As I understand (I didn't know him before), Joachim du Bellay was an early defender of the French language.

Should we pay him a tribute by including his picture in the site design? Or is he just one among many and not really different from others?

painting of Joachim du Bellay

  • And for once, this is not a joke. I'm serious. Well, as serious as I can be, which isn't saying much.
    – Joubarc
    Aug 25, 2011 at 8:48
  • 1
    Seems a bit obscure to me. Aren't these designs meant to be a bit more mainstream? Like the Eiffel Tower or something? :-)
    – Jez
    Aug 25, 2011 at 8:56
  • If they are meant to be private-joke-ish I want lemmings :)
    – Evpok
    Aug 25, 2011 at 9:00
  • I was also thinking fo the Eiffel tower for the vote button, to be honest. Note I'm not speaking about the site logo; rather, having him somewhere else (I like what they did on the photography Q&A, although of course we don't need to change it weekly or even put it right there)
    – Joubarc
    Aug 25, 2011 at 9:05
  • 3
    I don't understand why you're proposing him specially. You don't seem to know him very well and I don't think he was "so" important (more than others). And I agree with Jez, the design must be universal. We're taking sides in some way if we use his picture and not someone else.
    – Louhike
    Aug 25, 2011 at 9:07
  • @Louhike: You make a very valid point. I think what I wanted to propose was, "maybe we could honour someone by putting his picture in the design", and Joachim du Bellay came to my mind as we've discussed him and from what I can see he was a very early defender of French. Now I do have to admit I know him or others enough to pick the best candidate, I was counting on others to chime in on that. That said, it's just an idea out of the blue, I'm also fine with a more sober-no-pictures design. But nevertheless, I wanted to point out the possibility.
    – Joubarc
    Aug 25, 2011 at 9:12
  • @Joubarc You can edit your question then, it will be an interesting debate.
    – Louhike
    Aug 25, 2011 at 9:23
  • I would, but now I feel it would betray the various answers a little; and the debate is started anyway, so I think i'll just leave it that way. Plus, the title may attract more people to give their advice, as just everyone will want to chime in to say Why du Bellay in particular, and then they'll give their own valid opinion on what else we could do.
    – Joubarc
    Aug 25, 2011 at 12:08
  • He is not obscure at all, he is taught in every school (for instance French programme in 4ème), a long study of his works is done, as an example for early poetry.
    – Quidam
    Dec 20, 2016 at 6:07
  • A semi-relevant post (on this meta) by one of our designers from earlier this week: Custom French Language design and logo - Information gathering :)
    – V2Blast
    May 29, 2022 at 2:34

2 Answers 2


I don't see why Du Bellay in particular. On the other hand, even before the site started, I've been thinking of using the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade as an inspiration. Like English Language & Usage has a design inspired from Tenniel's illustrations of Alice in Wonderland, we could draw inspiration from the highly reputed editions. La Pléiade instantly evokes high quality, both of form and content. Its typeface is distinctive (Garamond du Roi, i.e. King's Garamond), as is the general appearance of the books.

  • sounds a promising idea
    – Joubarc
    Aug 25, 2011 at 12:09
  • That's a good idea, but we probably have to ask Gallimard for the permission. Sep 8, 2011 at 12:47

Du Bellay n’est qu’une des figures de La Pléiade, je ne sais pas trop pourquoi choisir lui plutôt qu’un autre. François I a été l’instigateur réel de la langue, par l'ordonnance de Villers-Cotterêts. La langue française a eu pas mal de défenseurs, tirant parfois dans des directions différentes voire opposées, mais je ne vois pas trop ce que Du Bellay a de particulier.

  • Voir mon autre commentaire - lui ou un autre, je ne les connais pas assez que pour choisir.
    – Joubarc
    Aug 25, 2011 at 9:19

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