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The Centre d’étude et de recherche typographiques (CERT) was an organization founded in the early 1980s by a group of outstanding French type specialists including Charles Peignot, Gérard Blanchard, Marcel Jacno and Roger Excoffon. Its aim was to reflect on the future of type design and technology in France, a sector that in the preceding decades had suffered severe blows with the demise of the country’s great type foundries Deberny & Peignot and Fonderie Olive, as well as a number of smaller companies.

The CERT group published a book titled De plomb, d’encre & de lumière (About lead, ink and light) which helped attract the government’s attention to the challenges and possibilities of the sector. As no single foundry in France had produced fonts for photocomposition throughout the 1970s and early 1980, one of the options that were seriously considered was to develop a new French photo-typesetting system with public money. Finally – and luckily, with hindsight, considering the advent of PostScript only a few years later – it was decided to focus on education instead. CERT’s lobbying resulted in the government’s decision to set up a new school of type design, the ANCT (Atelier national de création typographique), which was established in Paris in 1985.

Sources: Le Typographe, Jean François Porchez.