The typographic form in the Umbrella Movement


“No to Pre-selected Candidates” banner on a back-lit bus shelter advertising. Unintentionally combining the written banner with the calligraphic artwork of a property development artwork.

In a city where the majority of writing is finger scribbled on the screen of a smartphone, Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement has developed into an unexpected platform for handwriting and handmade typography.

Creative Review – Words of the Umbrella Movement.

13 Jan 2014, 3:08pm
leave a comment

Department International

Department International is a collaborative design practice via London & NYC.

via Department International.

Fear in a field


via RoosBros. Fear in a field.

Fear expanded – 2012 is an artwork by Ryan Everson in collaboration with Jason Garcia.  The further away  you go, the more the big mirror clad letters are merging into the landscape.

saudi arabia bir hima petroglyphs | Flickr – Photo Sharing!

The pre-Islamic rock art of Arabia at Bir Hima, carved into the eastern foothills of the Asir Mountains, is one of the most important rock art sites in Saudi Arabia. Most of what youll see dates from around 5500 BC, athough there are more recent examples scattered around.

via saudi arabia bir hima petroglyphs | Flickr – Photo Sharing!.

15 May 2012, 5:06pm
leave a comment



Ikko Tanaka (January 13, 1930 – January 10, 2002) 



Edited by Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares
Khatt Books, Amsterdam 2010
Highly illustrated 396 pages in color
Languages: Dutch, English, Arabic
Size: 21 cm x 28 cm
Soft cover with flaps

The Typographic Matchmaking in the City project is a design research project investigating new approaches for bilingual lettering and poetic narrative for public space.


The Khatt Foundation, Center for Arabic Typography is a cultural foundation and design research center dedicated to advancing design and typography in the Middle East, North Africa and their diaspora, and to building cross-cultural creative networks.


17 Oct 2011, 9:53pm
leave a comment

Hiroaki Ohya | a pattern a day





Hiroaki Ohya | a pattern a day.

30 Sep 2011, 10:30am
body semiotic typography
leave a comment

Geoffroy Tory



Véritable icône bibliophilique, artisan du livre moderne, promoteur de la culture graphique, Geoffroy Tory reste et demeure un inclassable. Imprimeur officiel de François Ier, illustrateur attitré de Du Bellay, créateur de la cédille, de l’apostrophe et des lettres accentuées, ce maître de la mise en page est un père spirituel pour un grand nombre d’éditeurs, de typographes et de relieurs contemporains. Aussi n’est-ce pas un hasard si le Musée national de la Renaissance et la Bibliothèque nationale de France lui rendent aujourd’hui hommage.

Via http://www.plume-mag.com/extrait/322/110330/geoffroy-tory-ou-la-revolution-typographique

3 Feb 2011, 9:52pm
leave a comment

Typography Summer School

Typography Summer School 2011

A week-long programme of typographic study in London for recent graduates and professionals. Alongside live projects run by Fraser Muggeridge, the school will host talks, seminars and tutorials from daily visiting practitioners: APFEL (A Practice for Everyday Life), Sara De Bondt, Europa, Ken Garland, James Langdon, David Pearson.

Applications are now open (until 1st May 2011)
20 places are available for each week: 4–8 July 2011 & 11–15 July 2011

manystuff.org — Graphic Design daily selection » Blog Archive » Typography Summer School 2011.

A North Korean anniversary and debut – The Big Picture – Boston.com

A North Korean anniversary and debut – The Big Picture – Boston.com.

A.C. Rayburn

OVER IT string + type in collaboration with:

Jelly Helm | Jeremy Pelley | Matthew Foster

Fritz Mesenbrink | Chris Hutchinson | Damion Triplett

Jennie Hayes | Kate Bingaman-Burt | Marco Kaye

Mike Giepert | Justin Scrappers Morrison | Driscoll Reid

Jason Sturgill | David Neevel | Taylor Twist

Jimm Lasser | Julia Oh

via A.C. Rayburn.

ABChairs by Roeland Otten

Rotterdam designer Roeland Otten has designed a collection of 26 chairs, each spelling out one letter of the alphabet.


ërell / St Etienne Zone commercial Alphabet

ërell // St Etienne Zone commercial Alphabet on Flickr – Photo Sharing!.

Graffiti: overground archaeology or environmental crime?

