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Philippe Apeloig was born in Paris in 1962 and studied at the École Supérieure des Arts Appliqués Duperré and the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD). After two transformative internships at Total Design in Amsterdam, he was hired as a graphic designer at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris in 1985.

In 1987, after receiving a scholarship from the French Foreign Ministry, Apeloig left the Orsay and moved to Los Angeles to study and work with April Greiman. In 1993, he won a fellowship at the French Academy in Rome, where he researched and designed typefaces; his font October, created at the Villa Medici, garnered the 1995 Tokyo Type Directors Club’s Gold Award. In 1997, Apeloig became a design consultant for the Louvre, then six years later, its art director, a post he held until 2008.

From 1992 to 1998, Apeloig taught typography in Paris at ENSAD. While teaching part-time at the Rhode Island School of Design in the U.S., he applied for and was appointed full-time professor of graphic design at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York. He began his new post in 1999, then was made him curator of the School’s Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography in 2000. He held the dual post until 2003, when he returned to Paris to run his own studio.

In 2009 he won the Gold Award from the ISTD (International Society of Typographic Designers) in London for a series of posters he designed for the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

Apeloig is currently working for Hermès, several cultural institutions, galleries and publishers including Phaidon. He is a longstanding member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale.


Shape and Space: The Intersection of Tyopgraphy and Architecture

Friday, May 8 • 10:30 – 11:00am

One the first projects that put Parisian designer Philippe Apeloig on the map was a poster he created to promote an exhibition at Paris’s Musee d’Orsay titled “Chicago: The Birth of a Metropolis (1872–1922).” Apeloig was inspired by HOW Design Live’s location in Chicago to showcase landmark pieces from his body of work that combine graphic design, typography and architecture. Apeloig says he considers letterforms to be like buildings (architectural elements like columns, windows, doors, entablatures, interior design and furniture design), with blocks of text like the urban landscape surrounding them. In this keynote presentation, he will discuss the issues of space, shapes and counter-shapes—issues that are common to both graphic design and architecture.