La prodigieuse aventure des plantes (1981), L’Aventure des plantes (1982)
La prodigieuse aventure des plantes is a book written by scientist Jean-Marie Pelt together with author and filmmaker Jean-Pierre Cuny in 1981. It has the aim of making botany and biology accessible to a wide public by using simple words and astonishing examples. Italia Medium is used as the titling typeface on the cover. Made in the 1970s, Italia is inspired by an Arts & Crafts typeface named Golden Type, designed by William Morris himself. Both the protagonists of the Art & Crafts movement and designers in the 1970s were very much interested in gracile, organic shapes as found in plants. Therefore the chosen typeface is empathic with the subject. Inside the book, Aster – a typeface bearing the name of a plant – is used for the body text and titles.
The book’s success spawned the creation of a TV series about the invention of life and the evolution of plants. L’Aventure des plantes was first aired in 1982 on French TV channel TF1. It consists of two seasons with a total of 26 episodes. The same simplicity is applied to make botany accessible to everyone. The first season follows the chapters of the book from the beginning of life to the most advanced flowers. The series is characterized by a certain sense of humor. Some examples are astonishing and bizarre, making each episode a kind of cabinet of botanical curiosities. Typographically speaking, it’s nothing special: Univers is used for the title, and Helvetica for the credits.