Placoter means to chat in Québécois.
Initiated in March 2020, this experimental typographic project explores togetherness in graphic practice in the context of social distancing. Involving 50 participants, Placoter is a typeface conceived collectively, looking at writing from the different perspectives offered by sciences of education on one side (creating meaning with words), and graphic design on the other (tracing forms to create meaning).
This work is a joint project between the interdisciplinary typographic lab TAO (École de design/UQAM) and students about to graduate and become primary school teachers and pre-school educators. In the midst of the pandemic and remote-studying, the contributors were invited to walk in the neighborhoods while looking for letterforms within the architecture around them. A staircase could become a capital R, or a dormer window an E.
Inspired by psychogeographic practices, this process encouraged deep observation of urban surroundings and of the different architectural languages at stake, while offering a playful approach to identifying letters for a younger audience.
Letter bounties were shared, and letterforms selected to enter our collective abecedarium. Participants also co-redacted a text attracting attention to the sounds of each letter through a loose narration hopping through the cityscape of Montreal.
Final letters were redrawn and vectorised with design students, and contextualised within a typographic specimen, three animated pieces, and an installation exhibited in collaboration with the Centre de design, for the launch of Placoter as a typeface. Placoter is licensed under a Creative Commons 0, meaning that it can be downloaded for free and modified, distributed, represented and used in any context without specific authorisation, albeit a mention is always appreciated.