Les Rencontres internationales de Lure :
an observatory of graphic cultures

L’association des Rencontres internationales de Lure, which is run entirely by unpaid volunteers, examines writing in all its forms (typography, literature, visual or digital). For more than 60 years, we have organised conferences, kept track of current research and provided a platform upon which our members can share ideas and know-how.

Lure is first and foremost our Summer School: « Les Rencontres »

At the heart of what we do is Graphic Culture week, held each year at the end of August in the beautiful Provence village of Lurs. Our thirty invited presenters, men and women from various countries and from various walks of life, present and explore aspects of the year’s chosen theme.

Les Rencontres are open to the young, the young-at-heart, to beginners or to experienced professionals. We welcome anyone who is curious about graphic culture and the written word.
There are a hundred friendly, attentive participants each year ; women and men whose ages range from 17 to 80 and beyond.

©Benoît Carré, 2015

They are mostly, but not exclusively, graphic designers or typographers. They may also be developers, teachers, researchers, artists, publishers, illustrators, photographers, pataphysicians, word-jugglers…and sometimes all of these things at the same time !
There is no VIP lounge in Lurs : presenters and participants are welcome to attend all of the presentations. Then take part in the informal exchanges afterwards, have their meals together and attend our concerts and other evening activities.

You will succeed because you talk about our job, our métier

Jean Giono

The year is 1952. Four friends meet in Provence : Maximilien Vox, Jean Giono, Jean Garcia and Robert Ranc, driven by the desire to reflect upon their professional activities far from the distractions of Paris, fall in love with the village of Lurs. They will go on to meet there every summer, gradually inviting friends and work colleagues…And now, this has been going on for more than 60 years. It was also in 1952 that Vox set out the internationally-recognised typography classification named after him.

Pendant une conférence ©Jean-Luc Lemaître, 2012

Here are examples of themes from previous years
2015 Portrait/Landscape, a world of formats
2014 Etching and sketching, (art) work in progress…
2013 Enthusiasts take note !
2012 New faces of the written form
2011 In the margin

for a fuller list go to > previous Graphic Culture Weeks

Our association is also…

Throughout the year the association offers seminars, workshops and cultural tours ; We publish articles, reviews, and [La Lettre], our newsletter.
The events we organise give members the opportunity to strengthen existing ties, to exchange with fellow professionals and to discover new aspects of their profession. Our publications are a way of enshrining trends and thought-processes, and of leaving a tangible record of our activities.

for more details, go to > Les à-côtés, our other activities

Visite de l’exposition Albert Boton à l’Ésad d’Amiens © Michel Sabbagh, 2013

The spirit of Les Rencontres internationales in 3 questions

Why are the Rencontres de Lure about typography,
rather than some other –aphy ?

Because typography gives the written word body, style and personality. So typographers deal with the most basic building blocks for all professions involved in the sharing of knowledge through the use of the writing. That is why the Rencontres de Lure bring together not only font creators, but also graphic designers, publishers, printers, writers, educators, researchers, advertisers, information designers and others…
We also welcome free-thinkers who understand what Maximilien Vox, one of the founders of the Rencontres de Lure, meant when he said: “Typography is a discipline of the mind”.

The job of a typographer is an ancient and a simple one. Very simple. Hardly any more difficult than playing the violin.

Maximilien Vox

©Nicolas Taffin, 2015

How do « Les Rencontres » become… encounters ? The notion of encounters is important for our association.
An encounter is when contact with another person opens up something new, arouses our imagination, awakens our curiosity, shakes up our routine and our habitual ways of thinking. True encounters are difficult to foresee, and yet, in Lure, they have always ended up being part of our programmes of events. We encourage a spirit of independence, of authenticity, away from pre-designated formats and pre-planned agendas.
Lure : 60 years of encounters. And our story goes on, weaving an open web of collaborative work projects and achievements, of exchanges of ideas, of solidarity and of friendships.

Entre deux conférences © Jacques Thomas, 2014

Why are Les Rencontres de Lure held in…Lurs ? All because of a 5-Franc coin, a « coup de bleu » and…
Let’s start with the 5-franc coin ; the one in Jean Giono’s pocket when, as a youngster, he set out on his own to find his first job. There he was, at five in the morning, crossing the Lure mountains on a donkey, leading a string of ponies to market. This was his first adventure in a landscape he would never forget. He later returned, persuading a few friends to come along, including typographers Maximilien Vox and Jean Garcia. They discovered the semi-ruined village of Lurs, and walked uphill to a rocky outcrop with dazzling views in two directions : the Lure mountains to the west, and the Durance valley to the east. They were impatient to share the sheer beauty of this « coup de bleu », this clear blue vision, with other friends. And so, each year for more than sixty years now, special August visitors arrive in Lurs…

contact us at

Postal address
Rencontres internationales de Lure
La Chancellerie
04700 LURS