Initially trained at the Fine Arts Academy of Budapest (Hungary) and then in Rouen (Normandy, France), Ladislas Mandel practiced sculpture, painting and stonecutting for restoration purposes.
In 1954, he was hired by the Deberny & Peignot carving & engraving studio. There, he met Adrian Frutiger with whom he got his first tuition. Their collaboration would last nine years.
In 1955, Mandel became studio chief and undertook the transposition of the D&P metal catalogue into then-starting photocomposition. In 1963, taking the lead from Frutiger, he shifted to an art director position at the very same studio. Within International Photon Corporation, he designed or redesigned numerous typefaces, before settling as a freelance designer in 1977 and specializing into custom phonebook typefaces for which his work remains a reference.
His last design in this field is Colorado in 1998 with Richard Southall for US west directories.
Teacher at Paris VIII university, co-founder of Atelier National de Création Typographique in 1985, Ladislas seamlessly trained and taught young designers while bringing on his own personal research on typeface readability. Book lover and wise collector, parts of his personal collection related to writing was featured at an exhibition (Les lettres ont la forme! Une histoire de l'écriture) which took place at the French postal museum in Paris October 30th 2006 to March 10th 2007.
He published two books, first in 1998 Écritures, miroir des hommes et des sociétés, then Du pouvoir de l'écriture in 2004 at Editions Perrousseaux, which stand for a synthesis of its thinking and a committed speech for the renewal of a certain way of considering type design.
Submitted by Jean-Baptiste Levée, 2007