Each of these letters has been created by carefully arranging objects, or by creating a landscape, so that the character is only revealed from a single vantage point.
Using chairs, scissors and even rock, these wonderful installations have been created by Dan Tobin Smith, who started the project in 2005/6 when Creative Review commissioned a Letter ‘A’ for their Annual.
This distorted projection, or anamorphosis, is a technique dating back to the Renaissance and seems to gaining popularity again, especially in signage and interior design. Of the 13 letters so created so far, all use Helvetica as the base typeface. Most are landscape and some were conceived primarily for film (such as this Letter ‘T’).
I had the opportunity to ask Dan a little about the project’s future:
“I am hoping to complete the whole alphabet! They are individually quite time consuming as each one is a totally separate concept and some take a lot of work. I dip in and out when I have the time and inclination—it’s not something you can rush.
Next in line is a letter ‘O’ which is being fabricated at the moment. It’s based around an architectural model inspired by Antonio Basoli’s ‘Alfabeto Pittorico’ [Wow!] from the 19th century.”