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Tag Archives: typography

The book is called ABC3D. I am most amazed with the letter “u” and the swift change from “x” to “y”, yet the whole video is worth watching. This is a pop-up book, an artwork, a physical motion graphics, a dynamic design so that the letters change with the angle of your hands before you can even observe the change so that you flip each page over and over again. It would be even better if the numbers and initials were somehow included. The artist is Marion Bataille.



Referring to the subject of “information graphics” in the past weeks -pictograms, iconography etc.- I came across the Slovakian artist Roman Ondák’s work as a “living infographic, a plotting of visitors’ heights whose mean will become increasingly apparent over the four months at the Temporary Stedelijk“.
Each participant is writing their names on the 4 walls, yet as there’s a mean where people’s heights could coincide, the names after some time started to overlap. At the end the wall typo became so dense that it looked like a huge black 4-edged linear black shape.

His statement is that the individuals in a society will, as a natural fact, will emerge and grow. And as they do, artist as the observer in that society will be revealing this emergence and other narrative contexts of the growth.


Another contemporary artist exhibited within the same museum, Barbara Kruger, is referring to another dimension of the individual, in more of a social and emotional manner. She uses massive typographical elements in a closed space of the museum. The installation is called Past/Present/Future.

This summer at CSM(Central Saint Martins), in the Holborn campus i’ve ran across several different studios like the huge wood athelier, the metal studio and personally most amazingly the letterpress studio where students can make their own letterpressing via using different print colors and metal types of many different font families.

The metal letters were placed in tiny boxes -the letter L in a rectangular box, the number 9 in another horizontal one, “,” in another box etc- and there was a little guide map to make life easier by showing the mapping of the letters in boxes. We could easily find where each letter bundle was placed in the big drawer and place them as tight as possible on a row which is stable by a ruler-like metal block -to arrange all the kerning and spacing- and also stabled at the bottom of each row by various-width thin metal blocks for leading purposes. For spacing, we had 5 different thicknesses of plain metal blocks, which required a little more precision and profession to complete the row, and hold it, once again as tight as possible so that nothing would move throughout the pressing on paper process.

First i went for Univers 65 -i’m a bit obsessive with the Univers family- yet we weren’t allowed to use the letters in the bottom drawers so as a second choice, i went for Franklin Gothic. I’ve written a random sentence, like the whole class did, and my tag below. Everyone used different fonts and result press was a bunch of different types on one canvas. The workshop leader color a huge wheel in two different colors; she mixed pink and yellow and turned the wheel for a while so that the colors were blended in the middle and still sharp and flat towards the edges. We had 3 colors on the wheel, which meant that we would have 3 different colors on the paper. Then the metal letters were placed below the colored wheel and each relief letter -at same height- were colored by the wheel until no metal texture -which meant “white/ blank” on paper- was visible.

The A3 paper was placed in its right place, between two thin wheel-like pieces of the mechanism, you locked the paper there by stepping on another mechanism at foot-level and then released when you were ready to turn the arm-wheel and press the sentences on the paper. The results were amazing in means of hand-made pressing, rather than using a digital printer which could fail you many times in a life-time.

Last year, in my graphic design course, one of my biggest worries was never achieving the right colors, meaning the colors i see on my lcd screen. Well, here, the whole coloring is in your control. You don’t need to see the color on your screen anymore since you have in flesh and blood. You smell the color, you smell the paper, you experience, you print your own material. I didn’t run across to anything more amazing than this in digital printing yet.

Here is the whole process with found images of the stages i’ve been talking about:








And here are the last two images, my own images, the two prints i’ve done at CSM workshop and took with me as a memoir:





As eventually happened with most of the alphabetic systems in history, the Roman’s alphabet -out of Greek emphasis, likewise their myths are- has been mediated initially on stone and/or wooden surfaces. Yet the common thought about design and many other sort of fields follow the idea that “nothing is carved in stone” as the indicative of change. Even though the unique and ornamental aesthetics of Roman letters -not borrowed from Greeks- were more suitable for paper-writing, stone press is known to be the more durable way of preserving the written language. Still, wood reliefs were hard to do using the Roman serif.

Today we’re concerned basically about ‘public lettering’ which John R. Nash talks about in his article In Defence of the Roman Letter, which he defines as the  “informational lettering on signs, memorials, buildings; lettering which is intended to be a part of our daily lives, and which I see as still being best served by the traditional Roman capital and its relatives an amazing family capable of infinite subtle variations, which no one has yet come to the end of.”

Comes to my mind now 2 distinct artists, using alphabet as the core of their art yet the outcome of their artwork is far from typographic design, rather one uses the very essence of letter forms with respect and admiration towards its aesthetics and the other uses in more of a talkative way, to reveal hic prophecy.

Lawrence Weiner a 1942-born New Yorker, as a central figure in 60s conceptual art, as mentioned before uses typography as the basis of his works after 70s. He started off using Franklin Gothic family for a while as the base of his typographic work, painting his sentences in huge dimensions on walls. His wall installations consist only of pure, undecorated words in a nondescript manner. “Although this body of work focuses on the potential for language to serve as an art form, the subjects of his epigrammatic statements are often materials, or a physical action or process…”


Porr Gentileza, our second typography hero, is a Brazilian artist recalled as a prophet. He performs his art writing his prophecies on ancient bare walls, adding a bit of yellow paint below, as his signature. What renders him much different from Lawrence Weiner is that Gentileza has his own new language for communication, yet the mode of this communication is also different from Weiner’s worldly monologues. Instead of writing “amor” he prefers to write “amorrr”.


Below is my beloved tree alphabet i’ve done this summer for a graphics design summercourse at CSM in London. The leaves were picked out on the Old Kent Road(i’ve got my story behind). The letters have no reference typeface yet a logic lays beneath following the types of leaves i have used for each letter’s anatomy. Yet the most fun part was when using the negative space revealed with the carving out of the letter forms on the leaves themselves.

This second family is the sharpening of the first, and i believe gives a better idea about the anatomy of the leaves, since our instructors have told us that if a design works in b/w, it always works in colored form. The above does not give any essence of the leaf itself once it is converted to a b/w image. So, here it is.






And i’ve also tried using my tree typo for making several posters, for the fun of it.