Amandine Alessandra: News & Projects / Portfolio

  1. The T: All These Typographic Moments


    This week I’ve received the first issue of The T, a Type and Typography Korean magazine published by Typography Seoul with a long feature on Erik Spiekermann.
    There are also a few spreads on my Body Type work.

  2. Earth Hour 2014, Berlin

    amandine alessandra WWF

    On the 29th of March, WWF Deutschland organised a performance by the Brandenburg Gate
    using the Letterform for the Ephemeral to mark Earth Hour.
    Over 7,000 cities in 150 countries joined the movement to raise awareness about climate change.

    More about this here:

  3. 12/13: Wired UK

    Commissioned work in the December issue of Wired UK:
    slow motion hand-danced numbers + 30s exposure self-portraits x4

  4. Winner of The Word Art Collective digital competition

    I’m honoured that my work was selected by Curators Dr Glenn Adamson, of the Victoria & Albert Museum,
    and Priya Khanchandani as a winner of the Word Art Collective digital competition.
    Below is the exhibited work.

    30s exposure photograph + 30s Video

    The french expression “avoir un poil dans la main” means to be lazy, or literally to have a hair growing in your hand.
    Because us French people tend not to pronounce the letter H, it becomes To ‘ave R (air) in your hand when translated in English.
    Dancing is playing with air.
    The photograph exposed is a 30s exposure of a choreography very slowly drawing a R with my hand.
    The video shows a random-looking dance, so slow that it’s hardly recognisable as a letter
    until we see the photograph next to it.

  5. Show: Word Art Collective

    Some of my video and photography-based typographic work will be shown by the Word Art Collective
    at the Hoxton Arches from Wednesday 21st November to Saturday 8th December 2012.

    The Word Art Collective is a non-profit initiative established by a group of curators and writers based in London, generously supported by the European Commission and partner gallery Hoxton Arches.

    The show is curated as an exhibition of art and design by artists whose work explores the theme of European identity, taking as its base an interest in language.

    The exhibition is to be held at Hoxton Arches, Arch 402, on the edge of Shoreditch.
    Arch 402
    Cremer Street
    E2 8HD

    Opening hours
    The exhibition will be open to the public from Wednesday 21st November to Saturday 8th December.

    Monday: Closed
    Tuesday: Closed
    Wednesday: 11am – 6pm
    Thursday: 11am – 9pm
    Friday: 11am – 6pm
    Saturday: 11am – 6pm
    Sunday: 11am – 6pm

  6. Some images from the Workshop at Gerald Moore Gallery

    A really nice alchemy ran through that Summer School workshop on sunday;
    by the time I picked up my camera, I went back outside to find people who didn’t know each other performing
    words and letters, and brainstorming on possible messages involving alternative post-Olympic messages
    and the Pussy Riot.

    The Free Pussy Riot one, below, has since been very broadly shared by Amnesty International UK,
    amongst others, on Twitter.

    The workshop was curated by George Vasey;
    Summer School was curated by Rosie Cooper a& realised by Fay Nicolson.

  7. Summer School: Free workshop at the Gerald Moore Gallery

    Want to protest? Tell a story?
    We are looking for between 10-15 volunteers to join us for a performative typographic workshop
    at the Gerald Moore gallery on Sunday August the 12th. Working with the body’s potential
    to form new words through movement and gesture, it will be your chance to take part
    in a living work of art.

    I will be leading a three hour workshop and participants will be invited to work together to create
    a collaborative public performance on the day.

    Sunday 12th August 2012

    Workshop, 12th of August 2012

    We want people to bring ideas along and work together as a group. It will be a fun day, and we will provide lunch and refreshments as well as a souvenir.

    The workshop curated by George Vasey
    Summer School is curated by Rosie Cooper and realised by Fay Nicolson

    Booklet designed by Kaisa Lassinaro

    Sunday 12th August
    The workshop starts at 12pm; phrases will be performed from 3pm
    Gerald Moore Gallery at Eltham College
    Mottingham Lane
    SE9 4QF

    T. 020 8857 0448
    E. info [at]

    By train:
    The nearest train station is Mottingham or Grove Park. Direct trains take 20 minutes from London Bridge or 15 minutes from New Cross.

    Other options:
    Parking is available on site.
    The 136 bus goes from Peckham to nearby Grove Park.

  8. تضاريس / Relief / Tadariss

    This picture of human arabic typography, reading تضاريس/Relief/Tadariss, was taken on the first day of a seminar on 3D typography I gave at the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts in Beirut, Lebanon.