Alison Barnes

‘In a city that belongs to no-one, people are constantly seeking to leave a trace of themselves…’ (Sennett 1990:205)

Graffiti, by its very nature, is inevitably temporary type. Whether due to chemical cleansing agents deployed by local councils and property owners, or simply the effect of the wind and rain over time, at some point, it will, sooner or later, disappear.

The word graffiti means ‘little scratchings’ and it comes from the Italian graffiare, which means to scratch and for thousands of years ancient cultures have engaged in this form of written expression. (Reisner 1971; Abel & Buckley 1977). When studied, the older examples of graffiti have often been used to provide insights into society – Pompeii being an obvious example (Abel & Buckley 1977:4). There is something about graffiti in this context that is somehow acceptable – visitors to Pompeii don’t complain that the graffiti is destroying the landscape they simply view it as part of the history of the place. In the case of the Berlin wall, graffiti has actually been ascribed value, with the pieces of the wall available for purchase that have graffiti on them fetching higher prices than those that don’t (Cavan 1995:4).


Urban space and everyday life

Urban spaces are in a continual state of flux; permanence is impossible. The inhabitants, their lives and their territorial markings are temporary. The city is being continually rewritten—like a palimpsest—layer upon layer, never quite wiping the slate clean.

The ‘messages’ embedded in the landscape can be read as signs about values, beliefs and practices and geographers have begun to see the potential in reading the landscape and refer to its biography (Jackson, 1989:173). Michel de Certeau drew many analogies between the city, its inhabitants and their movements and the practice of writing and speaking. He saw the inhabitants of the city as ‘writing an urban text’ as they move through it (de Certeau, 1984:97).


The Situationists were profoundly influenced by Lefbvre’s writings and they were determined to penetrate the outward, spectacular, commercialized signs of mass culture and explore its interior by examining everyday patterns of life, in particular people’s use of buildings and urban space. By using the methodology of the Situationists and charting ‘signs’ that are usually unseen, informal or even illicit—in this case graffiti—rather than the ubiquitous golden arches or neon coca cola signs, one can perhaps begin to read a text of a less homogenous, global nature. One that is perhaps more local in its outlook on occasion, but one that is nonetheless still capable of delivering insights that reach further than its literal and physical city boundaries.


Via http://stbride.org/friends/conference/temporarytype/overgroundarchaeology

Body Typography


Can anyone tell me anything about the context of this picture?

I quite like how someone is being used as a furniture, just painted in white, as the spacing between words.

‘250cm line tattooed on six paid people,’ Santiago Sierra


Espacio Aglutinador Havana December 1999

Galerie Peter Kilchmann Zurich

In 1999, Spanish artist Santiago Sierra paid six unemployed young men in Cuba to take part in one of his installation pieces. The men were offered $30 each to participate, and stripped to their shorts to become a part of another of Sierra’s human experiments, this time in the Espacia Aglutinador, Havana’s oldest art space. And their job? To go under the needle. Sierra had the men tattooed – one straight, horizontal line reaching across each of their backs.

A line-up of young, able warriors symbolically inked for social battle.


Arthur Mole’s Extraordinary Mass Photography

Published on 4/14/2008 under Art – 56,844 views

Almost a century ago and without the aid of any pixel-generating computer software, the itinerant photographer Arthur Mole (1889-1983) used his 11 x 14-inch view camera to stage a series of extraordinary mass photographic spectacles that choreographed living bodies into symbolic formations of religious and national community. In these mass ornaments, thousands of military troops and other groups were arranged artfully to form American patriotic symbols, emblems, and military insignia visible from a bird’s eye perspective. During World War I, these military formations came to serve as rallying points to support American involvement in the war and to ward off isolationist tendencies.



Living Portrait of President Woodrow Wilson, for which 21,000 troops assembled at Camp Sherman in Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1918, is the best-known of Mole’s photographs. The image is characteristic of Mole’s work in that it wavers between the compositional effect of the whole (i.e. a portrait of Woodrow Wilson) and the desire to focus upon the obscured individuals who constitute the image, thereby undermining the optical illusion of the totality to a degree.


