typography

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Design

Typeface Studies by Designer Craig Ward Recreate Fonts and Iconic Logos in LEGO

January 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Craig Ward, shared with permission

LEGO are the (literal) building blocks behind an array of creative endeavors—we’ve featured dozens on Colossal over the years from Ekow Nimako’s elaborate world-building series to Jumpei Mitsui’s sculptural recreation of Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”—and are put to another inventive use in Craig Ward’s ongoing Brik Font project.

While playing with his children last fall, the New York-based designer realized the plastic pieces could be an interesting analog complement to the brand identities he spends his days working on. “I’ve always enjoyed the restrictions of modular type design, and I’m surprised it took me this long to put the two things together,” he tells Colossal. He then began shaping the bricks into ubiquitous typefaces like Helvetica and Garamond and physical renditions of digital relics.

This sparked a full-scale project involving dozens of typographic studies: a scroll through the Brik Font Instagram reveals single letters, throwback video game logos, and references to anti-aliased words like the pixelated “ok” shown above. The project already has led to collaborations with Apple and a knitwear brand, and Ward is in the process of preparing a book on the idea. He’s also released printables on Etsy and prints on Society6. (via Kottke)

 

 

 



Design

A Chunky Bronze Logo Wraps Around the Corner of a Prague Art Museum

December 1, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images by Vojtěch Veškrna, Kunsthalle Praha

A column of metallic type scales the former Zenger Transformer Substation in Prague, melding the historic venue with the visual identity of the new art institution housed in its space. Conceived by the Czech Republic-based Studio Najbrt, the uniquely positioned logo wraps vertically around the corner of the Kunsthalle Praha building and is based on a typeface by German designer Jan Tschichold, who created it in the 1930s around the time the station was built. Construction involved modeling the hinged letters in paper and modifying the forms to account for the central bend, a lengthy process you can see more of Studio Najbrt’s Instagram.

 

 

 



Craft Design

Bright Tufts, Coils, and Lengthy Stitches Are Embroidered into a Textured Typographic Series

June 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Panna Eszenyi, shared with permission

Graphic designer Panna Eszenyi shifts her practice to a more tactile medium in a series that deftly merges embroidery and typography. Created as part of the 36 Days of Type challenge, the thread-based alphabet is Eszenyi’s foray into the craft and an exercise in utilizing a wide variety of stitches. The resulting series fluctuates in font, color, and style with both ornate cross-hatched letters, tufted flourishes, and more minimal, geometric interpretations.

Eszenyi just finished her second year at Eszterházy Károly Egyetem in Eger, Hungary, and you can follow her projects on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 

 



Craft Design Photography

Paper Is Creased and Twisted into an Elegant Three-Dimensional Typographic Series by Reina Takahashi

June 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Reina Takahashi, shared with permission

Artist Reina Takahashi transposes the expressive, refined flourishes common in calligraphy into an exquisite series of paper type. Set against solid backdrops, the three-dimensional forms are shaped with crisp lines, twists, and wide-mouthed cones sometimes made with a single strip. Takahashi tells Colossal that she created each letter and number with the final photo angle in mind, ensuring that the “floating planes, pop-off-the-page ribbons, and precarious balancing acts of paper” all cast the proper shadow to complete the character. See the entire collection, which she designed as part of the popular 36 Days of Type challenge, along with some of the Oakland-based artist’s commercial projects for companies like The New York Times, Wired, Medium, and on her site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Design

'The Joy of Type Design': These Massive Alphabetic Prints Were Created Using Just Four Shapes

November 30, 2020

Grace Ebert

Using the Brico System for letterpress printing requires thinking of every possible combination from A to Z. The simple method involves just four shapes to create typographic forms and geometric renderings, and it founded a recent collaboration between artist and printmaker Anthony Burrill, designer and printer Thomas Mayo, and Oli Bently, who helms the Leeds-based studio Split and the People Powered Press, a non-profit printer that’s the largest letterpress operation of its kind in the world.

Together, the trio created one monochromatic print of every letter, which span 1.5 meters. “With near endless possibilities of letter forms, weights, sizes, and styles, it was created so that anyone can share in the joy of type design,” they say.

The group is selling the monochromatic pieces to fund the work of People Powered Press—email Split to see which are still in stock and make a purchase—and pick up the book documenting the entire process from the studio’s shop. You also can try your hand at the Brico System with this simulator.

 

 

 



Design

Hundreds of Symbols From Prehistory to Modern Day Comprise a Gold 'S' Screenprint by Seb Lester

August 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

“S” (2020), metallic rose gold screenprint on black Plike art paper, 330 gsm, 24.4 x 24.4 inches. All images © Seb Lester, shared with permission

Centered on the letter “S,” an anachronistic print from Seb Lester (previously) blends hundreds of symbols into one embellished form. Rendered in metallic on black paper, the typographic piece captures an incredibly long timeline, from prehistory to the Dark Ages to the Renaissance to present day. Look closely and you’ll spot snippets of cave paintings, Egyptian hieroglyphics, emojis, and modern logos.

Based in Lewes, England, the artist and calligrapher channeled the heavily detailed marginalia and flourishes of illuminated manuscripts. “I have spent two decades studying the most beautiful examples of intricate letterform and ornamental design I can find. This letter ‘S’ is arguably the most intricate letterform that has ever been drawn,” he shares with Colossal.

Lester released a limited run of 150 gold screenprints, which currently are available in his shop. Check out the video below to see all of the piece’s gleaming intricacies, and follow the artist on Instagram to keep up with his latest releases.

 

 

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