-Luc by Atelier Carvalho Bernau, http://carvalho-bernau.com"

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We have done everything we can to produce our fonts to the highest and most up-to-date technical standards, and we test the fonts extensively in the latest versions of technically-compliant applications. However, the font is provided "as is", without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and noninfringement. In no event shall Atelier Carvalho Bernau be liable for any claim, damages or other liability, whether in an action of contract, tort or otherwise, arising from, out of or in connection with the software or the use or other dealings in the software.


If you fail to comply to the terms of this licence, we reserve the right to terminate your licence, and without any restitution. In this case, you will have to delete all copies of the fonts.


This agreement shall be governed by the laws in force in The Netherlands and the European Union.


We grant the rights of use of our fonts to you in good faith, and ask that you adhere to the terms of this agreement to the best of your ability, and in good faith.

Ok, that's all we wanted to say. Thanks for reading. Bon anniversaire, Jean-Luc!

Typeface design, website design and art direction: Atelier Carvalho Bernau. Design intern: Bernd Volmer. Web programming: Dan Powers. Technical consultant: Type Supply.

Further reading: Godard’s Intertitles by Andrea Hyde, on the Walker design blog; The ‘Plaque Découpée Universelle’: a geometric sanserif in 1870s Paris by Eric Kindel, in Typography Papers 7; Dries Wiewauter’s revival of the Plaque Découpée Universelle and his versions of the lettering they produce; the book Roger Excoffon et la fonderie Olive by S. Chamaret, J. Gineste, S. Morlighem; this video of Laura Forde’s presentation of her thesis Objects to be Read, Words to be Seen: Design and Visual Language in the Films of Jean-Luc Godard 1959–1967; and of course, Godard’s Made in U.S.A and 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d’elle and their respective title sequences on YouTube: 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d’elle, Made in U.S.A.