For your favourite typography books
I discovered a few wood type projects by Matt Innes of Melbourne, Australia. These bookshelf letters, made with a CNC router out of Jarrah-faced birch plywood, are a personal project. They look gorgeous. Each letter has been sized to fit just “those books you go back to time & again”.
Made in collaboration with Saori Kajiwara. 600 x 250 x 190mm per character.
A Special Specimen
This wonderful and colourful type specimen once belonged to Paul Rand. It was given to JP Williams, who had become friends with Rand while studying under the professor at Yale School of Art. They both shared a passion for collecting all things written and designed by Jan Tschichold. Rand invited JP to his home and gave him this ‘tattered old book’ from his library.
It was well used – not to mention mutilated by Rand – and JP describes how Rand used to cut letters and sometimes whole sections out for use in his work: ‘The spine was broken and it was in a horrible state. Of course I loved it’.
"Mr Rand turned page after page to reveal the most wonderful type specimens. However, since we usually spoke about Tschichold, I did not understand what this book had to do with him. Then Mr. Rand closed the book and opened it from the beginning, revealing the inside front cover and the ex libris. It had belonged to none other than Jan Tschichold. my mouth fell open and Mr. Rand smiled. Enjoy, as I have."
Letters from Porto
These vibrant montages have been created by Andrew Howard, Graphic Designer and course leader of the MA in Communication Design at ESAD, Portugal
Andrew introduced the study of typography to the curriculum at ESAD and challenged his students to walk the streets and record the typography and lettering from the world around them. This successful and valuable research exercise has now spread to other design facilities.
These prints, the result of Andrew’s own visual research and photography and show how beautiful this record of lettering can be when curated thoughtfully. There are some fantastic examples in this collection gathered together over a decade.
Letters from Porto by Andrew Howard, 2013, Portugal
The changing face of Bowie
I just spotted this typographic screen print produced exclusively for London’s V&A museum to coincide with it’s forthcoming David Bowie exhibition.
It features the lettering and bespoke typefaces from over 100 designers. Matt white ink has been printed over rainbow holographic paper which looks brilliant. Each print comes with a certificate naming the full list of contributors including, Jonathan Barnbrook, Ian Anderson and Anthony Burrill.
I love the look of it but I think the overall effect is a little crowded and too much like a list of type specimens. I’d have preferred it to be bigger too. The print is 50x50cm.
I like these alternative compositions by Bryan Patrick Todd, a letterer and designer from Louisville, Kentucky.
The full images of each character are good (he’s created a full alphabet of the ‘c’) but when cropped like this they are much more impactful.
Modern Wood Type
In a process moving from digital to manual, these beautiful woodblocks have been designed in Illustrator, laser cut and then printed by hand.
Produced by Nigel Bents, Paul Oakley and Jonny Holmes while at Chelsea College of Art & Design in London, the characters were based on a Bodoni poster typeface. The extreme stroke contrast has been used to house these playful decorative patterns.
The letters were cut from 3mm plywood then mounted on type-high blocks before letterpress printing at New North Press in Hoxton.
Even before inking, I love how the laser cutting has scorched a warm colour onto the wooden face of the letters.
These beautifully ethereal letters have been created with water droplets and light.
Inspired by the reflections of car headlights on a road spattered with rain drops they are the experiments of Russian designer Ruslan Khasanov.
Each letter was has been created from water droplets produced with a syringe that are then illuminated from different angles and viewed through a lens.
God’s own junkyard - The Neon Man
These photos feel wonderfully festive.
After making neon signs for 37 years, Chris Bracey has truly earned his nickname, The Neon Man. He learnt the process from his father, who used to make signs for amusement arcades, fairgrounds and circuses.
Working as a neon light artist, Chris’s work is very desirable and his reputation has been amplified by high-profile collectors and blockbuster films featuring his signs (among the movie list you can spot several fictional cities including Superman’s metropolis, Tim Burton’s Batman’s Gotham City, and Judge Dredd’s Mega-City).
These shots have been taken at his warehouse in East London, dubbed “God’s Own Junkyard”, where Chris has collected up to 1,000 neon signs, including many of his own works and film props.
Vibrant typographic prints by Boldover
I’d posted one of Dan Chamberlain’s prints over a year ago and took another look recently to see what was new. There’s now a huge collection of abstract typographic prints, like these, with some great colour work.
Dan runs an independent graphic design studio, Boldover, based in Devon in the UK’s South West and is adding designs all the time. Take a look at the thumbnails on Flickr.
Architectural Type Experiments
These three posters were created by California based, Katie Tonkovich, for a hypothetical lecture series discussing different architectural periods of ancient fortresses and castles.
The type is constructed by hand using the materials showcased in the lecture series. I like the wooden/bamboo looking framework, it creates a slightly precarious shape for the letters. Not sure how the silk is used for a fortress. Nomadic tents maybe? Nicely shot and designed.
Seb Lester’s Rude Slate
This week Seb revealed three original pieces of work, letter cut into blocks of slate, featuring the words “ARSE”, “BOLLOCKS” and “F**K”.
He explained: “I have decided there are two kinds of art I like, really clever art and really stupid art”.
He places these in the latter category: “I may be wrong but I don’t think anyone in history has ever been stupid enough to design a set of monumental Roman capital letters and then commission a dignified and highly skilled craftsman to carve rude words into the finest Welsh slate using them.”
Each of the one-off slate blocks features his bespoke lettering and are signed. Slate 1, “Bollocks”, is 50cm across with the other two at 25cm and prices range from £700 to £1500.