In 2019, deValence designed a series of three books for Éditions Dilecta, presenting the work of French artist Bernar Venet. Mostly known for his monumental steel sculptures, Bernar Venet’s artistic career has however shown different facets in the last years, such as conceptual art or painting. These different aspects are documented through this series: one book deals specifically with his conceptual work, another holds a retrospective, and the last one is an anthology of critical texts and essays about the artist’s work.
For this collection, deValence adopted sobriety through black covers with the text screen printed in white, the common factor between the three volumes being the typography set in the Mars family from Production Type. For each volume, Mars is used in a different way: in all-caps from the Condensed in left- and right-aligned lines; in caps from the Extended width, stacked and staggered; and in mixed case from the Extended, paired with the Pica typewriter font. This creates a subtle harmony between the books, where the unity of the typeface is not noticeable at first sight. Mars is also visible in the setting of internal titles, paired with Tiina for legibility and reading comfort.
In these books, Mars displays an elastic quality, echoing the process of metal-shaping proper to Venet’s artistic work. Besides, Venet’s sculptures change regarding the angle from where we look at them: sometimes tight and compact, the moment after wide and curly, what looks like giant steel springs, they’re made to play with the eye and the depth in which the circles extend. Always the same, but variable in their perception, as Mars can be.