    Working with Masters students in Art Direction and Multimedia, we a created choreography-based pluri-alphabetic piece allowing a group of people posing as human letterforms to express a word in English, then in French, and finally in Arabic in a few moves, reflecting on the Lebanese multi-lingual culture.

  9. Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts, Beirut, Lebanon

    Alba 75 ans

    The ALBA, where I was giving a one-week seminar on typography last month,
    is celebrating its 75th anniversary next week.

    For this occasion, the school asked me and the students to prepare something
    to go on the massive banner that will cover the building during the festivities;
    above is a sneak pic of the making of.
    More soon.

  10. An article by Cheryl Yau for PrintMag

    As pedestrians meander swiftly through urban grids, confronting billboards, scrolling through incoming texts and saturated Twitter feeds simultaneously, London-based designer Amandine Alessandra demands that they pause…with the use of typography.

    Eager to step away from digital fonts and ubiquitous desktop publishing software, Alessandra frequently turns to the urban environment, found objects and the human body as a resource for typography. She calls herself a live-type maker. “I have nothing against computers. I use lots of programs and I’m not saying one shouldn’t use them,” she explains, “I just think it’s nice to question your tools.” Alessandra’s typographic work not only challenges her viewers to consider the tools they use to communicate, but to be open minded about what letters could look like. Distorted by low-tech and unrefined methods of construction, each letter designed by Alessandra depends on the reader’s imagination for interpretation. “It’s accepting that if it looks vaguely like an A, it can be an A,” Alessandra states. “I think it’s a very postmodern approach to typography.”

    Inviting her audience to think and look more closely at the letterforms has been an ongoing goal in Alessandra’s work. Her latest project Dance with Me utilizes long exposure photography to capture letterforms created by micro-choreographed movements. Clothed entirely in black, each dancer uses quick short motions to draw a letter in the air with their hands. Each letter is a ghosted silhouette – the result of repetitive movement accumulated in a single static image. Coming from a background of photography, Alessandra prefers to use long exposure or stop motion over video to capture movement. “I find that video is quite difficult to share. Because you really take a lot of people’s time, even if it’s 10 seconds. People have very very low attention these days.”

    Sharing is an important aspect to Alessandra therefore she often tries to organize performances in public spaces, stopping people in their tracks with her typographic installations. In 2010, as the final project for her masters at London College of Communication, Alessandra orchestrated an assembly of eight people to mimic a real-time digital clock in Liverpool Street Station. Dressed in black and a lime green bolero, each performer bent their arms and torsos to act out the numbers. Even amidst the rush hour crowds on a Friday evening, the group was able to attract curiosity from passer-bys. “Some people thought we were selling something, so they were trying to understand what the advertising was for,” Alessandra recalls.

    In an earlier iteration of the same project, Alessandra had her performers occupy the crossing at Abbey Road, and spell out words such as wait, pause and hold in front of oncoming cars. She compares the Letterform for the Ephemeral project to guerilla advertising or an analog Tweet, as it allows her to disperse short messages at a very larg scale without it being illegal. “It’s a bit like graffiti,” she says, “but it doesn’t damage anything.”

    Alessandra draws inspiration for her activist typographic performances from a photograph of a student protest in May 1968, documented in Massin’s Letter and Image. Wearing big paper boxes with a letter written on each, the students gathered to spell something together. “If one of them was to be missing, the work wouldn’t mean anything anymore,” says Alessandra, who sees great value in collaboration and tries to use her work to facilitate collective experiences. “The idea of this typography was to question things, to question the passing of time, and to question how we can need each other to spread a message.” Her work draws attention and interaction, serving as social commentary of the current culture of speed.

    At the time of her experimentation, Alessandra’s peers at school were skeptical her work would find any commercial application despite its visual appeal. But Euro RSCG Lisbon quickly reused her wearable letterforms for the launch of the site Optimus Kanguru, appropriating the bolero with bright colors. Alessandra’s use of the human form has appeared in numerous publications and her low-tech yet engaging work has caught the attention of many designers. Despite the abundance of media messages and overwhelming information we receive everyday, it seems Amandine Alessandra is a success in provoking us to pause for thought.

    Side note: As I was finishing up this piece, I thought a lot about how Amandine drew her inspiration from a student protest, and how there is a very active protest among us right now…Occupy Wall Street! So this weekend I’m going to go with a few of my friends, and use Amandine’s medium to project the voice of the movement. Visit my website (or leave your comments here) and let me know your thoughts on my experiment.


    Read more: Pausing for Amandine Alessandra, By Cheryl Yau — Imprint-The Online Community for Graphic Designers