About the Company
Langue is a design practice owned by Felix Oppen and Kate Riley. Usually there are just the two of us (actually it’s mostly Felix, Kate is studying to become a printmaker at art school). When we need more hands or additional specialist expertise we call on our list of contacts and hire them as needed. This way we keep our overheads down without compromising on service. Good for you and good for us.
We design stuff. Graphic stuff. Mostly stuff that is printed (but also some interactive media for established clients). Type and typography play big roles in the work we do.
The sorts of stuff we design include, logos & identity (call it Branding if you will), posters and books. Of course, we also design brochures and flyers and the like.
The other stuff we have begun to design is typefaces, custom and for general sale. The first of the commercial faces we hope to have on the market in the not too distant future.
About the Name
We have never been too keen on using our own names for our company. Our first company was Yellowfork Design, then Felix co-set up Wideopen Media, and now Langue.
‘Langue’ is a french word and was chosen not because we are francophiles, though we spent nearly a year living there, but because of what it means. ‘Langue’ has similar meanings to ‘tongue’ – the organ and the language of a particular people, region or nation. However, the word is richer than that because it has the meanings of ‘language’ as well (the semantic link is obvious in the similarity of spelling). Finally, ‘langue’ is also a semiotic term referring to the underlying structure of texts, not the just grammatical structure but also the physical structure of the arrangement on a page, a key domain of (typo)graphic designers.
Kate has varied interests and has studied, among other things, Linguistics, Geography and French. She studied graphic design at Billy Blue in the early 90’s. She reads a lot, particularly detective fiction and contemporary science fiction. Before becoming a graphic designer she worked as an envelope stuffer, an usher, a PA and in catering. She is currently completing an honours year at the National Art School, majoring in Printmaking.
Felix seems to have spent most of his adult life studying (at least it sometimes feels that way). He has studied chemical engineering, inorganic chemistry, economics, German, French and Italian (though can barely remember any of it). He also studied graphic design at Billy Blue in the early 90’s and has recently graduated with a Master of Design from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Felix has worked as an artist’s model, barman and as a clerk in a court house. Along with being a graphic designer he also teaches at UTS and Billy Blue.
We are also raising two girls together with a reasonable degree of success.
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