Arirang in North Korea


In this photo provided by Korea Central News Agency via Korea News Service, opening of 2008 mass games, featuring 100,000 performers, is seen at May Day Stadium, Pyongyang, Monday, Aug. 4, 2008. North Korea launched a series of mass performances in Pyongyang as part of the celebrations surrounding North Korea’s 60th anniversary of nation’s founding. Korean words read “Eternal Sun, Aririang”






Mai 68/body-type


“Enclosed in cardboard boxes, having voluntary subjugated their fleshy appearance to the abstract reality of the sign, the militant students of May 68 restaored to the letter its magic and ancestral power.” Letter and Image, Massin

Shelley Jackson’s Skin Project



Since August, 2003, artist Shelley Jackson has been “publishing” her 2095-word story, one word at a time. Volunteers to the project agree to tattoo a word that Shelly assigns to them somewhere on their bodies. The word must be in a classic font and large enough to be readable by the naked eye. The project is ongoing, and documentation of it can be seen at her web site, www.inedradicablestain.comIf you want to volunteer for your own word, you can sign up through the site.

15 Jul 2009, 1:49pm
stencils typography
leave a comment

Tamms: Mud stencils

tamms-chicago-3 tamms-chicago-41

Tamms is shorthand for a supermax prison located in a town by the same name that has been operating under conditions considered torture by many human rights organizations and Tamms Year Ten is a grass-roots campaign to bring attention to it and at least bring it back to its original, legal mandate. As you can see from the pictures, they created an outline of the state of Illinois locating the location of Tams within in. To make the image they used giant stencils and mud, a technique learned and borrowed from artist Jesse Graves. Chicago-based art historian and writerLori Waxman has written on the action, discussing the relationship between the stencil action and the issue of Tamms in more detail.
image above from Jesse Graves’ blog.


Il faut…

Vague ideas should be challenged by intelligible images

Taken from Godard’s movie “Histoire(s) du cinéma”

Moholy-Nagy: Painting/Photography/film, 1925


p39 “What is typo-photo?

Typography is communication composed in type.

Photography is the visual presentation of what can be optically apprehended.

Typophoto is the visual presentation of what can be optically apprehended.

(…) Until recently typeface and typesetting rigidly preserved a technique which admittedly garanted the purity of the linear effect but ignored the new dimension of life.”

10 Apr 2009, 11:11am
everyday typography
leave a comment

BUSK — LetterCult

BUSK — LetterCult.

Seven Secret Alphabets, Anthony Earnshaw

Yesterday, at the library, I found this sweet book of illustrative lettering developed by Anthony Earnshaw, English surrealist painter.

Seven secret alphabets

Seven secret alphabets

I really like how far he pushes the thing, using perspective for the sharp end of the letter A, and even more the narrative sequencing between letter E and F. The whole thing looks like a storyboard for a surrealist movie.

The Education of a Graphic Designer, edited by Steven Heller

P113, Michael Worthington
“Consider how writting has evolved through various technological advances (carving in stone, painting on paper, mechanised printing, etc…) It has always been a magical tool: has always had the ability to reconstruct images, meaning, events from an abstracts platform across space and time, between best friends and total strangers. Even though the letterforms themselves- and their means of production and discrimination- have altered widely, the magic of the written word as communication has remained. This alphabetic magic differs from the communicative magic of the image…”

“New media develops in an exponential manner. It builds on the previous at a furious rate. Each interactive experience is not just a lesson for the individual maker, but also a work that is assimilated into a broader understanding of screen-based digital work.
Rather than a loss of authorship, there is a sense of sharing. You have to make this stuff and put it out there- let it have a life of its own, be altered by others (particularly on the net), be toyed with and abused. Like a typeface, it only really comes to life when it is used by someone or, in this case, experienced by someone. There is a liberalism that is essential to this production, leaving both design and text open to alteration and multiple interpretation isintrinsic to new media: the idea of creating a “readable experience” rather than a scripted space.

What is Graphic Design? Quentin Newark


“It is not entirely clear who first used the term “typophoto” but in 1925, Lazlo Moholy-Nagy announced that the combination of typo and photo was “the new visual literature”. “The difference between word and image, and word on their own, especially en masse, is that images are comprehended more immediately _ Word and image “is not a delayed system; information is conveyed directly. The greatest power of visual language lies in its immediacy, its spontaneous evidence. Visually, you see content and form simultaneously,”says psychologist A Dondis.

Banana Wall

Stefan Sagmeister Banana Wall

Stefan Sagmeister Banana Wall

Stefan Sagmeister Banana Wall

Banana Wall

At the opening of his exhibition at Deitch Projects in New York, Stefan featured a wall of 10,000 bananas. Green bananas created a pattern against a background of yellow bananas spelling out the sentiment: “Self-confidence produces fine results”. After a number of days the green bananas turned yellow, too, and the type disappeared.

Art Direction: Stefan Sagmeister
Design: Richard The, Joe Shouldice
Client: Deitch Projects 2008