Thursday, December 6, 2012

Doug Aitken’s Text Sculpture Series

LA artist Doug Aitken is widely known for his innovative fine art installations. The “Text Sculpture” series uses light-boxes, mirror works, living plants and photography to create a mesh of words and images. In these sculptures words and images are in disagreement. “Riot” for example spells out the word of the title with the images of a beach landscapes. In a Blouin Art Info interview Aiken comments that “One of the things I believe in is friction, and how to generate friction within an artwork. Often these juxtapositions are where my interest lies; it’s where the energy is. My mother was a writer and my parents really valued long-form language. Maybe a word, or a letter, or a number, speaks to who I am, and the world that I live in, in the same way that “Ulysses” might speak to my father.”

1968, 2011. High density foam, wood and mirror. 36 x 80 x 8 1/2 inches.
Riot, 2011. LED lit lightbox. 24 1/2 x 89 1/2 x 5 inches.
Star, 2008. LED lit light box. 45 inches x 119 inches x 10 inches.
The Handle Comes Up, The Hammer Comes Down, 2009. LED lit lightbox. 35 x 131 x 7 7/8 inches.
Free, 2009. LED lit lightbox. 48 x 157 x 7 7/8 inches.
West, 2008. Neon lit lightbox. 40 x 177 x 7 inches.
Now, 2009. LED lit lightbox. 46 x 132 x 8 inches.
Sex, 2010. Living word. Clear PETG, white acrylic, moss, driftwood,various plants. 30 x 68 inches.
Vulnerable, 2008. LED lit lightbox. 28 x 216 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches.
Yes, 2010.  LED lit lightbox. 50 x 120 inches.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dance With Me

One of our contributors, Amandine Alessandra, has a new typography project Dance With Me. The alphabet is based on 26 choreographic micro-pieces that are documented using long-exposure photography which reveals each letter.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I Like Birds: Happypeppy Font

Happypeppy Font is a self initiated project by Hamburg-based studio, I Like Birds. The alphabet was created using ribbon, for a festive take on making 3-dimensional letters. They were keen on keeping the bends and curves of the linear material for each letter.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jerome Corgier of Atelier Graphique Pariri

One of our contributors, Jerome Corgier, has a new series of typographic studies using wood and thread to construct letterforms. He says in an email “I’m going away from drawing and I’m trying more and more to sculpt : I use wood and thread to disturb letter’s forms.” 

A non-published study for New York Times T magazine.
Jerome’s studies reminds us of the explorations of the architects and designers of the Russian Constructivist movement. This photograph is of a 1:40 scale model of the Tatlin Tower. The ‘Monument to the Third International’ was conceived by Vladimir Tatlin in 1919-20 as a tribute to the Bolshevik Revolution. The Tatlin’s Constructivist tower was to be built on the Neva River in St. Petersburg from industrial materials: iron, glass and steel. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Farhad Moshiri

Artist Farhad Moshiri’s installation “Life is Beautiful” was made by piercing 1242 knives of different colors and sizes into a wall at Pallazzo Grassi, Italy (2009). The sweet sounding phrase stabbed-out with knives in the beautiful script typography is a playful opposition. Moshiri continues to explore the contrasting message to material theme in “I got Sunshine” completed in 2011. Here he creates a readymade by jabbing a variety of knives into canvas. Both projects carefully crafted script typography aids in the multilayered meanings of the work. From a distance you read the toothsome messages one way. On closer inspection when you discover how they are assembled your perception shifts. 

 Galerie Perrotin in Paris represents Moshiri’s work.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Russia based studio, Province, created deconstruct from brightly color blocks. The examination of letterforms through variation in block widths and heights creates unexpected forms and texture. Deconstruct challenges the convention of how traditional letterforms are made. We especially like how the 3D letter compositions transform into a 2D vector base alphabet.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Arkitypo by Johnson Banks

The Arkitypo project is a full 3D alphabet created by Johnson Banks and came about when their client, Ravensbourne, asked them to develop a project to test and showcase their in-house 3d prototyping skills.

They developed an 'alphabet of alphabets', each letter was selected from a typeface beginning with that character, which is used in the sculptural work. Below is selection of the letters, visit the Arkitypo project page for the complete alphabet and more about the project.

Akzidenz Grotesk
Originally designed in 1896, and forerunner to Helvetica, Akzidenz was part of a family of early sans-serifs called ‘grotesques’. It comes in a range of weights and styles: for this design a condensed weight is ‘fractalised’, turning a grotesque into a thing of beauty.

Baskerville and Bodoni are usually judged as two separate typefaces, but Giambattista Bodoni modelled his famous font on John Baskerville’s, at first. The key difference is that the thicks and thins are in turn thicker, and thinner.

Courier was originally commissioned for 1950s IBM typewriters, but soon became the standard font throughout the then-emerging industry. As a nod to the torturous days of jammed machinery, this ‘C’ is built from a small forest of typewriter keys.
Lubalin Graph
Herb Lubalin designed this font by initially basing it on its predecessor, Avant Garde. It filled a need for a slab-serif alphabet for the emerging phototypesetting industry.

One of the original computer fonts, OCR became omnipresent in banking and on cheques. It was often printed in magnetic ink and was widely adopted in industry, despite the fact that many of its letterforms (designed to be uniquely different) were in fact uniquely odd.

Many of the characters within this grid-based typeface from 2002 have the impression of having 3D form whilst only 2D. So this adaptation imagines what its 3D shape ‘could’ have been.

A font specially designed for use on screen: after being bundled into Windows software from the mid-nineties onwards it has become one of the pre-eminent typefaces on the worldwide web.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Tim Walker: Love One Another

You can find London-based photographer Tim Walker’s image, “love one another”, in his Stern Portfolio published 2007. He is known for mixing hyper real fairytale with a dash of eccentricity. Although elegant, there is nothing uptight about his work. His influential images have shown up in the pages of trend-setting magazines like Vogue, W and Harper's Bazaar as well as advertising campaigns for clients such as Comme des Garcons and Yohji Yamamoto.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Masumi Kobayashi’s Seed Letters

In 1999, Masumi Kobayashi created “Seed Letters” which helped her explore the idea of change. Kobayashi arrived at the exploration of change after researching written characters and their purpose. Through her research she was reminded that one of the main functions of letters is to preserve language and therefore “they [have] to be preserved in the way that they were originally written.” Since her research stressed preservation, Kobayashi wondered what would happen if the letters could change. To explore change, she planted beansprout seeds in the shape of letters that would grow and change their shape over time. Masumi Kobayashi said, “the experiment has made me want to rethink what artificial shapes, natural shapes and the shapes of the characters as well as the characters themselves mean to us.”

In 2000, Masumi Kobayashi was recognized by the Tokyo Type Directors Club (Tokyo TDC) which has the Tokyo TDC Awards, an international design competition. Masumi Kobayashi was given a gold prize in the non-TDC members division of the competition for “Seed Letters”.