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Josh LaFayette




J'existe, c'est tout.


"I exist, that is all." This is a line from Sartre's novel, Nausea.


After much deliberation and wringing of my hands, I decided on using "J'existe, c'est tout." I do not speak French, but I decided to use the original French because it will sort of force me to focus on the letters and words as shapes instead of words. Does that make sense? Plus, I think "I exist, that is all." sounds a bit dry and maybe cynical, but French has an inherent beauty that lightens it a bit for me. 

I've chosen to illustrate the phrase for use on the cover of a journal/sketchbook. I think that coming to terms with existence is an important thing for individuals, and a great way to acheive that is to write (or draw) the things that one experiences or one's thoughts and his or her reactions to them. This phrase would be a nice little reminder when opening the book to record such thoughts.

My mood board admittedly seems a bit all over the place, but there are (hopefully) coherent reasons for everything included.

I like the idea of having the phrase locked-up into a nice silhouette like some of the Paris Metro signs.

I also like the sort of stenciled looked of the letters in "METRO" on the signs—putting some detailing inside of the letters is a nice way to add depth without getting too complex. This is also seen in the Caffe Colette and Möbler signs.

I'd like to mix some sans serif letters with script. I don't want the phrase to feel negative—it's a very freeing thought to me—and I think including script will help give it a lighter personality.

I like the look of the pieces that play with a straight baseline next to a curved or angled baseline.

I'm interested in exploring the idea of having a small representational object featured like in the "Stop, Don't Look Inside" and "Battery Services" pieces. Not sure if that will work.

I'd like to go with either a one or two color design.


  • Nice silhouette
  • Simple detail inside letters to add depth without overdoing it
  • Mix of sans and script
  • Mix of straight and not-straight baselines
  • Might include a representational illustration
  • One to two colors

Part of me feels like I have a solid approach, but part of me feels like I'm all over the place—what do y'all think?


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