Where would movies be without Jean-Luc Godard? The French director blew the lid off of stuffy international cinema in the 1960s with classics like Breathless, Band of Outsiders, and Contempt. Today, a band of type designers in the Netherlands is releasing a typeface called Jean-Luc to celebrate the auteur's 80th birthday.
The font is inspired by the opening titles to Godard's 1966 film Made in U.S.A.
Blocky but still jazzy and dangerous, Jean-Luc is available for free at Atelier Carvalho Bernau. They describe the original screen font (possibly designed by Godard himself) as "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."
The designers could have made a whole series of Godard-inspired fonts, given how typographically savvy his films and trailers were. Here's the arch preview ("watch in silence") for 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her, granted some levity by flirty hand lettering:
And in the trailer for Masculin/Feminin, lithe sans serif titles blast onscreen throughout a sexy montage of French hipsters set to delightful vintage pop:
And here's the trailer for Godard's movie-biz send-up Contempt, which combines Breathless's playful stream of consciousness with the insouciant boldness of Made in USA.
If there were ever a filmmaker who deserved his own typeface, it's Godard. Although he might not actually appreciate it: after all, this is the man who, when asked what his honorary Oscar meant to him, replied "Nothing."