Lettres du Havre

Standard version - 88 €
Numbered version (from 001 to 500) - 130 €

Book sent within 24 hours. Free shipping in Europe.

European Design Award (Gold) in the Book Layout category, Beograd, 2013.

The book plays on the dual meaning of the word “letters”: typefaces, signs, logotypes on the one hand, and fictional letters (love letters, letters to relatives, professional letters, administrative letters…) on the other hand, in order to investigate the role of identities in a city, the evolution of brand design and signage, the interactions between social state and graphic signs.

As a result, one hundred imaginary letters are inspired by a selection of one hundred photographs of signs located in Le Havre. The signs are organised in five chapters and analysed accordingly: industry, public service, independent shops, franchise, seaside and temporary signs. The outcome looks like a big picture of Le Havre in 2011-2012 composed by a collection of zooms, both visual and social since the human contemporary issues are all raised in the letters (crisis, election, Europe, eternal family rivalries, love, hate, jealousy, administrative nonsense…). Lettres du Havre can also be seen as two books woven into one.


To broaden the debate, the authors have solicited a contribution from four experts who bring a new vision to the investigation: Valérie Patrin-Leclère, semiotician born in Le Havre and researcher at the University of Sorbonne, Paris; Bernd Hilpert, architect and signage designer, Manager of unit-design in Frankfurt; Patrick Doan, graphic designer based in Amsterdam, teaching at ESAD in Amiens; Arie Lenoir, printer and Manager of LenoirSchuring printing office in Amsterdam.

Lettres du Havre is aimed at all kinds of readers: experts interested in evolution of branding and signage, decision makers willing to understand the impact of signs and the relationship between signage and architecture, graphic designers searching for an alternative collection of signs or interested in book design, people fond of Le Havre city, readers of letters looking for a good laugh and curious about human nature.

Lettres du Havre can be seen as an alternative city guide, an archive on Le Havre and the French society today, an essay on brands in the city and city branding, a collection of endangered signs, a tribute to Le Havre.

Lettres du Havre is made by state of the art book manufacturers using unique techniques. Lettres du Havre is available in French only.


“La gourmandise du jour est un très beau livre. […] Mélanger la poésie et le rationnel pur crée un paradoxe qui permet de mieux voir la ville. La réalité apparaît mieux quand on la fictionnalise, c’est le paradoxe de la création littéraire. […] C’est un ouvrage limpide, didactique et ludique. […] C’est remarquable et ça donne envie de regarder chaque chose avec l’œil neuf du voyageur.”

Listen to the review

Standard version - 88 €
Numbered version (from 001 to 500) - 130 €


Elodie Boyer was born in 1972. She lives in Le Havre and she manages her own consultancy in Paris dedicated to corporate branding and design management. She also teaches in Celsa (Paris, Sorbonne). Jean Segui was born in 1956. He is a writer, specialised in portrait and social satyre. Lettres du Havre is his fifth publication.


804 pages
Format: 170 x 240 mm
417 photographs
100 letters
Weight: 1,978 kg
Silk screened slipcase
Design: Patrick Doan
Circulation: 2,000 copies of which 500 are numbered
Made in The Netherlands
Price: 88€ (standard version)
130€ (numbered version)
Free delivery in Europe
Contribution to shipment
outside Europe: 10 €
ISBN : 978-2-9542852-0-7

Index of signs photographed in the book
Point of views
Book detailed presentation