letters

Posts tagged
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Craft

Embroidered Calligraphy by Olga Kovalenko Plays with Notions of Time and Gesture

October 8, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Kafkaesque”

Embroidery and calligraphy merge in Olga Kovalenko’s gestural stitched lettering. Evoking the style of loose, ink-splattering calligraphy, Kovalenko replicates each speck of “ink” in carefully places, minuscule stitches. The artist shares with Colossal, “the main idea in this project was to connect two arts—the fast (expressive calligraphy) and the slow one (hand embroidery). It makes you think about the deceitfulness of time.” Kovalenko studied type design at Moscow State University of Printing Arts, and pursued further calligraphy studies with Evgeniy Dobrovinsky. See more of her multi-media lettering work on Behance and Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)

“Uncertainty”

“Uncertainty” detail

“Rise”

“Rise” detail

“Ennui”

“Ennui” detail

“Mourn”

“Mourn” detail

 

 



Art

140,000 Pieces of Paper Form a Colorful ‘Universe of Words’ Installation by Emmanuelle Moureaux

September 8, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All Photography: Daisuke Shima

Tokyo-based French architect Emmanuelle Moureaux (previously) recently hung 140,000 pieces of paper from the ceiling to create rainbow passageways in celebration of a Japanese soft drink company’s centennial. Each piece of paper is cut in the form of a symbol from the Japanese writing system, hiragana. The colorful installation, titled “Universe of Words,” opened this summer during the Tanabata Festival and was inspired by the tradition of writing wishes on paper and hanging them from bamboo branches.

There are 46 basic hiragana characters. According to a statement about the installation, Moureaux chose the simple language because of its use during Tanabata. “The universe created by these floating hiraganas evokes an emotion through its stillness and its endlessness.” Aligned in three-dimensional grids by color, sections of the installation were removed so that visitors could immerse themselves in the alphabetical tunnels, viewing them up close while also looking around at the seemingly endless rows of symbols.

“Universe of Words” is a part of Emmanuelle Moureaux’s ongoing 100 Colors series. To see more of her artistic and architectural work, follow Moureaux on Instagram.

 

 



Art Design

The Full English Alphabet Painted on Store Shutters in 26 Different Fonts by Ben Eine

August 3, 2019

Andrew LaSane

PHOTO CREDIT: OurTypes 2019

Nearly a decade after completing the “Alphabet Street” project in East London, English artist Ben Eine has again painted all 26 letters from A to Z on over 40 shop shutters. “Alphabet City 2.0” uses 26 bespoke fonts and a wide range of spray paint colors to transform the area into a vibrant street art destination.

Made in association with Global Street Art and the Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association (HARCA), the “Alphabet Street” shows the evolution of Eine’s style over the past 30 years. Bold letters emerge from the metal shutters with deep drop shadows and layered graphic elements. Each glyph has its own personality and dimensionality that allows it to stand alone while also being a part of the larger set.

It’s that exploration of type that Eine and his team are bringing to clients with their new creative agency; “Alphabet Street” also marks the launch of Eine’s new creative design studio, Our Types. “Our minds are always busy, even when sleeping, it refuses to rest,” he said in a statement. “It is the only true tool for manipulating the world about us. Our Types is going to be the visual drug your brain has been looking for.”

To learn more about Our Types’ fonts and projects, visit the agency’s website. To see more of Ben Eine’s street art, follow the artist/creative director on Instagram.

 

 



Design History

Evolution of the Alphabet: Nearly 3,800 Years of Letters Explored Through a Color-Coded Flowchart

January 29, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Matt Baker of Useful Charts creates helpful visual guides that condense hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of years of history into streamlined flowcharts. His poster Evolution of the Alphabet looks at nearly 3,800 years of the alphabet’s evolution, tracing it from Egyptian hieroglyphs (c. 1750 BCE) through Phoenician, early Greek and Latin, and finally to the present forms we use today. The limited edition print shows that some letters have appeared relatively the same for millennia, while others, like U, V, and W, developed much closer to our own time period from a single character.

The design was created in association with his Writing Systems of the World chart which takes a look at 51 different writing systems from around the world. Baker has each of these prints for sale on his website and Etsy. You can listen to his explain these systems, and their evolution in greater detail in his video “History of the Alphabet” below and view more timelines of historical developments on his website, Youtube, and Instagram. (via Kottke)

 

 



Animation Design

A Colorful Medley of Inventive Type Animations Puts the Alphabet in Motion

May 24, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Each year the project 36 Days of Type invites graphic designers, illustrators, typographers, and artists from around the world to submit their own alphabet-based designs during a 36-day typographical marathon. Designer Ben Huynh submitted animated letters for each day of the open call which he combined into a short film. The video presents his three-dimensional type in the form of Mephis-style office supplies, modern furniture, and abstract neon light installations, all set to the song “Sunshine” by Gym and Swim.

Submissions for this years 36 Days of Type ended earlier this month. You can see all of the alphabetical selections from this year’s edition on the project’s Instagram, and view previous iterations of Huynh’s alphabet animations on his own Instagram and Vimeo. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

 

 



Design

Braille Neue: A Universal Typeface by Kosuke Takahashi That Combines Braille and Visible Characters

April 6, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Japanese designer Kosuke Takahashi has created an ingenious font that merges different typefaces to allow both sighted and blind readers to use the same text. Thinking ahead to Tokyo’s hosting of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, Takahashi shares on his website that he hopes his font will “create a truly universal space where anyone can access information.”  Braille Neue is comprised of two typesets: Braille Neue Standard, for the English alphabet, and Braille Neue Outline, which accommodates both Japanese and English visible characters and letters. Takahashi’s creation addresses two related problems. In a statement, the designer explains,

Currently, we rarely see braille implemented in the public space since it takes additional space and sighted people consider it not important. Braille Neue addresses this issue by making braille easy to use for sighted people. By spreading this typeset I believe more people will get acquainted with braille… [And] braille tends to be small and invisible, but with Braille Neue it has the possibility to expand spatially into public signages in new ways.

Takahashi acknowledges that he is not the first to combine braille with visible latin letters, but Braille Neue is the first typeface that also incorporates Japanese characters. Braille Neue has its own website and Twitter handle, and you can see more of the designer’s projects on his website.  (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Design

Preserve Botanical Finds and Other Travel Specimens With This Unique Japanese Stationery

October 4, 2017

Johnny Waldman

Did you go anywhere fun and inspiring this summer? Did you wish you could share a piece of the experience with someone? Well now you can with this one-of-a kind mailing card that comes with a specimen window.

Share a piece of your travels—a leaf, a newspaper clipping, a flower petal, a tag, a ticket—by inserting the specimen between the plastic sheets to hold it in place. Add some text and your card transforms into a tiny museum dedicated to telling a story from your travels.

The card was designed by Tokyo-based illustrator Haruka Shinji, who knows a thing or two about traveling. She grew up in Seoul and Shanghai before moving to London for college. After graduating from Royal College of Art she moved back to Tokyo. Her idea for the card won an award in a paper card design competition, and was then produced by the Tokyo-based Fukunaga Print.

You can find the Preserve Your Travel Card in the Spoon & Tamago shop. (Synidcated from Spoon & Tamago)